Opportunity knocks for Thunder, Grizz

MEMPHIS – The splat, of course, was the Lakers dynasty hitting the pavement like a watermelon that had been tossed off a roof.

But what followed – whoosh! – was the fresh sound of opportunity blowing through the window that’s been thrown wide open now in the Western Conference playoff bracket.

Let’s face it. As long as Kobe Bryant and his dysfunctional Lakers family were still breathing — even on life-support — that possibility of a “three-peat” carried a lot of weight.

But now that the Mavericks have put the two-time champs out of their misery, anything is possible.

“The future is now” has always been a nice slogan for a bumper sticker, but it’s never been truer than right now in the NBA.

Are you ready for the 2011 NBA champion Thunder? Or Grizzlies?

Maybe not in Dallas. But it could happen. Or haven’t you been paying attention?

“Yes, that’s our goal,” said Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks. “It’s like the other teams in this playoff — that’s to win a championship. We have to play very well and we have to execute and we have to get lucky. You have to have good fortune. You don’t just win. You need a lot of things going for yourself.

“The great thing about this team, the window just opened. Last year was the first year in the playoffs. This team should be in the playoffs for a decade, if everything goes as planned and we continue to get better and work.

“But we feel we can win a championship this year. I don’t know if we will, but we’re gonna put ourselves in every opportunity to do our best and to win every game.”

Four weeks ago, it may have been impossible to imagine. But then the Grizzlies entered the playoffs as the No. 8 seed in the West and and push the veteran (and No. 1-seeded) Spurs right out the door.

All Memphis coach Lionel Hollins has preached to his team is the short-term goal of thinking only about the next game.

“If you do that, things will take care themselves,” he said.

Hollins has first-hand experience. He was a member of a Portland team in 1977 that was making its first playoff appearance in franchise history and wound up running all the way to a championship.

“You don’t look ahead,” Hollins said. “You can’t look ahead. You just play.”

It is his mantra: Just play.

The meaning: Anything can happen.

“We don’t talk about the Finals or the next round or the next game,” said Grizzlies forward Zach Randolph. “All we can control is tonight, every night, and what we believe is if we play our game, we can play with anybody.”

The Grizzlies and Thunder are both supposed to be teams of the future. But why can’t the future be now?

“We are not just happy with being here in the second round,” said Thunder forward Kevin Durant. “We are not happy just getting our first series win against Denver. We’re not happy with that. We want to go as far as we can.

“Our goal is to reach the championship. That’s every team’s goal. But we’ve got to take it a possession at a time, a minute at a time. If we do it that way, we’ll be fine. We got to win the little games within the game. That’s key for us. If we do that, sky’s the limit.”

Now that the purple Lakers cloud is gone, opportunity knocks, and those are Grizzlies and Thunder standing at the door.

174 Comments

  1. Brian says:

    I love how despite there being several upsets in the playoffs already, everyone and their mom is so sure that their team will win it all this year. Just shut up and watch the games, because I’ll bet a lot of you will sing a different tune once your “Championship” squad winds up eliminated from contention.

  2. Rutger says:

    I read a lot about nobody matching up to Dirk. What about Ibaka, i am pretty impressed by his performance in the playoffs. I am from The Netherlands so i only watch the highlights, so if i am wrong forgive me my ignorance.

    • Mega Freak says:

      You are not wrong my friend. Ibaka is a league leader in blocked shots. If anyone can stop Dirk, its Ibaka.

  3. Respect says:

    The point that may angry Mavs fans in that article is that its writer still respcts LA more than the Mavs, since beating the Lakers should be easier than beating the team that swept them. Calm down, the Mavs don’t need respect, they need a ring, and they are really going for it. Who cares about those still underestimating them?
    But one lesson the Grizz and Mavs has told everybody is: Don’t ever count out your opponent and respect him. So There’s no way talking about Dallas going for the finals for sure. They respected LA to the last game, and so they will their next opponent. That’s great about this team: Respect for opponent, but great confidence in own abilities.
    You don’t show respect, you loose.

  4. maiko says:

    I don’t know why everyone is including the mavs in this article. THIS IS FOR THE NEW TEAMS OKC AND GRIZZ!! DALLAS HAS BEEN IN THE PLAYOFFS A LONG TIME!! STFU ABOUT MAVS PEOPLE!!

  5. jinxnator says:

    This article will guarantee the Mavs another appearance in the NBA Finals, so let’s welcome the Dallas Mavericks as the new NBA Champions 2011. That’s why it’s telling everyone who reads it that OKC and MEM have a chance, to make it not possible.

    Mark Cuban is the master jinxnator. So let’s embrace the future champions the Dallas Mavericks.

  6. Oh Not Again says:

    Oh, Dallas in the finals eh ? Dirk and Terry may better gear up seeing Dwyane Wade again in the finals ? And he’s got some company too ..

  7. HelloEveyone says:

    whoever wins this series is gonna have a tough time with the mavs if the mavs play as good as they did against the lakers, the mavs are smoking hot right now and dirk cant miss, dallas fans just need to hope this break they have while waiting dont make them cold.

