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Smack / Apr 30, 2010 / 4:28 am

Spurs send the Mavericks packing; Suns send the Blazers to rehab

Tim Duncan (photo. adidas)

All at once, it seemed every allegation of being soft, of having no heart, of choking under the bright lights was coming true for Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavericks. When the Spurs scored the first seven points of last night’s do-or-die (for Dallas) Game 6, then went ahead 22-8 to end the first quarter, then pushed the lead by 21 in the second quarter while Dirk had four first-half fouls hanging over his head, it looked like it would go down as Dallas’ worst bed-wetting since the ’06 NBA Finals … It was easy to see why the Mavs were getting smoked: Almost every shot they took was a long jumper or a fadeaway, and the few times Caron Butler or Jason Terry actually went to the rack, they either got blocked at the rim or clobbered with no foul call … But then the second half was an entirely different story. Dirk (33 pts) kept his hands to himself and started dropping savage buckets, Caron (25 pts) got on a roll, and Rodrigue Beaubois (16 pts) came off the bench going at Tim Duncan‘s neck like it was personal … Multiple times down the stretch the Mavs got within one bucket — they even took the lead for about five seconds in the third quarter — but Duncan or Manu Ginobili (26 pts, 10-12 FT) always had a response when the Spurs seemed to be losing momentum. Duncan (17 pts, 10 rebs, 3 blks, 3 stls) put it into “domination” mode defensively, and Manu hit the free throws in the final seconds to officially close it out … And then there was George Hill. Seeing as he destroyed the Mavs in Game 4, they already know what he’s capable of, but there was still no answer for him. Some of Dirk’s more silly fouls happened because Hill (21 pts) baited him, and in the second half Hill knocked down some huge threes and one finger roll right in Dirk’s face … Who was the guy sitting in front of Eva Longoria with the bright pink shirt? That’s just not acceptable. And yes, the shirt was loud enough to draw eyes away from Eva Longoria … According to Reggie Miller, Eduardo Najera took a cab to the arena and was on the court three and a half hours before tip-off “to work on his game.” What exactly does that mean for Najera? Was he doling out flagrant fouls to the clean-up crew and security guards? Practicing diving on the floor for loose balls? … Suns/Blazers was also close down the stretch, though the outcome wasn’t the least bit surprising. Jason Richardson got off to a hot start, and we’ve told you enough times by now what that means: J-Rich scored 14 points in the game’s first seven minutes and finished with 28 and five treys. Phoenix was up by a dozen at halftime, but Portland rallied back behind the shooting of Martell Webster (19 pts, 3 threes) and Rudy Fernandez (16 pts, 5 threes) to make it a ballgame … Tied up with about eight minutes remaining in the fourth, J-Rich ran off three straight buckets as part of an 11-2 Phoenix run to help put it away and finish the series. Honestly, this just was not the Blazers’ year. Nate McMillan may have deserved Coach of the Year for squeezing 50 wins out of such an injury-riddled roster, and Brandon Roy showed warrior heart by coming back to play like a week after knee surgery, but this was as far as Portland could go … Maybe it’s just us, but it seems Amar’e has been getting a lot more layups lately. He had no problem taking LaMarcus Aldridge, Marcus Camby and Juwan Howard to the basket, when he got there he had more finger rolls than poster dunks. Maybe he’s saving all the fire and brimstone for Duncan in the next round … Speaking of, how great are things working out for the Spurs as a 7-seed? Beating the 2-seed Mavs isn’t even an upset given the history of the rivalry, and now San Antonio gets Phoenix, who might as well be paying them rent for the last five years. Steve Nash has enough problems trying to dig Tony Parker‘s foot from his ass; George Hill is longer and stronger than TP and could do some real mean things to Nash … Two pieces of history last night: Dallas became the first franchise to lose to an 8-seed and a 7-seed in a seven-game series, and Grant Hill made it out of the first round for the first time in his career. How long had this road been for Hill? In his playoff debut he started alongside Joe Dumars for the Pistons … We’re out like Dirk …

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  • Soopa

    Had no idea Grant Hill never cleared the first round. Big congrats to him!

  • yoda

    first second round for grant? damn. well, good luck to him. well deserved in my humble opinion.

  • Soopa

    We have a good second ahead of us. Cavs-Celts hate each other. Suns-Spurs have a history of tough playoff games.

    Now all we can hope for is getting rid of the Lakers asap lol

  • Hawkeye

    Suns are going to the 2nd round! Only to get pounded by the Spurs. Ouch.

