So. How's it been? I feel like that really great guy that took you out on a few dates, really blew your socks off, maybe even cooked you a nice seafood dinner at my trendy loft in Uptown, and then abruptly left you waiting by the phone for me to call. And I didn't call. Then, a few months later, here I am again. Have you moved on? Is there a new blog in your life? Listen, baby, I can explain. I was going through a lot of stuff that I just didn't want to burden you with. There was this stuff with my job, and that stupid trade. Please. Just give me one more chance.
Now, here's the kicker. I didn't watch Game 1. But before you tell me to turn in my Biggest Mavs Fan Ever card, allow me to explain. First of all, I was in Hawaii on vacation. Second of all, I couldn't watch in Hawaii because I was at the Kokua Festival featuring Jack Johnson, Dave Matthews, his friend Tim Reynolds, and a few other local Hawaiian acts. I did keep checking the scores on my buddy's iphone, which as the game progressed only encouraged me to head to the beer tent more frequently. That's not good at $8.00 a beer. Third of all, in all honesty, we made these arrangements for my wife's birthday (telling her I can't take her to Hawaii for her birthday because of the playoffs would have drawn the same reaction as when I told her I hated her cat when we first started dating). When we were making the plans, the Kidd trade had just happened. I honestly didn't think there would be any playoffs to worry about.
With all that said, allow me to make it up to you. Let's do a quick 3 Cheers/3 Jeers, just like in the old days. Then I will make it up tonight with a live, no-holds-barred blogapalooza starting at 6 pm CST. If you are watching the game, and you're online, check it out at brandonmay.com. (p.s. give me a few minutes delay, as I will be a little behind on tivo for celebration/tantrum purposes)
1. Chris Paul - It happened with Dwayne Wade in the Finals, and I hope it doesn't happen again this year. My favorite non-Mav player in the league will scorch my team and force me to hate him for the rest of his career. My plea to CP3: suck up the room for a few games so we still win, and I can still like you in the future. He didn't cooperate in Game 1 with 35 points, including 15 in the game-changing 3rd quarter, 10 assists and four steals.
2. Dirk Nowitzki - He was shut down in the 4th, but this goes back to the same thing that happened last year against the Warriors. If the rest of the team doesn't keep the opponent honest, then who's to stop them from double or triple-teaming Dirk in crunch time? Superstars can only be superstars if their supporting cast is consistent. Dirk put up 31 points and grabbed 10 boards. In my mind, he did what he's supposed to do. Where was everyone else?
3. David West - This guy has really come into his own this season, and it carried over with 23 points, 8 boards, 3 assists and 4 blocks. Just like I said about Dirk, do you think that the Mavs would have been able to slow Paul if West, Chandler, and Stojakovic hadn't combined for nearly 50 points? West did his part to open up the floor for his teammates, especially Paul, by being consistent and keeping the defense honest.
1. Jason Kidd - So he almost had a triple-double with 11 points, 9 boards and 9 assists? He only took 5 shots, which didn't force Paul to work too hard on the defensive end and wear him down. He also couldn't stop the faster and more elusive Paul on the other end. I won't say that Devin Harris would have had a better line, but he would have at least made Paul work harder on both ends of the floor.
2. Josh Howard - I commend any player for playing hurt. Howard hasn't been right since he fell on his back/ribs and missed some games. But at some point, you have to realize whether your presence on the floor helps or hurts your team. Howard finished with 17 points, but 15 of those came in the first half. He offered nothing at the end of the game.
3. Erick Dampier - Plenty of other things I could Jeer about, like our shooting percentage, our retreat to outside shots, our inability to lock down the paint, or indifference to adjust our gameplan at halftime, but nope. I'm going after Dampier. Tyson Chandler is athletic, but you could pick your teeth with him. Damp should be giving us more in this series against this team than 4 points, 4 boards, and foul trouble. In case you forgot, Damp, you are our only true center. Stay out of foul trouble, and bring the thunder.
- I will start all this off by saying that I'm happy for the city of New Orleans that this is happening for them. In the lexicon of American culture, it's amazing that something as meaningless as sports can embolden a town, a city, a region the way it does. It gives hope, it creates a rallying cry, it fosters unity and comraderie and fellowship. New Orleans can use this. I just wish it wasn't against the Mavs so I could root for them for a little bit.
- About that David West pimp-slap/taunt on Dirk. I saw it on a replay. Dirk did what he was supposed to do. He walked away. If he had retaliated, he would have gotten suspended and missed a game. Then everyone wouldn't have been talking about how soft Dirk is, but rather how stupid he is for not seeing the bigger picture. In other words, punks like West (even talented punks) will test Dirk to no end to either show him up as "soft" or to bait him into losing his cool and getting kicked out. In other words, Dirk can't win. Everyone that has been reading my blog for years knows how I feel about Dirk. When he screws up, I'm not soooo blinded by my man-crush to defend him regardless. I'll call him out. But I will also stand up for him when I feel he's being abused by the coaching staff, refs, fans, media or opponents. In this case, Dirk did the right thing. It might have looked bad. But it could have been worse. Instead of admonishing Dirk for not suckerpunching West in the giggleberries as he was caressing Dirk's cheek and chin, how about you appreciate that we have a level-headed leader that knows how to step out of the moment and do what's right for the team. Besides, retaliation is what guys like Jamal Magloire or Juwan Howard are for.
- Now about this trip to Hawaii. I want to send a super-special shout out to my best friend Adam Weiner, who will probably not get a chance to read this as he was deployed on a classified Navy SEAL mission just hours after my wife and I boarded our plane bound for home. Adam was the best man in my wedding and the godfather of my wonderful daughter. He's as close to a brother as I've ever had. Since he's stationed at Pearl Harbor, he let us bunk up with him at his condo while we were vacationing there. We saw Pearl Harbor, we went to a Luau, we went to North Shore, we went to Kauai for 3 days of doing nothing, and we capped it all off with a sweet concert of Jack Johnson, Dave Matthews, etc. at an outdoor ampitheater overlooking Diamond Head. I got to meet a lot of the guys in Adam's platoon, and just in case they happen to be reading this on whatever the hell mission it is that they are on, thank you. It was a pleasure to meet you all. I have the utmost respect for what you do. I also appreciate the way you accepted me and my wife, even though most of you could bench press me 20 times in 30 seconds and then steal my wife away from me. Take care of yourselves out there and get home safely. I may not agree with the war, but I would never turn my back on those who fight in it. God Speed.
Thanks for hanging with me this season. It's been turbulent, but I think we are back on track now. Tune in tonight for the live blogging. If it works, great. If it doesn't, then I won't do it anymore. And by working or not working, I don't mean whether or not you like it. I mean whether or not the Mavs win. Go Mavs!