Another Mavs Playoff Meltdown

PORTLAND – The Dallas Mavericks have set foot on this scorched playoff earth before. So you’d think they would know how to avoid making the mistake again … and again .. and again.

Yet all the chatter coming from their locker room after their stunning meltdown and Game 4 loss to Brandon Roy and the Portland Trail Blazers was about how they “let their guard down” and “eased up” with a 23-point cushion late in the third quarter. The Blazers won 84-82 behind 18 fourth-quarter points from Roy.

Even Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle agreed that his team let off the gas with that big lead. “I think we let up a little bit,” Carlisle said. “I don’t think there’s any question.”

But that’s a convenient explanation for a team with as checkered a playoff history as the Mavericks have in recent years. They’ve been knocked out of the playoffs in the first round in three of the last four years.  You take nothing for granted with a resume like that.

They were 13 minutes and 19 seconds away from a commanding 3-1 series lead and a chance to close it out in Game 5 Monday night at home when it all fell apart.

They even managed to wake up the ghosts from their ultimate collapse in the 2006 NBA Finals, when they took a 2-0 series lead and city officials started planning parade routes only to see the Miami Heat stun them by winning four straight games and the Larry O’Brien trophy.

After doing basically whatever they wanted against the Blazers in the third quarter the Mavericks froze up in the fourth. While Roy was shredding them on the defensive end, they couldn’t find the basket on the other. They went eight straight possessions without so much as a free throw.

“It’s tough to find a word,” Dirk Nowitzki said, doing his best to make sense of yet another playoff meltdown. “It’s definitely a tough one to sit on. Now we have to fly home four hours on that one. Frustration is definitely at a high level.”

When asked if he could remember a more painful playoff loss, Nowitzki had to think about it, which says a lot about just how epic a meltdown this was and how extensive the Mavericks’ playoff follies have been.

“This is definitely up here,” he said. “Because there is a huge difference from being p 3-1 and 2-2. This is definitely up there with the most frustrating losses, but like I said, we have to shake it off. The good thing is we have to win two out of three and we have two at home. That’s the only positive.”

The Blazers outscored the Mavericks 35-15 after trailing 69-47 late in the third quarter. The gradual surge woke up a Rose Garden crowd that had grown uncharacteristically quiet during that third quarter power outage when the home team couldn’t buy a basket.

As the Blazers kept pushing, behind a wunderkind effort from Roy, the Mavericks simply could not stop them.

Carlisle took the blame for not making a defensive adjustment on Roy, who worked against single coverage for basically the entire fourth quarter.

“I’m going to take the blame for that,” Carlisle said. “There are different things defensively that we cold have done. We should have done some different things, so I’m going to take the blame for that. We’ve got to move on quickly. It’s disappointing and everything, but the NBA season has a lot of highs and lows, and we have to keep going.”

That will be tough to do if they don’t find a way to put this latest meltdown behind them before Monday.

“We’ve been through tough losses before,” Carlisle said. “It’s not easy, but for us, we’ve got to get back on the plane, get back home and study some things that went wrong. The turnaround time is not real great, so we’re going to have to get back and get ready to play on Monday night.”

70 Comments

  1. Rey Saso says:

    Game 5 Mavs 93 Blazers 82. My kudos to the Mavs. After that devastating loss to the Blazers in game 4 they did it again in
    Game 5 by leading by as much as 20 points but this time no more miracles for Roy or the Blazers. The ball indeed don’t lie,
    the better team prevailed. This time these Mavs will be more than ready for whatever the Blazers will dish for Game 6.
    Las Vegas odds makers are right again, Mavs in 6. Here comes toughness for real. Go Mavs !

  2. Devastator says:

    Ah yeah, dallas playoff meltdowns. Ghost from the past. Whatever. Portland is a great team. Great chance to beat dallas. Awesome. The mavericks is no joke, for reality they can close out the series in game 6 at portland. I saw what game 3 was. a 23 point lead for dallas yeah! But this mavericks can do it again with caution. If I were portland, best D is my real arsenal.

  3. monica says:

    WHY IS DIRK SUCH A FAKER IN FOULS? WHY DOES DALLAS THINK THERE BETTER THEN THE BLAZERS? WHY ARE THE BLAZERS SO AMAZING?? WHY IS ROY SO AWESOME??

  4. Rob says:

    I wouldn’t start opening champagne bottles in Portland until they can prove that they can win in Dallas. If they can’t break serve, than ultimately it means nothing. What’s more worrying is that the Blazers allowed themselves to get buried down by 23… the comeback’s a nice story, but do you think the Mavs will let that happen again in this series?

