Tuesday, May 1, 2012
5/01/2012 09:05:00 AM | Posted by Jacob Noble | Edit Post
In a series that many picked the Thunder to steamroll the defending champs, many have been pleasantly surprised how close this series is, with the first two games decided by 4 points. Oklahoma City will take a two games to none lead into Dallas for games three and four in hopes of sweeping the Mavericks after winning game two 102-99. However, Dallas has continued to play well in the playoffs, to much surprise compared to their regular season performance.
The match up between these two teams has been a dog fight, arguably the best match up so far based on the first couple of gaames. Ball movement has been hard to come by in this series, as both teams recorded only 26 combined assists on 63 made baskets, good for about 41%.
"That's what the playoffs are about," Westbrook said. "Toughness."
Kevin Durant continues to struggle (compared to his standards) in this series as Shawn Marion has done a really good job of keeping the scoring champ in check. These games have become more physical with each passing minute making for a really competitive first round series.
"We've just got to continue to take that punch from them and do a great job of sticking together," Durant said. "Games like this in the playoffs, they're going to get chippy and we know that. So, we've just got to play through it."
This game was different as it almost escalated to a fist fight. The Thunder are getting attacked from every team out West for being the favorites (despite what the Spurs do). Being a young and gifted team, veterans clubs have taken shots at the Thunder and they do not plan to back down.
"He tried to bully me and I bullied back a little bit and talked about some stuff, and moved on," Nowitzki said. Dirk wasn't the only one who feels that the play is getting a little bit too chippy.
"It's playoff basketball. It's physical. We don't like the cheap shots when they give them, and they don't like them if we give them. That's the nature of competition," Carlisle said. "I love hard-played, clean, competitive playoff series. You throw the ball up and may the best team win. The dirty (expletive) has got to stop. We don't want anybody getting hurt out there, either way."
This series is far from over. "We're just a couple bounces away from being up 2-0," said Nowitzki.