Game 1 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals between the Dallas Mavericks and Oklahoma City Thunder came right down to the wire. We can only hope that Game 2 of the NBA betting festivities between these two teams turns out to be just as good when push comes to shove on Monday night.
The Mavericks had quite the interesting Game 1 of this series, but in the end, they were swatted away at the death. There were just too many missed opportunities left on the court, and that just isn’t going to be the way to beat one of the most talented teams in the game. We do give Dirk Nowitzki a lot of credit. Even though he was blocked on the last play of the game that could have given Dallas the 1-0 lead on the road, he still had a great outing with 25 points and five boards (in spite of his six turnovers). Jason Terry came off the bench and scored 20, while Vince Carter added 13. Shawn Marion had 17 points and eight rebounds, and Jason Kidd was up to his old tricks, stuffing the stat sheet with eight points, six rebounds, five assists, and seven steals. Unfortunately for the Mavs though, it just wasn’t good enough, and we are afraid that we have now seen the best that they have to bring to the table on the road in this series. If that turns out to be the case, they’ll be in for a short stay in the postseason.
The Thunder knew that this first round wasn’t going to be easy against the defense champs, but they found a way to get the job done by getting four massive contributions from the stars on their team. Amazingly, all but five points in the entire game for the Thunder were scored by Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, Serge Ibaka, or James Harden. The other five all belonged to Thabo Sefolosha. Westbrook had a nice shooting game, going 13-of-23 to account for 28 points. He had five assists, but needs to do a better job of taking care of the basketball with five turnovers. Durant had 25 points, six boards, four assists, and four blocked shots, which proved to be quite the similar story for Ibaka, who had 22 points, six rebounds, and five blocks. Off of the bench, it was good to see Harden once again, and he had 19 points and six boards. Kendrick Perkins was a grinder in the paint as always, and though he didn’t score and only had one block and eight boards, he was once again a defensive force that frustrated the Mavs.
The Final Word: We think we have seen the best out of Dallas. We don’t think that Oklahoma City has scratched the surface of its potential quite yet. In the end, we think that the Mavs are good enough to win games in this series, but they have to be heartbroken and devastated to have not survived Game 1. Roll with the Thunder and lay the relatively small point spread on Monday.
Dallas Mavericks @ Oklahoma City Thunder Pick: Oklahoma City Thunder -5.5
is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.