  8. D3 says:

    Ugh, I have read to many stupid comments about ‘past championships’ and ‘sweeping of the Lakers!’. The Grizzzilies beat the number 1 seed, the second best record in the NBA, WITHOUT there best player. It’s arguable that Z-Bo is the new face of Memphis, but whatever. Lakers and Dallas are OLD. Dirk is 34, J-Kidd is 37, Terry is 31. Same with the Lakers, Kobe 32, Pau 32, Lamar 34. I’m not saying the Mavs are bad, but stop saying that they sweeped the greatest NBA team! The best record was the Bulls, the number one seed was the Spurs. There at least the 3rd or 4th best team, which is still pretty good, and championships are the past. And look at Phil Jackson! He obviously didn’t care that they lost, he obviously didn’t try. He didn’t care about a three peat. Also, Lakers were already self destructing, I mean, everyone expected an easy sweep against Chris Paul (Not New Orleans) but the Lakers always expect so little of the teams they verse. 4-2 against the Hornets, 4-0 against the Mavs. Just because you beat the team with a lot of rings doesn’t mean that automatically gives you one. Grizz, Thunder, Lakers, Trail Blazers, there all different teams with different playing styles. It’s how you read the styles that gives you the wins. Once fresh legs like OKC or Memphis come into Dallas, I believe it will go into possibly 7 games, but it’s not going to be a sweep or 5 game series, it’s going to be the Veterans determined for a ring before there careers begin to crumble, and the young guns who want the ring so they don’t have that happen to them.

    • lastsecondshot says:

      I totally agree, im glad that the lakers got swepped because now it’ll be a different finals matchup, heat are going to beat the veterans of boston and the bulls/hawks series looks like derrick rose will have to step it up even more because of how the hawks play. Grizzlies will beat the thunder because they have that better defence/offence and Z-BO is a beast, 21-21 game 3, with a team that has a smaller lineup than most in the playoffs. Mavs are a good team, dont get me wrong but because stars of the team(dirk, terry, kidd) are getting older and the grizzlies are a younger team, they have that advantage over them. im not saying that the grizzlies are gonna win but it aint gonna be a clean sweep, it’ll be a terrific series.

      • Brian says:

        I like how Memphis fans act like they have this series sewn up when it’s tied at two games apiece. I wouldn’t speak too soon if I was a fan of any team, really. We all know how that worked out for Laker fans.

  9. kobeisthebest says:

    Mavs fan why are ya’ll acting like you would get the title in a walk in the park way?

  10. DALLAS TEXAS says:

    So the mavs are now heading to the western confrence finals because la swept THEMSELVES (i guess the mavs were INVISIABLE). Ha ha ha. They just dont get credit when credit is due. Also, the west is now open because the lakers are out even after dallas swept them and killed them by 36 points in game 4. Ha ha ha ha it’s okay we will see two more cities hearts get broken when it’s all set and done. Go mavs!

  11. Rob says:

    It’s so nice to see Laker fans now doing their best to sweep this year under the carpet… Dallas will undoubtedly be the heavy favorite going into the next series, particularly if it’s against the Grizzlies. It’s highly likely this series won’t be wrapped up before Friday, and could well go into Game 7 on Sunday. I’m pretty sure the Grizzlies started this series only two days after beating the Spurs, so they’ve played a lot of basketball for a while now. While you can spend too long away from playing matches, it gives the Mavs more time to draw up game plans, practise defensive rotations, refresh and energize and so on. Then there’s their homecourt advantage regardless of who they play. I think they’re zoned in this year, and will take the next series in six or less regardless of who they play.

  12. kobeisthebest says:

    Yo I like how every dallas fan thinks the Mavs get an automatic ticket to the finals just because they swept my favorite team the 2 time defending championship, especially you B. I bet you was rooting for La too until they got swept and the Mavs got lucky they made all those three’s in the final game becuase they was 20-32 from the 3 point line, if they only made 5 they whould have lost , but Mavs fans and B. I would not make that as an excuse for the Lakers the door is wide open and if the Mavs win the title they deserve it , that being said you can bet the Mavs are praying that there you know what history in the playoffs won’t catch up to them , especially you B. You better pray that the you know what history in the playoffs won’t catch up to the Mavs. Like I said just because you sweep the 2 time defending champions it dont mean the larry o brien trophy is just given to you automatically. Dallas fans especially you B. Remember this Kobe Bryant will be motivated to get revengeon you guys and remember Dwight Howard is a free agent and we all know who he wants to play with. Like 1 comment said earlier the way the Lakers played D anyone could have beaten them in a series. I agree and I believe even the Cavs can beat L.A. in a series with the way L.A. played D.

  13. why do you all count out the Mavs???? even the experts here talk like Dallas is just a sitting duck… come on, Dallas is not an easy team to beat…..they had a shot blocker in the middle which is tough for penetration, a sweet shooting forward, and one of the best point guards in the history of the NBA…… so don’t you ever say that what Dallas did paved a chance for the Thunder and the Grizzlies….. it only means an even harder mountain to climb for those two teams….

