On Saturday night, the Mavs blew an 18 point lead going into the 4th quarter to lose game 4 against the Trail Blazers 84-82. Brandon Roy scored 18 points in the final quarter, the last of which came with 39 seconds on the clock to put Portland up for good. It was arguably the most monumental collapse in franchise history.
Afterwards, we all hearkened back to game 3 of the ’06 finals, when Dallas blew a 13 point lead in Miami with less than 8 minutes to go in the game. We all know how that series ended.
But while the 4th quarter was an absolutely disgusting turn of events for the Mavs, there is absolutely no need to panic. Instead, we need to look on the bright side.
It’s only 2-2. Neither team has yet to win a game on the road, including in the regular season. Now, the series turns to a best-of-3, with two games in Dallas. If the trend keeps up, the Mavs and their fans have nothing to worry about.
Also, LaMarcus Aldridge was a non-factor. Tyson Chandler and Brendan Haywood were incredible on the defensive end, holding Aldridge to a silent 18 points. After what he has done to the Mavs this season, for him to only score 18 is amazing.
The likelihood of Roy going off like that again is improbable for a few reasons. First, after he was almost brought to tears earlier this series, you can guarantee that a lot of his 4th quarter performance was fueled by the home crowd and sheer adrenaline. Roy even admitted after the game, “I’ve been in some pretty good zones before, but nothing like tonight.”
Secondly, he’ll be playing in Dallas tonight, where you can guarantee he’ll hear it from the crown. You can also guarantee that when he touches the ball, he’ll be facing a double-team (I’m still questioning why he wasn’t double-teamed down the stretch on Saturday, but that’s neither here nor there).
Lastly, he still has two bad knees. He got some rest in the first few games before seeing the bulk of the 2nd half minutes on Saturday. If he sees extended time on the floor tonight, look for him to wear down.
As for the Mavs, you can count on Dirk getting more than 3 shots off in the 4th quarter tonight. You can also count on more hard defense from Chandler and Haywood, along with the rest of the crew.
I still think the Mavs win in 6.