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Old 05-16-2022, 07:59 PM   #139
Thespiralgoeson
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirkadirkastan View Post
I don't think these points are unrelated.

It's fairly common for teams to start a Game 7 sloppy and unfocused, then eventually find a way to shake off the jitters and settle in. You can afford to stumble out of the gate if the other team does too. In the first quarter, it appeared to me that the Suns were positioned to follow this arc.

Unfortunately for them, the Mavs didn't need any of this warm-up time. You could tell from the jump they were poised, confident, and on a mission. They didn't have a great first quarter, but it was definitely a good one on both sides of the floor.

So as the Suns were still stumbling out of the gate, the Mavs immediately punched them in the mouth. By the time the Suns had their first opportunity to regroup, the thought "oh sh*t it's Game 7" had already become "oh sh*t it's Game 7 and we're in an early hole." Then Dinwiddie rains in a few threes and that becomes "oh sh*t it's Game 7 and we're in a huge hole."

Jitters turned into panic and panic turned into despair. Remember in the beginning when the Suns missed a ton of shots in a row in the paint? You could tell they were all looking to get bailed out, either by another player or by the refs. I'm not sure they were even looking at the basket. I think they were desperate to get to the line so they could settle in, but the Mavs played great defense without fouling. Had they been bailed out or found a little spark anywhere, they could've at least stopped the bleeding, but that never happened.

Also, never forget that no matter how high you build a lead in the first half, the other team gets the same amount of time to overcome it in the second half. Imagine if the Suns began the third on an 8-0 run. That was the quarter in which the wheels fell off in Game 5 after all. That could easily rejuvenate the crowd and remind everyone how much time was still on the clock.

But nope, the Mavs were the ones who busted out of the locker room with the 8-0 run, spreading the lead to 38 and the basketball game officially turned into a circus. All of the Suns were completely dead inside by that point, and were just going through the motions to get the game over with. All except for Wainwright, that is.

Edit: I should include that 8-0 run culminated in a challenge that reversed an out-of-bounds call, resulting in a Luka iso three. That put him at 30 points while the Suns still had 27. Again: winning a challenge at the start of the third, while up 35, to hit a three. How savage is that?!
+rep. I think this is spot on. Like I said, the Mavs just broke the Suns mentally. I think the game was over in the first six minutes. Once the Mavs got up by 12 or so, you could just see it in the Suns' body language. They knew they were f*cked.

I also love that Luka was straight up LAUGHING at the Suns and their fans every time he hit a dagger. He didn't just break the Suns, he broke the fans too. 17,000 or so people, and he was in all of their heads. How many players have ever had his kind of swagger and could back it up?
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