    The Blazers can challenge them, there’s no doubt about it. But momentum’s the only thing with the Blazers right now, and momentum can swing back in any minute of any game. The only ones who are riding the Blazer Train to the bank are fans with short term memory for only the past two games, not all four.

    • Gary says:

      The same thing goes for Dallas. How do you blow a 23 point lead? Yeah Blazers haven’t done anything yet until they take the series but to me your just hating cause fans have a reason to celebrate whenever a team wins. Also, Blazers have been on top of the Mavs at home while neglecting Roy from the offense. Let’s see how things pan out now that they have faith in him again.

      • monica says:

        UMM BLAZERS FANS ALWAYS LOVED ROY!! THAT WAS JUST ONE OR TWO HATERS HATIN ON ROY!! US BLAZER FANS WILL ALWAYS LOVE ROY!!! GO BLAZERS!!!

  5. Vincent says:

    What is wrong with the Mavericks? It is all mental, they are not mentally tough as a team. They have been here before yet they haven’t learned their lessons. Nowitzki is not the only one to blame for his “softness”, its a team effort to win. Brandon Roy is getting his confidence back and it can only get better for the blazers at right time. How will the Mavs respond?

  6. Thomas says:

    What i hate the most is, that beside the “we have the best refs in the world” mentality the refs made a couple of bad calls and noone seems to be talking about it. There were 2 ghostfouls on Chandler, one where he would have gotton 2 points with a dunk and never even was near the stumbling portland player.
    But the really important bad call was with 40 seconds to play and the ball (after a missed 3 by Terry) went out of bounds. The calling on the floor was Dallas ball and everyone on the tv was able to see and hear from the commentators that there was no evidence at all to give Portland the ball. They even said that they think Wallace was the last one to touch the ball. And suddenly the ref change the calling on the floor – without having any evidence, that was such a shame…

    • Gary says:

      I want Blazers to win but I can’t lie. Chandler was getting some REALLY bad calls. Even when they showed the reveiw the announcers had to say “that’s no foul”. Sucks when refs mess up the game. Still I think Blazers would have came out on top regardless, Roy was on fire!

      • monica says:

        UMM DID U NOT SEE GAME ONE???? DIRK HIT LIKE 18 FOUL SHOTS IN THE 4TH QUATER ONLY!!!! HES SUCH A FAKER.. HAH GO BLAZERS!

    • Champkobe says:

      the ghost fouls oh chandler were countered by 3 “ghost” fouls on the blazers in 10 seconds like 20 seconds later. the Out of bounds play…I watched it in slow motion and paused it multiple times and chandler did seem to be the one who hit it out.

  7. KBLAL24 says:

    I wish mavs would NOT win all the time because they bothered my 2 favorite teams this regular season, the lakers and the heat.

  8. KBLAL24 says:

    allen iverson + kobe bryant = domination

  9. NOT_a_fan says:

    …even though roy will play great on game 5 mavs will still win…prediction mavs on 6.. we always focus on the past of mavs, but its a differet team now… good thing mavs lost their focus on game4 not on a deciding game…they already learn they lesson… and they will come back…

  10. watcher says:

    Rick had better wear a scar from this latest wreck. The veteran player roster is already a roll call of shoulda’beens . Always taking a wrong turn at Alberquerque.
    Still, it’s funny that the epic game 7, O.T. win at San Antonio in ’06, or Calvin Booth’s decider in game 5 @ Utah never comes up.
    Easy to focus on the Mavs losses, however their overall position atm is the same as the Lakers and better than the Spurs!

  11. Brandon Roy says:

    @ 3:16 uhh LeBron isnt the leader of the MIAMI, the captain is WADE.

  12. 3:16 says:

    The problem is with Dallas is their inconsistent defense. Because for me, their leader, Dirk is a liability on the defensive end. If your the leader of your team, like lebron in miami or kobe in LA, you lead by example. Dallas has very inconsistent scoring except for dirk and is just not a good defensive team. I think that Dallas will still win this series, but will fall flat against the lakers in the second round.

    Dallas/Portland 4-3
    Lakers/New Orleans 4-3
    Lakers/Dallas 4-1
    Lakers/OKC 2-4

  13. Pree says:

    The Mavericks lost THREE of the last FOUR years in the first round of the playoffs. Not four out of five. You work at the NBA, you should know that.