  • pipdaddyy

    That’s real cold on Najera, by all accounts he is a real hard worker getting the max out of his abilities. Funny, though :)

  • Bruce

    Joe Dumars — Original Jordan-Stopper!

  • Rafa23

    lol@ Jordan stopper. you mean holding him to 30 ppg? lmao

    btw, I know the spurs fans around here dont like Dirk, but you all gotta admit he played great after everything the spurs threw at him.
    congrats to san antonio, hoping for a great series against the suns.

  • Atom

    I wouldve started hacking Duncan. Dude couldnt buy a free throw.
    Dirk always takes the fall for losses like this but in reality he is the only reason they didnt get totally blown-out. Where the f was Kid? The spurs were just leaving him open and with paths to the basket and he didnt do shit (except get destroyed by Hill, Parker and probably Avery Johnson if he was still out there).
    Also think Roddy shouldve been out there instead of Terry earlier in the 4th. Spurs had no answer.

  • me

    every time anyone mentions 06, i gotta mention that the refs delivered the chip to Wade. Didn’t he shoot more free throws himself than the entire Dallas squad? Every time down the court he’d shoot free throws. Ridiculous.

  • alf (from melmak)

    Like I said, Spurs in 6. Now they get another eay one in Phoenix. Greg Popovich is a genius. He might have just intentionally made San Antonio loose some of their games down the stretch of the regular season to get the bracket they have now.

    Now Utah has to do its part and have some sort of Cinderella finish to its series with Denver.

    Went out of town early this week and Dime was not accessible for a couple of days. Was it my internet or something happened?

    Top 100 reasons why Dime should hire me as one of its regular writers:

    93. I can get through a day with only burgers, fries, orange juice, and basketball on television.

  • jimmhumm

    J-kidd window is closing. If dallas was in the east they would win the division even with LBJ/MVP and SUper Howard. It’s a shame. The spurs where a number 7 seed and they won 50 games! The number 7 in the east was the Bobcats who every single west division team would sweep!

  • fallinup

    Dallas will move Dampier and be right back in the thick of things. Dirk was of course Dirk. Terry, Kidd, and well, even Butler disappeared last night.

    They’ll be back though. Biggups to them for a good series.

    But DAYUM!!!! The Spurs have a very legit chance to make the finals. Especially if the Lakers kill themselves trying to get to the Western Conference Finals.

    Who would have thunk?

  • DNice

    Cant wait to see another Horry hip check on Nash, wait a minute Horry’s retired. I’ll go for a George Hill flagrant on Nash. Let the second round begin!!!!!!!!!

  • That’s What’s Up

    Caron Butler’s new nickname: Nut Juice

    I can’t imagine the Mavs fans will have the class to log back on and congratulate the Spurs on being the better team. So I’ll ask them this….
    When Manu was shoving it down your throats, did he happen to have a matching bald spot in his pubes?

  • Dagger

    Wow, Smacks are getting shorter as the games mean more.

    I feel bad for Dirk (as bad as I can feel for a multi, multi millionaire doing what he loves). He gets all the blame for losses, but he’s the only consistently great player on his team and he’s as clutch as they come. His best sidekick over the years has probably been Josh Howard, of all people. That won’t cut it when your team plays the Spurs or Lakers. Whatever the Mavs have or haven’t accomplished in the playoffs now seems like overachievement.

    All that said, the Spurs have a real shot at making the Finals. Should be interesting.

  • baron

    Like I said, no roster with any combo of Erick Dampier, Tim Thomas, and DeShawn Stevenson (and at one point, Drew Gooden) even in the vicinity of your bench will ever win anything of significance.

    That’s one ancient PG down (Kidd), and 2 to go (Nash, Fisher).

    We are watching the Rise of the Young Gun: George “Hellyeah” Hill. That kid is a weapon, Him spit hot fiya! He rip and he rhyme, he rhyme and he rip, dis de way dat Hellyeah spit!

  • Ian

    dirk is the only one that shows up for big mavs games he avgs 29ppg 12rpg in elimination games.

    now bring on the suns i predict that with the series tied 2-2 spurs down by 2 with 6 secs left something magical will happen to get the spurs the win(duncan inbounds hits manu on the face and the ball bounces in for 3 pts and the win) we all know the type of luck the suns have vs us. spurs in 6 over the suns.

  • baron

    Holy crap, are folks still hanging on to Horry’s hip check?! I cannot believe people are gonna bitch about a HARD FOUL IN THE PLAYOFFS for five years now.

    If Nash didn’t go flopping around like some poor schmuck from Canuck and took the hit like a man, then none of that would have happened.