  14. GinSonic says:

    uhmm, just wanted to add that Dallas’ defense actually got them so far. Forget about the shooting, etc….
    It’s all about the D.

  15. Doug M says:

    You are all overlooking the most important thing. The NBA Finals MVP will not be Kobe Bryant.

  16. AJ says:

    I am a die hard Grizzlies fan and want to see my team go all the way. They can beat anyone, and have proven it. I’m like Coach Hollins, one game at a time. It’s worked so far! This has been a great postseason. Now, I hate to say it for Mavs fans, but I don’t think they’ve been tested yet. Not to say that they can’t rise to the occasion, but please don’t think they really destroyed the Lakers. The Lakers destroyed themselves. By not picking up a true point guard in the offseason, by not upgrading anywhere, by the Chloe and Lamar show (what the?) and the Zen’s new book, and by thinking that a certain Spaniard could handle all the criticism. All respect due, the Mavs mopped the floor with them like they should have, and did a great job doing it! It was really a pathetic site for everyone except…..Grizzlies fans! We saw Pau Gasol do it to us, infuriate us, humiliate us, then talk trash after he was traded. Watching him all fired up with the Lakers was a slap in the face. The Pau that was sent to LA is the Pau you see now. Complacent, complaining, disinterested, acting as if he actually cares. Oh too familiar. One thing is for sure, there is plenty of great bball left to enjoy!! Go GRIZZZZZ!!!

  17. RAPTORS FTW says:

    Raptors are taking the championships!!!

  18. Dakota says:

    I have been totally blown away by these playoffs so I shouldn’t make predictions, but I will anyway although mine don’t matter because I’m not an expert. I still think that OKC will beat Memphis but in 7, then I think the OKC and Dallas series will be crazy good, if Dallas plays like they did against L.A. they are unbeatable in my mind but if they don’t, I think OKC could blow them out of the water. So, I will pick Dallas in 6. In the East, Chicago will beat Atlanta (even with as much as I want Atlanta to win), and I think Miami will beat Boston in a ridiculously amazing game 7. Miami I think will beat Chicago in an amazing series just to go lose to the Mavs in their seach for revenge (Experience and team chemistry). And no I am not a fan of Dallas or Miami, I hate them both, I’m a Jazz fan so I always root for the smaller market no matter how ridiculous it may be. This is just an opinion.

  19. Phil says:

    This is the most ridiculous article I’ve ever read. Dallas beating LA 4-0 means opportunity for Memphis or OKC to advance? Serious lack of credit to Dallas for winning in a series against LA.

    • Knicks4Ever says:

      Dallas beat an ailing(chemistry wise) Lakers team. Thunder and Bulls in the Finals.

      • Dakota says:

        That would be a fantastic Finals. The two biggest rising stars (if some may not rank them as superstars yet) of the next 10 years. Sick.

    • @JACKMOUVE says:

      @ Phil – I think the writer just wants to say that Memphis and OKC has a chance for the west conference finals but I agree, he should have also mentioned the Mavs. The west conference is open really to OKC, Grizz, AND MAVS. Go MAVS!!

  20. Pepe says:

    No dark cloud this year. Can I believe it?

  21. JR says:

    Comm’on. A team with like 7 All-Stars choke? That’s not possible. And against Memphis and OKC? Impossible. Dallas is gonna be in tha finals no matter what. Laker fans don’t sourgrape. Not because you’re losers doesn’t mean Dallas is gonna lose to. Get a life Laker Fan. PIck on your own LA teams that are just overlooked. Even the Dodgers are weak, not to mention the Lakers and the CLippers. Horrid place to live LA.

  22. ajsdf says:

    LA fell apart. Dallas went on a shooting streak. But to say that they are going to the finals is jumping the gun. LA Dallas match up is very different than the OKC Dallas matchup or the Memphis dallas matchup. LA Dallas matchup went haywire for the lakers because they completly fell apart defensively and offensivly and the mavs took advantage. Memphis Dallas matchup should be a nice matchup because memphis can rotate much better than the lakers or portland. OKC Dallas matchup should be interesting as well because you have a really good point called russel westbrook and a beast called Kevin durant. Im not sure how things will go down in the west final, but it should be a good series no matter what team makes it up from the OKC and Memphis series.

  23. Carlo12345 says:

    blah blah blah. Dallas still not won the championship. its how you finish not how you start. so you guys shut up. put those comments when dallas win the championship these year.

  24. underdawg says:

    i see a HAWKS VS GRIZZ int he finals. ^_^

  25. Hakim says:

    I like Dallas and all but, unfortunately they will lose again to a 8th seed. Once upon a time Dallas was called a soft team and they still are. The way LA was playing defense anyone could’ve beat them in a series.

    I have to agree with Chuck saying Dallas is praying for OKC.

    The reason why is because Memphis has 2 good hungry bigs, 2 outstanding defenders, they play defense and they have something LA lost heart. OKC turns the ball over way too much and have awful shot selection.

    So, unfortunately for Dallas and OKC the West Finals representative will be Memphis.

    • Brian says:

      I wouldn’t count OKC out yet. The Grizz forced two of those three overtimes and still couldn’t pull out the win. The series is 2-2, so it’s far from over.