    • Champkobe says:

      Actually, thats incorrect. It is four of the last five. I’ve looked at multiple articles

      • Pree says:

        Would you mind linking me to one of those articles? Here’s what I remember:

        09-10: Lost 1st Round to Spurs
        08-09: Lost Conference Semi-Finals to Nuggets
        07-08: Lost 1st Round to Hornets
        06-07: Lost 1st Round to Warriors
        05-06: Lost NBA Finals to Heat

        That’s three out of five.

  14. Jay San Jose says:

    It’s all about protecting the home court..what’s the fuzz about? first team to win 4 games goes to the next round.. it’s 2-2 blazers didn’t win the series yet!! can’t wait for the game five!!!Let’s Go Mavs!! lets protect our homecourt!! yeah!!

  15. Wow.. says:

    @KBLAL24
    do u even know what NBA stand for

  16. rhainner says:

    mavs and spurs need their bench production so they can win the series

    Q:who is better nowitzki or duncan?

  17. KBLAL24 says:

    phil jackson 15 rings ha ha ha

    1991 bulls beat portland 4-2
    1992 bulls beat portland 4-2
    1993 bulls beat phoenix 4-3
    1994 bulls beat houston 4-3
    1995 bulls beat sas antonio 4-3
    1996 bulls beat seattle 4-0
    1997 bulls beat utah 4-3
    1998 bulls beat utah 4-3
    2000 lakers beat indiana 4-2
    2001 lakers beat 76ers 4-3
    2002 lakers beat nets 4-2
    2008 lakers beat celtics 4-3
    2009 lakers beat cavs 4-3
    2010 lakers beat cavs 4-3
    2011 lakers beat heat 4-3

  18. Wow says:

    That was one outstanding performance Roy put on. But I’m pretty sure he will not be able to repeat it. This was one of those nights where he felt it. It will disappear by Monday. Prediction: Mavs in 6.

  19. stan says:

    What level of play? Blazers couldn’t hit anything through 3 quarters. Mavs should have had 35 or 40 point lead and didn’t

  20. Fact Not Fiction says:

    Brandon Roy is the truth. I hope he stays healthy. Now we just need Oden and Blazers will be and elite team, I’ll have to hold my breath for that one though, lol.

  21. nick says:

    Brandon Roy had a heck of a game, if he can take the reigns, he could even lead the Blazers to the 2nd round, Here is my prediction for game 5 Mavs 94 Blazers 102 Roy scores 30 pts 7 ast and 4 reb

  22. great game says:

    Probably this was greatest comeback in history. I remember just one playoff comeback like this one, ant that was LA Lakers comeback against Portland , conference finals, when they were down by 20 points at the end of the third quarter. But this one was amazing… 23 points behind at the end of the third… Im La fan but im starting to worry from B Roy , because he is a great player . It will be great match up in the next round. Cheers Roy

  23. Ted (Lakers Fan) says:

    As a Lakers fan, I know the feeling that Mavs fans are going through. For us it was Game 4 of the 2008 Finals with Celtics. We were up 24 points when life went to heck in a hand basket. And… that was in LA, not on the road. I wish you all well.

  24. Rod says:

    hahaha.. , the series is tied 2-2 , the mavs have the home court advantage. it was painful last night loss, but the mavs still have the edge of the series… if they can mantaing the level of the first 3 quarters they could close it in 6, if not.. probably is going to the 7 game, still the mavs are gonna win the series. no time to hit the panic button.

  25. Gregg says:

    Was part of the problem in the 4th quarter that the Mavs only had two reliable scorers on the court, Nowitzki and Terry? That might not be enough. (Chandler, Marion and Kidd are not major scoring threats)

    Should the Mavericks try playing Peja at shooting guard once in a while, to give them more scoring threats?

  26. Joshua Remo says:

    Even though I’m a Laker fan that was an awesome performance by Roy. I personally think that this series will stretch to 7 though I’m not sure who’ll win. Same goes for Memphis and San Antonio.

  27. BKGrizz says:

    I have a few words for you Dirk: Choke, Implode, Crumble!!

  28. InTheClutch says:

    Guys, I just don’t understand Jason Kidd’s behavior, I’ve seen some really strange things in the final 2 minutes from him, like absolute no defense on Roy’s layup (he left him go with ease, too much i’d say), an absurd loose ball off his foot with no pressure, and a missed three that he launched like he wanted to hit someone on the fift row behind the backboard. I mean, seems like… like he didn’t want to win! I know that sounds impossible, but just look at these moments and think about it…

    • Fact Not Fiction says:

      Dallas was so focused on Alridge and Wallace that they didn’t know what to do when Roy started scoring. Now Mavs have three stars to be worried about. This will probably go to game 7.

