May 18, 2011

Nowitzki Sets NBA Record as Mavs Take Game 1: An unstoppable Dirk Nowitzki hit an NBA record 24-of-24 free throws and scored 48 points in the Dallas Mavericks' 121-112 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder in game 1 of the Western Conference Finals. Kevin Durant scored 40 to keep the Thunder in the game.

posted by rcade to basketball at 08:40 AM - 7 comments

As good as he was, and he was incredible, I expect this series to go deep. No way Dirk gets a foul call every time he touches the ball in OKC, also no way Westbrook shoots as poorly as he did in game 1 all series. Durant's 40 on the road in Dallas is equally as impressive.

posted by cixelsyd at 09:47 AM on May 18

I guess we know that Danny Crawford wasn't assigned to work this game

posted by Demophon at 09:47 AM on May 18

The way Nowitzki is playing, if he doesn't get the foul call he gets the bucket.

There are two ways to look at Durant's monster night. As a Mavs fan, I'm choosing this one: If they can't win when he plays at the top of his game, how can they win when he doesn't?

posted by rcade at 10:16 AM on May 18

No way Dirk gets a foul call every time he touches the ball in OKC

Don't know if there is an implication here about the officiating or not. But for the game, the foul calls were pretty much even (28 for Dallas, 27 for OKC) and OKC actually went to the line 7 more times than Dallas. Dirk may have had 24 free throws, but no other Mav had more than 4. Durant and Westbrook together had 37.

posted by graymatters at 11:14 AM on May 18

implication here about the officiating or not

I think the calls Dirk got were well deserved - he drew the fouls with solid fundamental play. My comment is that the NBA offciating pattern in the playoffs favors the home teams and moreso home team star players in a major way.

Some stats:

from the Dallas / LA series: in Dallas the Mavs held a 48 to 32 ft advantage, in LA it was even at 40

from the Miami / Bos series: in Miami the Heat held a 106 to 60 advantage, in Bos the Celtics were 47 to 46

In last years finals the Lakers averaged 9.7 more free throws per game at home than their opponents

I'm just betting Dirk doesn't get the same calls and 24 free throws in OKC.

posted by cixelsyd at 12:33 PM on May 18

Durant and Westbrook together had 37.

How do you explain that then? Just those two had more free throws than the Mavs whole team. I'm sure home teams generally get more calls (and I'm not sure it matters) but this is a weird game to bring it up after.

As a Mavs fan, I'm choosing this one: If they can't win when he plays at the top of his game, how can they win when he doesn't?

Both teams were at the top of their games. That was just an incredibly well played game, it's doubtful that either team can keep up that high standard of play. It'll be a fun series if they do.

21 points in 16 minuts for JJ Barea who looked absolutely unguardable there for awhile. I assume he doesn't play more because of his defense but if they just use him when Maynor is in I think he can do a lot of damage.

posted by tron7 at 02:09 PM on May 18

Dirk was insane. That was an incredible performance. They have no clue what to do with him. I bet next game they just throw double-teams at him earlier. They have to try something.

But I agree that I think OKC has a good fight in them. They played reasonably poorly for good stretches of that game and still got it tight with 2 minutes to go. If Westbrook ever figures it out, they could be epic. But I don't think that happens this year.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 07:52 PM on May 18

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