  26. Ismaeel says:

    Wow, imagine the Bulls/ Thunder in the finals. Of course, it doesn’t matter who the Bulls are going to be against in the finals because they will beat anyone. GO BULLS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  27. mavs fan says:

    mike, mavs are hungrier than okc or grizz

  28. mavs fan says:

    grizz fan, mavs lost like 3 times against lakers in regular season but look wat happened in the playoffs, lakers got swept by the mavs, dont be a doubter, this is mavs year

  29. Sam says:

    all of you ppl saying dallas can take memphis in 4 games are WRONG
    Memphis has tony allen who will shut down terry and kidd
    and mav

  30. Common Sense says:

    Hey for those wanting to get rich quick of foolish people, bet on the Mav’s , foolish experts cause Mavericks to be the underdogs, why not retire early, courtesy of articles like theses, maby Vegas will one day learn which sources are credible and which ones are garbage after this year.

  31. wachasay says:

    for people saying they dont understand how its easier for these 2 teams to win the west vs the mavs then the lakers, the lakers are old and slow everyone can see dat, their defense rotation was horrible. all 3 of these teams matchup really good i wuld say dirk is a mismatch but hes guna need help, kevin durant can get his shot at will, russel westbrook is 2 fast n 2 big 2 b guarded 1 on 1 vs mavs. i think if thunder win theyr guna beat the mavs. i take mavs over grizz in 6 or 7

    • MavsForTheTitle says:

      It could be as simple as home advantage, Dallas has home advantage against OKC and Memphis.

      • Brian says:

        That is true. The winner of MEM/OKC will have to take at least one of the first two in Dallas to have a realistic shot at the NBA Finals.

  32. MFFL Ryan says:

    This is so rediculous. The Mavs just swept the two time defending champs, after closing out the Portland series on the road against an excellent home team, and now you’re telling me they’re likely to get beat at home by OKC or MEM?! Come on, get real. I am soo tired of Mavs haters.

  33. Mike says:

    Yea the Mavs are looking like the team to beat. But they have tradition of choking and so there’s no reason why a hungry Thunder or Grizzlies team couldn’t knock them out.

    • Knicks4Ever says:

      The Mavs beat a destabilizing Lakers team. They deserve credit but it was a destabilizing Lakers team. Like the Spurs lost against the Grizzlies. Grizzlies are good but they beat an older Spurs team that had a less than 80% Ginobili. All I’m saying is, don’t be surprised if it’s OKC and Bulls in the Finals this year.

  34. Tenki says:

    The Mavs are playing as if they were the defending champions after a humiliating loss in Portland. I was ready to call them off since the playoffs began, and they have proven otherwise. I also have to face the fact that winning against the Lakers wouldn’t be an easy task, and yet Dallas pulled it off with four consecutive games, which is a feat in itself.

    The NBA playoffs tells us one thing: anything is possible. This time, I won’t make the mistake of writing off another team, even if they are down in the series, even with the injuries sustained through the games. Honestly, these events turned out to be more exciting and unpredictable than I have ever imagined.

  35. billy says:

    OKC doesn’t have enough offense if harden cant score 15 a night to beat the Mavs, unless Westbrook or Durant go for 40 and 20 or 30 30. This may be the reason why the Perkins trade was a Lose-Lose, Green could give you 14 15 a night.

    Memphis does, however Tyson Chandler will give some problems for Gasol and Randolph inside, if he is on his game. The key for them is to shut down the Mavericks shooters, Peja and Terry by using Allen and Young on them.

    Then there is a guy named Dirk Nowitzki.

    • OKCKD35 says:

      Good thing for the Thunder thats what Harden has been averaging since the Trade, also combine that with the evolving game of serge Ibaka, and the sharp shooting of daequan Cook, we have plenty of offense, werent we near the top of the leage in PPG? funny how people keep saying we cant score, lets see against LA Dallas scored 96,93,98,122 which equals 409 an average of 102.25 per game. Thunder have scored 101-111-93-133 which equals 438 an average of 109.5. Wow for a team that has no options they sure score a lot of points, lets look at the first round Dallas scored 89,101,92,82,93/103 which equals 560 for an avergae of 93.4 ( i rounded up!) OKC socred 107,106, 97,101, 100 which equals 511 or and average of 102.2. Seems to me OKC scores more points. hmmmm? Where do they all come from, according to you all but 15ppg are Durant and Westbrook. Open your eyes tard. We can score enough to beat anybody

  36. Bradley says:

    No, Dallas will win. Dallas has created a dream, to be shattered… The only way they can win is to stop the whole team… Stop Dirk Terry will cover, stop Terry Jason will cover, Stop jason JJ will cover… We are going to win!

    • MavsForTheTitle says:

      Left out Peja, Shawn, and Tyson…and possibly Stevenson from long-range. Dallas has backup plans, unlike LeBron in Cleveland.