    Time to move on, we don’t still talk about 0.4 every fuckin’ year…

    Sorry, perhaps I should be more accommodating – would you like some cheese with that whine? Every time a Suns fan speaks, all I see is D’Antoni’s whiny fuckin face (and Nash’s squirrely eye).

  • http://nerditry.com nerditry

    Wait wait wait.

    I know it has to be coming later today, but NO MENTION of Grant Hill sending Jerryd Bayless’ dunk straight to the 5th level of Hell? Young fella came in for the one handed tomahawk and Grant took him right out of the sky and crashing to the floor.

    That’s the best block of the first round no question.

  • karizmatic

    I don’t think anytone would be surprised at all if San Antonio was in the Western Conference finals.

  • bookkwormmaster

    Great great series between the spurs and mavs. The mavs were the more talented and deeper sqaud but the spurs had the more experienced vets and killer instinct to counter it along with the emergence of george hill. The second round between the spurs and suns is gonna be just as epic. The suns are more polished offensively than the mavs in my opinion and it’ll b interesting to see how they deal with a pf who is waaay more adept to get it banging in the paint and pg who they won’t be able to sag off of because his j is automatic. Not to mention also for the suns j-rich and grant hill are playing at a high level, goran dragic and robin lopez are more improved players and channing frye is a new addition who plays his role very well. This suns have a realistic chance to knock off the bully spurs but this series could really go either way

  • Ansonious

    I hope this is the year the Suns destroy the spurs! Then again I’ve said this too many times before(4 to be exact.) What really sucks is thinking bout that time they blew a 3-1 lead back when they had he who’s name shall not be mentioned with the really bad facial tattoo.

  • Mike Mihalow

    Spurs/Mavs was a great serious. My observations:
    Mavs had no one that could attack the basket successfully, since they got rid of Josh Howard.
    McDyess played great defense on Dirk. Dirk plays best when he’s shooting over people smaller than him (everyone).
    Dampier can’t set a screen without moving his body, and somehow never gets a foul called on him.
    Jason Terry’s head (on his shoulders, pervs) is gigantic. He looks like a black Humpty Dumpty.
    Cuban should stop talking to the media. Forever.
    How does that bandage stay on Manu’s nose? Wouldn’t the sweat make the tape peel off?

  • Duke

    What are the chances that Dirk goes to another team this year?

  • Roman

    Cuban said his team can kill anybody!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • http://facebook.com/Mr.Brogden Mr. Brogden

    @11 – jimmhumm

    Are you serious?

    You said:
    ” If dallas was in the east they would win the division even with LBJ/MVP and SUper Howard. It’s a shame.”

    The Cats beat SanAn, Denver, Phoenix and LA by double digits this year.

    I co-sign with Mike Mihalow.

    Cuban DID unnecessarily rile up an arch rival.
    And you just can’t sleep on Duncan, Manu or Parker.

    George Hill should STAY aggressive. I think that’s the problem with young players. They don’t how good they are so their foot isn’t always on the pedal. Anyways, that’s all for now.

    Shout outs to GRANT F***IN’ HILL by the way!

  • Ian

    brogden
    regular season doesnt matter
    remember 07 the cavs sweep the season vs the spurs and how did they do in the finals??
    mavs vs spurs regular season?? how did they do in the playoffs??

    dallas could beat the cavs and orlando comon why not?

    bookwormmaster
    im sorry but isnt that the same pg and pf the spurs kill every time they meet in the playoffs? why should the spurs figure out how to beat them when they already know how. the suns should be thinking how nash wont be murdered by parker like he always does and how amare can be kept out of foul trouble when playin td like he always is. i just dont see the suns being a bigger threat than the mavs.

  • control

    I want to say that Suns are going to win, I’d even put money on it, but deep down I know I’m throwing my money away. Damn Tim Duncan and his Spurs, they just find a way to win, even though on paper they aren’t really better. Nash, Amare, Richardson (when he’s getting his in the first quarter) and Grant Hill…that’s a quick team that can run Spurs into the ground…but I just can’t convince myself that they will.

    Fuck.

  • LakeShow84

    Man i was really hopin Cuban would go off and bust out the whole NBA for how it handles certain game with officiating lol

    And he ALMOST did

    “I’m not proud of the NBA. I’m not proud of my inability over the last 10 years to have an impact like I want to have,” Cuban said. “So I kind of feel like I owe fans an apology. But that’s just the way this business goes.”

    JUST DO IT CUBAN lol

    Man LIKE I SAID.. EVERY YEAR the Spurs are playing Dallas and/or Phoenix in the playoffs.. Ima have to stay glued to that series as well..

