It is strange to think that Saturday, May 5th could end up being the last time that the Dallas Mavericks suit up this year, but if they don’t beat the Oklahoma City Thunder, they are going to be knocked out of the postseason.
The Thunder can bust out the brooms in a series for the first time in team history if they can win this game. We knew that they were the better team in this series, but to make a statement to the rest of the West like sweeping the defending champs would be quite impressive to say the least. The 95-79 win on the road here in Game 3 was a game that was never really in doubt, and it was another impressive showing for sure for a team that is growing up right before our eyes. This just isn’t a product of Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant doing a heck of a lot of scoring any longer. Kendrick Perkins and the team play a ton of defense, and they can do it on the road as well. And, to make matters even scarier for the rest of the league, the Thunder are winning the closer games as well, as they did when Games 1 and 2 were separated by just a total of four points.
This has been a disastrous postseason for the Mavericks, and it definitely isn’t going to be one of their prouder years without a massive turnaround. They were really expected to turn on the jets back at home and put the Thunder back in their place, but they were crushed instead in a game in which they scored just 79 points. Their offense shot just 34.2 percent from the field, and there wasn’t a player on the court that logged a double-double. Dirk Nowitzki came up just a rebound short, but even so, the team was outscored by 20 points while he was on the court over the course of the game. In fact, it was only when the likes of Yi Jianlian and Kelenna Azubuike, the last two players on the bench came into the game that the Mavs were able to claw back and make the game look relatively respectable. The depth just isn’t there for this team as it was last year, and it is already showing against the Thunder in the first three games of this series.
The Final Word: We have talked quite a bit about the Thunder growing up in front of our very eyes, but we just don’t know if they have this sweep in them. The Mavs are outmatched for sure, but they are a proud team and aren’t going to want to go down without a fight. Expect them to figure out some way to score a Game 4 victory to send this series back to the Sooner State.
Oklahoma City Thunder @ Dallas Mavericks Game 4 Pick: Dallas Mavericks
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.