The Mavericks blew a 23 point lead and now face a must win situation heading into game five. They showed that they were the better team in this series and yet, found a way to lose. It was akin to previous Mavericks playoff failures and it's a sight many Mavericks fans have gotten all too well accustomed to seeing.The Mavericks have gone 2-16 in road playoff games since 2006 for precisely the reasons that were on display last night.
It's pretty simple, failure to execute offensively and defensively in the fourth quarter. And that can be directly attributed to the mental fragility that has yet to be shaken from the 2006 finals defeat. You could see it coming too, the Mavericks were coasting along in the third quarter when the Blazers starting making their run. That's when Brandon Roy put on his bionic knees and went to work. Roy ended the quarter by hitting a three that rimmed in and out before clinging to the front iron and spinning back in.The comeback was on. Brandon Roy outscored the entire Mavericks squad 18-15 in the fourth quarter as he led the Blazers to victory.â†µ
Why did Carlisle fail to switch defensive assignments or double Roy when it was clear he was a man possessed and the Blazers' only option down the stretch? Who knows.â†µ
The bottom line is this, it doesn't matter what Roy does if the Mavericks are able to execute at the offensive end. The Blazers needed score and get stops to make their run. And the Mavericks made it easy for them by committing silly turnovers , including a devastating turnover by Jason Kidd with 1:52 remaining that pulled the Blazers within two. points. The fourth quarter offensive sets were atrocious. The offense did not run through Dirk for whatever reason and it showed. Most of their positions resulted in shots within the first five seconds of the shot clock or in a desperate attempt at the basket with the shot clock expiring. It was a far cry from the brilliant fourth quarter performances by the Mavericks in games one and two of the series.â†µ
As Ron Washington would say, "You never know how booty holes is gonna act in the big lights."â†µ
Well, we've known how the Mavericks' booty holes have acted in the past and while it looks like nothing has changed, they still have a chance to save this series by winning their two games at home and moving on to the next round.â†µ
History is on the Mavericks' side. The last two times teams a team blew a 18+ point lead in the playoffs, they rebounded to win the next game and the series.â†µ
Game five is in Dallas on Monday night at 7:30.â†µ