  29. SMOOVE says:

    Dallas somehow just can’t seem to control any series they are in. Pityful.

  30. LakersRus says:

    New Orleans is not simple. Any team with Chris Paul at the helm is a good team. And they’re playing well! Give the Lakers some credit!

  31. Rey Saso says:

    Softees are what Mavericks really are. The Blazers did not defeat the Mavs. The Mavs brought it on themselves. They
    choked period. They are so soft that they cannot handle pressur games not even when they are leading 23 points going
    into the last quarter. They really are only good for fun games within the 82 games in the season but not during play off
    games. Softees period.

    • Herr says:

      Being soft won them the first two games.

      Portland lacked a closer. They now have one in Roy. Roy’s out of the box. He’s not going back in. The only problem is Rudy, Batum, and Wallace have been as absent as success for the Mavs. Offensively, they need to show up. Their defense is great, but if they keep playing this bad offensively, might as well give it to the Chokes… err… Mavs.

      Meanwhile, looks like Dallas is going to get beat by one man again. A top 3 shooting guard. It wasn’t us that wanted Dallas, it was Dallas that wanted us. Cmon Dirky.

      • QuestionMark says:

        Being soft will also make them lose the next 2

        If Roy scores 20+ the next 2 or 3 games, L.A will have to be careful, as of now Portland just got their superstar player back.

    • monica says:

      no the blazers took the win from dallas. the mavs didnt just hand it to them. roy and the blazers worked for that win.. and they won!!! haha GO BLAZERS!!!

  32. grenceharvey says:

    the problem for the mavs is that they are really relaxing… that’s it. i hope they could recover. i hope they will win this series and all the way to the next round and reach the finals then take the title with them. that’s my very wish. please mavs… please.. please… please… i’m a die-hard fan. but not just me… we’re so many around the world. we’re millions… so please…. good luck my mavericks!!! our support and prayers with you.

  33. candy............ says:

    if mavs n spurs get upset in the first round …dirk n tim will be crying out loud ……i hope they get upset hehehehe GO LAKERS………GO LAKERS……….GO LAKERS

    • Jake says:

      If the Lakers get upset in the first round, Artest will need to see a pyschologist. Phil will retire. Kobe would probably attack someone. Bynum will get another knee surgery, and Gasol will be having a meltdown (en espanol) on the floor of the Staples Center.

  34. Symokoto says:

    cmon blazers, win one on the road!

  35. Punisher says:

    Dang Roy, back to back stellar games with limited minutes. ur really awesme BRoy!! ur still the man in RIP city get a win and meet with the LAKERS on the 2nd round, i wuld love to see tht matchup
    Roy vs Kobe, Aldrige vs Gasol, Batum vs Odom, Miller vs Fisher, Camby vs Bynum, Mathews vs Artest. Dang!!!

  36. unknown says:

    Wooo believe or not Dallas and San Antonio are going to be upset in the same playoff.This is gonna be so humiliating.If the two upset are completed.Dallas and San Antonio years are over.I wish lakers could join too.But it seem New Orleans is just too simple.They will never win.Spurs and Mavs are gonna became like the Detroit pistons of 2006-2009.Forgotten , at least people will remember this great upset.

    • gfff says:

      man this is probably one of the most ignorant comments ever. wow… you know nothing do you..

    • Flashgremlin says:

      oh just believe and it will happen, hornets will pawn lakers :))

    • unknown says:

      Yeah , I know I’m so ignorant.If San Antonio lose the playoff are gonna be so so “boring”.After seeing game 1 of new orlean they gave everything they have to beat lakers.But is hard to play like that every night and win by just by single digit.Even in the worst lakers night they can’t beat them.

      • Hector says:

        Yeaaaaaa thats why they tied the series last night right????
        o ps Kobe didnt do much last night either and got hurt by himself i guess he doesnt know how to walk right Hornets took
        over last night and thats REEEEEAAAAAl….

    • Jake says:

      ahem. I think Spurs fans and NBA followers in general will remember the Spurs four championships, don’t you. Besides don’t count the Spurs (or even the Mavs) out yet.

  37. Fact Not Fiction says:

    Come on Blazers take the next two games! Let Roy do his thing!

    • NOT_a_fan says:

      good suggestion but its hard to do… all 4 games are close, but if u look at it mavs still has an edge on the series..

      • tata says:

        The Blazers have momentum and the Mavericks have history. If they didn’t have Barrea a person could almost root for Dallas to finally pull it out.