The three-seeded Dallas Mavericks head to Portland for game three of the first round in the 2011 NBA playoffs. After going up 2-0, Dirk and Co. look to continue their hot streak against a Trail Blazers team loaded with talent.
Now that the Mavs have a little comfort heading to the west coast, you’d think the Mavs were headed in the right direction and onto the second round.
“The One and Done Boys?”
On this day nine years ago, sports media was betting against the Mavs, in just about every series. Even up two games to none on the six-seeded Blazers, people still doubted the Mavs. At this point in time, people knew them as the team that couldn’t escape the first round, most notably in 2007, but I’ll spare the atrocious details this time.
ESPN Dallas, which was and still is the flagship radio station for Mavs games, even doubted the team against this Blazers team. I’ll never forget Ben Rogers, who (believe it or not) was doing postgames at the time, he famously nicknamed the Mavs “The one and done boys”.
He will forever be tied to those words because of what ended up happening in 2011.
A guy we’re all now familiar with, Wesley Matthews.
A young-studded Wesley Matthews carried the Blazers early on in this game. Yes, he was in fact in Portland at the time. Although the signature “bow and arrow” wasn’t born yet, he came out scorching hot from three and it didn’t look good for the Mavs early on. Not only that, but Matthews was playing magnificent defense on the Mavs floor general, Jason Kidd, which didn’t help. Matthews had 22 first-half points to lift them to a narrow 54-52 lead.
As for the Mavs, it was all Jason Terry and Dirk Nowitzki on the offensive end. They alone were keeping the Mavs within reach throughout the game. Dirk and JET each played over 40 minutes while both shooting over 45 percent from the field and over 50 percent from three. They had a combined 54 points, but we all know it wasn’t enough.
The 2011 Mavs team hadn’t won a game in Portland all year long and game three of the first round was no different. While we all know the outcome of this game, it was a hard-fought game all throughout, as there were plenty of back-and-forth buckets.
Box Score Standouts
The vets played a huge role for both sides in game three. The dynamic duo of Andre Miller and Marcus Camby played significant minutes including 33 for Miller. He contributed 16 points and seven assists including the game-clinching free throws in the final seconds. Camby, on the other hand, didn’t play much of a role with his 21 minutes. He put up six points and 10 rebounds. Let’s be real, his veteran presence made floor spacing huge for LaMarcus Aldridge to work his mid-range shots.
As for the Mavs, Jason Kidd had a huge case of playing time totaling 38 minutes, but only scoring eight points and dishing out three assists. Much like Camby, stats don’t make or break a good game for these guys. Their presence on the floor naturally draws attention, especially for Kidd.
For me, the MVP on the night for the Mavs, was their backup center: Brendan Haywood. His physical, defensive presence was game-changing on LaMarcus Aldridge. Aldridge played a total of 43 minutes, but only managed to put up 20 points and four rebounds while shooting a lackluster (for Aldridge) 42 percent from the field. Haywood played a total of 30 minutes compared to 15 for the starter, Tyson Chandler. Which, in fact, was out of the ordinary for the series, let alone the entire playoffs.
Will the Mavs take a 3-1 series lead or will the Blazers take advantage of their homecourt and tie it up? Check back here on April 23rd to find out and to get your sports fix these days.
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