  37. eas says:

    Doesn’t matter, who even wins in the west, dallas or thunder or grizzlies, if they get to the final they’ll loose to heat or celtics or bulls or even atlanta, thunder and grizzlies are good teams but not good enough to be champs, i wish it could happen but let see what happen stop thinking in what is gonna be ’cause if we do that im sure any team in the east will win against any of these teams

  38. pashya says:

    Before every series, Dallas starts out as underdogs! And like the previous ones, they will prove you doubters wrong. The Grizzlies / Thunder might have had a better chance against the Lakers but have little hope of getting past game 6 now.

  39. John says:

    I think this is poorly written, completely writing off the mavericks. They might not win but there still in the conference finals and therefore still have a chance to win it all.

  40. dapperdan says:

    Memphis or OKC against Dallas…? Wake me up when the Mavs are in the finals again!

  41. wyatt says:

    @Hadji….the grizz are not a good team? really? look at their record since January. One of the tops in the West and have been playing at a 58 win pace. Look at their head to head against OKC. 5-2. With and without Perkins. They are a very, very good team. Just a different style than OKC. Inside out. Post ball. Tough defense. No prolific scorers on the perimeter.

    Also, yes Dirk was hurt when the Grizz beat them one of the times. He had just come back the other time, so i’ll give you the not 100%. The grizz also beat the Mavs without Z-bo early in the year. They also beat them without Rudy later in the year. So shut up and stop bit8chin about Dirk being hurt and that’s why you lost 3 games to the Grizz

  42. wyatt says:

    the article is not hating on dallas at all. i mean, obviously LA was the favorite to win the title. that is said without question. now that LA is gone, it is anyone’s race. All the guy is saying is that Memphis and OKC have a very good shot now that LA is gone. I mean seriously, who wouldn’t take Dallas (no matter how hot they are) over the Lakers? Dallas also has a great shot and just took out the favorite. Guys, this is not an article that is discrediting dallas in any way. Use some logic. Also, Dallas’ opponent will be very, very tough. Both Memphis and OKC are better defensively than LA and wont just let Dallas launch threes. Both have better big men than LA. Memphis has better offensive big men and OKC has better defensive big men. Both teams have excellent perimeter defense and a point guard who can and will play just as well as Kidd and Barea. Fisher and Blake could’t do it. Memphis has Tony Allen to check Terry. OKC has Sefolosha to check Terry. Dirk will continue to be unstoppable though.

    Also, to everyone on here saying the east is by far the tougher conference…give me a break. When sub .500 teams make the playoffs, that conference is weaker. There is so much more balance and parity in the West. I guarantee you that Dallas, OKC, and Memphis are not afraid to play any Eastern team. Every team left has a legitimate shot to make it to the finals. I doubt Atlanta does though.

  43. RICO CALDERON says:

    SOMEWHERE OUT THERE DIRK IS LIKE MOTHER FERS I GOT SOME FOR YOU. I FEEL SORRY FOR ANY TEAM WHO FACES THE MAVS THIS IS NOT THE SAME OLD MAVS I SEE THEM IN THE FINALS I FEEL SORRY FOR THE HEATS IF THEY FACE THE MAVS MAVS BENCH WILL KILL THEM AND YOU CANT PLAY LAQUISHA JAMES DWADE OR CHRISTINA BITCH 48MINUTES SO GOOD LUCK AND CELTICS OOPS NOT A CHANCE THE BULLS I SAY THE WIN 1ST GAME AND DALLAS TAKE IT GAME5

  44. Hadji says:

    OKC-MEM – Game 3 – This game was very winnable for OKC but they were not able to pull it off: I was one serious suggestion for the Thunders, if they want to win during the Playoffs they have to win games on the road. This game was tight until the last play of the fourth quarter (a rushed jumper by Durant) and there no reason for OKC to not be able to score for five or eight minutes during a fourth quarter playoffs!

    This is absolutely ridiculous: if Westbrook can’t make a shot during critical times like the last minutes of the fourth quarter then he should TAKE IT TO THE RACK! The same goes for Kevin Durant, during the last minutes of the game if your shots are not falling…you have to TAKE IT TO THE RACK (to either make a lay up or get fouled) BASIC BASKET-BALL! OKC is an incredible team but they have a dangerous tendency to fall in love with the jumpers. It is no secret I am an OKC fan but I will be honest and admit if ANY team plays under its abilities (that’s the worst criticism a team can get).

    Nobody really plays down the post in OKC land, Kevin Durant at 6-10 should be playing down the post at least 25% of the time…he could get easy buckets that way since most teams put much smaller guys on him (this is really a coaching issue I think) DOES ANYBODY ELSE SEES THAT OTHER THAN ME? It is pretty upsetting to witness a sorry team like Memphis taking a game three just because OKC was too lackadaisical to take a very winnable game three. That offense from the Thunders was very subpar…no ball movement, bad shot after bad shot from Westbrook and then Durant. Now OKC is down 2-1!

    One thing that any half-descent ball player knows is that…after three or four missed jumpers, you got to put your head down and MAKE A LAY UP. Basket-ball is more about basket-ball IQ than anything else…and this is exactly WHAT MEMPHIS DID TO WIN THE GAME…Conley – Sam Young and Zebo took it to the rack to win the game. I am a big OKC fan but I can’t accept a team playing way below its true potential…if this is how they are going to play during these playoffs then they don’t deserve to move on further in the Western Conference.