    How Happy are my Spurs fans?? lol talk about revenge..

    @ Ian & Brogden

    Also dont forget Orlando swept the season series with THE LakeShow last year and we all saw what happened in the Finals..

  • LakeShow84

    Oh and i wanted to point out how much of a beast Jason Richardson is in the Playoffs..

    Dude never got credit for being Robin to BoomDizzles Batman in the that Dallas/GS series.. even though Jackson was (SOMEHOW) locking down Dirk, JRich was dropping THREES all day in that series..

    And now whats he doing?? Only dropping MORE TREYS and MORE BUCKETS in the playoffs.. Dude is a class act who doesnt get a whole lot of credit when shit is going right..

  • http://facebook.com/Mr.Brogden Mr. Brogden

    Lakeshow84 and Ian —

    I hear you. But this guy Jimmhumm picked the TOP TWO TEAMS of the East though!!!!

    C’mon. Dallas POSSIBLY could sweep Cats, Hawks, and/or Bucks (not so sure about the Bucks)…but they’d LOSE at least once against the other squads in the EC.

    The Cats OFFENSE SUCKS!!!!

    That’s the only reason it seemed they didn’t belong but they played a HIGH LEVEL DEFENSE that you just can’t dismiss. Crash and Jack would have LOVED to play a Dallas squad rather than an Orlando Magic Defending Eastern Conference Champion Squad Loaded With All-Star Starters or the Cavalier Ditto’s or the Boston Ditto’s.

  • QQ

    Gotta give a shoutout to my main main main man, Grant Hill, for finally reaching the 2nd round. Been following him since the Pistons days and the original reason I became a Magic fan. Gotta give props to my favorite player of all time.

    Can we all say EPIC FUCKING FAIL to the Mavs? Seriously. But hey,just proves that this year’s playoffs are exciting as hell.

  • http://facebook.com/Mr.Brogden Mr. Brogden

    i guess it’s not really ditto’s…my bad QQ, there’s only ONE defending EC champ. My bad.

  • zcw

    @rafa23
    know your history. Who did say Jordan was his toughest defender? Dumars. Who did Vince Carter say the year Dumars retired? Dumars.
    fools like you just attach yourself to the greats. get some knowledge.

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1018397/1/index.htm

  • QQ

    I love it when you KNOW the game like that brogden. LOL.

  • chris

    IMO, much as i love to watch the suns,phoenix beats the spurs only if one of timmy/manu/tony get seriously hurt; the way those 3 are playing now, with george hill playing well (who on the suns can keep up with him?) and mcdyess’s defence, i think it will be an LA/SA west conf final.

  • sh!tfaced

    Damn. Grant Hill, really? And all this time we’ve been fucking up T-Mac about the 2nd round…

    Dirk’s backups ie Jason Terry has and will always be doing the choking, not Dirk.

  • K Dizzle

    Suns-Spurs. Even with all the changes and even as a Laker fan, this series is like Christmas. Suns gonna need Robin Lopez back in a baaaaaad way. Another big athletic defender to throw at Timmy will help cuz they Amare gets to torch Dice and Blair. We got Nash vs Parker and neither one can stop the other. I like JRich vs Manu and GHill might actually outplay RJ. Either way, I hope these two beat the livin hell outta each other and assuming we can finish OKC tonight and deal with the remains of Utah/Denver, the conf finals should be slightly easier with Suns-Spurs winner barely gettin outta that series alive.
    Never seen injuries affect a postseason like this. At least one major player on every squad got some injury issues…….except the Hawks and the Magic and the way the Hawks are playin, they might be done real real soon…

  • the cynic

    Beaubois needed more minutes in this series for the mavs, he is a one man fast break the way Parker used to be for the Spurs. The Mavs constantly needed someone to speed the pace of the game up and he could have done that if he got the minutes; even if he was ineffective scoring he would have slopped the game up for the mavs

  • baron

    The biggest difference now is that Suns have far better 3-point shooters than the Mavs. Still…

    The Mavs had a super potent offensive team as well, and what happened?

    You also have to be able to STOP the Spurs, which is why they have always beaten Phoenix at their own game.

    One team knows how to get crucial stops, and the other one…hopes they don’t have to.

    Popovich will outcoach Gentry in this series. Suns take the first one but the Spurs win in 6.

  • sh!tfaced

    Grant Hill WILL outplay Richard Jefferson.

  • Roman

    @fallinup- How are the Lakers gonna kill themselves getting to the finals. If anything Spurs and the Jazz have made it an easier transition for them to the finals, by knocking out the two teams thats suppose to give the Lakers problems.