    And that’s that!

    How can the Thunders play a great game with intensity for three quarters and decide to just lay down and let the game slip away to a Memphis team that, frankly, I think stinks. The Grizzlies are not a good team, they just hustle a lot and bang in the paint…this is how they beat San Antonio. OKC has too many good players to not be able to manufacture crucial points in the fourth quarter. I fell in love with OKC because they always play with reckless abandonment, if they stop playing with that edge (when needed) then there is no need for me to watch them play!

    I have only one suggestion for the Thunders: LOW POST PLAYS…I don’t even care who does it, whether it is Durant or Ibaka or Perkins or wherever the best mismatch presents itself. Someone please talk to the coach of OKC since most of the players from the Thunders are -apparently- too young or inexperienced to figure this one out.

    Really disappointing to witness such a waste of talent(OKC).

    At this point, I am hoping that OKC will make the appropriate adjustments: more post up plays, especially at the end of games to make lay-ups and step to the foul line…have Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook drive to the hoop aggressively during the fourth quarter TO FINISH GAMES.

    You have to finish games in the playoffs, that’s the most important part of the game…the fourth quarter is everything – if you drop that quarter, you lose the game- Winning a NBA title is very hard to do, and some teams just don’t have the ammunition’s…but OKC does have the right parts. Now will the Thunders rise to the occasion? I hope so, otherwise may the best team win these Series!

    And to Dallas fans underestimating OKC: keep doing that and we’ll all see who will end up in the NBA finals.
    The Lakers barely got away from OKC last year (when the Lakers were at their prime and when OKC was still in infancy).
    So think twice!

    • B says:

      you sure do make a lot of excuses…

      • OKCKD35 says:

        Didnt sound like excuses to me B. sounds like he was analizing the game, He didnt mention the 21 free throw disparity, or the fact MEM had 12 free throws in a 5 minute overtime, or the fact the we couldnt move the ball in the 4th as KD was being held on every screen. Those are excuses (pretty valid ones but still excuses) all he is saying is we cant become stagnanat, thats what cost us the game, take the ball to the rack and put it on the refs (who werent calling jack for OKC but you still have to attack)

    • Brian says:

      I’ve been saying that for a while now. Even the best shooters go cold. When they do, drive that shiz to the rack. It’s what keeps you in close games. Anybody can go cold and brick their team right out of a game.

  45. mavs haters to the left says:

    And one more thing, you all need to check and get your facts straight!!!!! The mavs have been the best defensive team (YES THE BEST DEFENSIVE TEAM) in the playoffs!!!!!!! Got it! So stop saying we’re just an offensive team. BUT WAIT, I forgot, it is not because we are playing good, it is because our opponents are playing bad that we keep winning.

    • B says:

      It is hard to notice how good the Dallas defense is because our offense is unstoppable!

  46. Truefan says:

    This is funny. I think everyone counted the Grizz and the Mavs out, look how that turned out. Now the Mavs fans are counting both Memphis and OKC out…Will we ever learn?

  47. mavs haters to the left says:

    Spurs fans – you shouldn’t even be commenting right now. You all should worry about rebuilding your team.
    To all the other haters – I am beyond excited all the so called “experts” are picking against the MAVS in the next round yet AGAIN!!! We play better as the underdogs..no expectation on us right?! We were counted out against the Blazers, and we as heck were not even given a chance against the Lakers. Sooo I’m definitely not surprised OKC/Grizz are favored here too. Let OKC and Griz duke it out while we wait for one of them to come out.

  48. blue20 says:

    I’m tired of mavs and dirk’s company but if they loose the western finals I’am going to laugh coz they are only facing the rookie guys in west finals compared to a lot of veterans in mavs but what ever happens its good to see that there is other team will go to the nba finals but i dont think so if they can past the east but I’am happy to see that there is going to have a new team that going to be called a champion in 2011 nba finals no lakers anymore….

    • MavsForTheTitle says:

      Youth is a very, very important faactor. It will be an awesome WCF. Finally, a GOOD matchup, and one that doesn’t involve the stinkin’ Lakers!

  49. griz50 says:

    i hope grizzles win the championship

  50. Celtic Pride says:

    Sorry…however, dallas is a spot up shooting team, if they get hot they can beat anyone. However, any team that decides to play defense against dallas will see a very different dallas team. Defense wins championships not offense and year in year out ppl refuse to realise this fact. Dallas shall not win unless they playing solid defense. Their shooters will get cold from the 3 pt line and all will fall down for Dallas as it always does…

    • B says:

      you must not watch the Mavs play. there is no way you can defend Dirk.

    • @JACKMOUVE says:

      @ Celtic Pride – I don’t get why people say that because the mavs are relying very much on 3 pointers…they have a slim chance of winning. Hello?!! The Lakers left the three point line open for them to shoot. I think it was a smart move for Dallas. It was open!!! Who would not take advantage of that? It was a smart move especially since the mavs know that if they go to the paint, they have to face Bynum, Odom, and Gasol. Come on!!! It was genius!!!! And have you seen the mavs’ defense….though I won’t say it’s the best…but it’s pretty good. That’s why the lakers had a hard time making the shots. GO MAVS!!!!!

  51. Paul says:

    These playoffs have gotten a whole lot more interesting now that LA is out. Personally I think Memphis and Atlanta have been full of surprises so far in this postseason. It’s interesting how Memphis has actually a good shot at making it to the NBA Finals. They’ve been playing great basketball since playoffs began and they didn’t lose at home. I’m looking forward to seeing how these playoffs will end.

  52. BYE STANDER says:

    Wow Dallas beat the Lakers and now they are the team to beat. Lets face it Lakers has been getting by in the playoffs by the skin on their teeth since last year. Suns series was too close as well as OKC. If i was Dallas i wouldnt pride myself on this accomplishment. Dallas look great right now but they wont spread the floor on EIther Memphis or OKC like they Did the senior citizens… In my opinion OKC will even the series tonight and win the best of seven… CHAMPIONSHIP GAME WILL BE MIA vs. OKC…

  53. gadiel says:

    hahahahahaha this guy must be crazy! he did not give any credit to the mavs when they destroed the champs hahahahaah hater!

    • OKCKD35 says:

      Dallas fans knocking off the Lakers (no matter how they were playing) is a huge accomplishment, dont let anyone tell you otherwise, obviouslt their team has been unable to do it for the better part of 7 years. I am thankful the Lakers are gone, we all know they can look like crap one day then jam it down your throat the next. Props to the MAVS for never letting off the gas and putting the series away when they had the chance too, Awesome job on the sweep! (and this is from an OKC fan!)

  54. Ambrose says:

    The Dallas comments on here are so stupid. Unless someone writes an article that says, “The Dallas Mavericks are the greatest thing since Rachel Black,” Dallas homers everywhere (read: Plano, Garland, Arkansas) become incensed and flame comment sections like Mark Cuban hell bent on being fined.

    The Mavs beat the Lakers. Great. The Grizzlies beat the Spurs, who had a better record. But the Mavs, because they took out the 2-seed, are supposed to CLEARLY be the best team remaining? Give us all a break.

    The Mavs blew out an imploding Lakers team. Time will tell what that means. Until then, sit back and wait for your opponent to be selected. It’s all gonna be about the matchups. The Grizzlies have the best defense left in the Playoffs and the Thunder have two of the most unstoppable scorers. Dallas will have a tough time with either. So quit being so annoying about it.

  55. Disco Dirk says:

    lol miami vs dallas finals? dirk is guna get his revenge watch…

  56. Dirk Diggler says:

    I really like both these franchises and this series but 2011 is Dirk year!

  57. spurs man says:

    Lets be serious people we are talking about the Mavs choke artist to the max. They will lose to the Grizz or Thunder more than likely the thunder. If they make it to the finals they will get killed by the heat again! They couldn’t beat D-wade by himself now they would have to beat wade and Lebron good luck with that one LOL! Beating the lakers isn’t a great accomplishment if you watched all season long you saw the lakers were in deep trouble come playoff time.
    But enjoy your small victory for now Mavs fans cause you will never win a title. You guy’s are lucky your kriptonite isn’t still in the playoffs cause they would crush your dreams all over again and you know who i mean!

    • B says:

      and what happened to the spurs? Oh, that’s right, they have gone fishing.

      • DeeWig says:

        Spurs fan just angry his team was fishing in April LOL continue to hate as the mavs hoop in the Western Conf finals

  58. thetruth says:

    ther mavs are going to spank either team okc or memphis dallas and okc 2-2 1 game without dirk and 3 quarters of a game without dirk nowitzki Mavs vs memphis 2 games were without dirk and the other 2 memphis won on Dallas off days both by 1 point and were in the beggining of the regular season memphis also will not have rudy gay THIS IS THE PLAYOFFS MEMPHIS TOO INEXPIRIENCED

    • OKCKD35 says:

      Keep in mind too the Games played by OKC vs Dallas this year regular season does not mean a thing (maybe other than homecourt advantage) the team for OKC is much different (minus jeff green and Nenad Krstic and insert Serge Ibaka and Kendrick Perkins to the starting lineup) I do not think there is anyone who can shut down Dirk, but if there is anyone who can slow him down just a bit i think it would be Serge with his athleticism and length. (no i am not saying serge would shut him down i know better) but he can make him work much harder for what he gets. I would like to see this series. Many good matchups. Lets go OKC vs Dallas WCF!!!

  59. MR. Boga says:

    I LOVE THIS YEAR PLAYOFF ITS FULL OF SHOCK WAVE AT EASTCOAST AND WESTCOAST….FINNALY A YEAR WHERE ITS VERY UNPREDICTABLE! MORE SHOCKING MOMENTS ARE YET TO COME— I GRANTEE YOU< COMMENT ME IF IT DONT HAPPEN THIS YEAR! A TEAM WITH THE WORD TRIPPLE WILL BE THIS YEAR CHAMPION!

  60. Noel says:

    Yes, It’s kinda funny how they count the MAVS out again. A door opening for OKC or MEMPHIS because it’s dallas and not lakers that’s in the conf. finals? The team that swept the lakers is easier to beat? I’d love to see what excuses they come up with if dallas beats either okc or memphis or is it just that this guy is a mavs hater cause the lakers got swept?

    • OKCKD35 says:

      I thought you were all Dallas fans. Dirk himself is the one who first stated “The west is wide open” as much as you want to call the writer biased and hating on the Maverics that is not the point that is trying to be made. the west is just as opn for the Mavs too, even more so since they have home court. Could you imagine 2 years ago saying that OKC or Memphis will be advancing to the Western conference finals, and they wont be playing against the Spurs or Lakers, that is the point. 2 small market teams running with the big dogs. Dallas has been i nthe playoffs forever and it is no suprize (at least to me) that they are in the WCF. I believe that is the point being made. Mavs are looking great, anyone who denies that is just retarded

  61. WOOOOW says:

    The same way people are not impresed with the mavs sweep of the lakers saying that the lakers didn’t play, i say the same for the grizzs win over san antonio. The spurs were not the best team in the NBA entering the playoffs, not even in the west. They limped their way to the playoffs and thanks to the big lead they had over the mavs and lakers the were able to maintain the 1 seed. I guess mavs just gonna have to prove people wrong, for the 3rd straight series. And btw, the lakers didn’t play bad, obviously with the exeption of game 4, but even in game two, the played well enough, i mean, its not like they got blown out, the 3 point shot wasn’t fallin so that hurt em a lot, but other than that, they played well. Instead of thrashing the lakers, praise the mavs, cause from a basketball standpoint (no fan stuff), their performance in game 4 can be described as nothing less than beautiful. Mavs in 5, whether its okc or memphis, finals against heat or bulls, but no matter which one, expect a GREAT series… the NBA is back!!

    • @JACKMOUVE says:

      I think the mavs could have easily gotten number 1 seed in the west conference but I don’t think they really want to. I mean, I think they will avoid that ever since that series with the Golden State Warriors. I think they’re aiming for number 2. Just a guess.

      • OKCKD35 says:

        I hope that was not a serious statement, why would a team want to be # 2? So ifthey end up facing the # 1 the wont have home cout advantage? That makes an awful lot of sense Mr.

  62. DL says:

    Weak article. I love rooting for an underdog, but discounting Dallas like this is just foolish. They have more depth and experience than either the Griz or Thunder, and they just swept the defending champs. Give em some respect. That said, It is really anyone’s game in the West right now and no matter who Dallas faces in the next round, it is going to be a challenge. I mean anything has got to be tougher than that sad little implosion the Lakers just pulled off. Either way I’m expecting a 7 game series and I gotta give Dallas the edge -even though I’m not a Mavs fan- with Memphis posing the toughest match-up against them, if they can get there.

  63. qUENTIN says:

    Memphis is on a high horse.. I wanted OKC to win this match up, but Im tired of hearing how cocky the memphis team is.. I want them to beat OKC, just so the mavs can destroy them an put them back in thier place..But first Durant is gonna make waste of them tonight ;)

  64. IZE says:

    This is good, Many people have been counting out my MAVS again! I love o prove the haters wrong! Let’s go MAVS!

  65. Kerem says:

    Why should be the mavs be a easier team to beat, than the lakers??? Mr.Blinebury have you seen any game of the series??? the mavs didnt played through Nowitzki (exculding game3) but like Kobe said, every game there was another X-Faktor who made 20+pts……….Dallas is hot as hell + they have homecourt in the C-Finals……no way for Thunder or Grizz to get through this Mavs will get a title shot, seriously!

    • D'Andrae says:

      Actually Dirk is the big reason they won games 1-3, everything else you said I have to agree with.

  66. HomeList says:

    Regardless of who wins the NBA championship this year, I think we can all agree this has been some amazing basketball and a really unusual nba post season. The #1 seed Spurs getting knocked out by the #8 seed, the defending champion Lakers getting swept in the 2nd round, the Hawks taking out the Magic and putting up a fight against the Bulls, the Bulls not being as capable as they were in the regular season… this is a crazy year!

  67. Dirk Fan says:

    Good job, Griz and Thunder for making it this far. Whoever advances here will have had a huge accomplishment. Too bad your dreams will end in Dallas, the Mavs are on a mission boys, stay out of the way!

    • qUENTIN says:

      WELL put sir…

      • MavsForTheTitle says:

        Haha. true, despite my arguement on how hard OKC or Memphis is. Dallas is gonna go to the Finals. As they say…Win, or GO HOME! So…GO HOME MEMPHIS/OKC!

  68. MISAM says:

    This writer should be fired immediately. Mavericks beat the Lakers- a team dubbed by the media as “a team that nobody can beat in the playoffs”, yet rite after they beat them, all of a sudden ppl think theyre soft again. Mavericks will go to the finals, and have a very good chance in winning a title. Okc and Memphis is good, but i doubt they would be able to defeat the lakers

  69. OKCFAN says:

    All Memphis is doing is riding a huge wave of hype. OKC has clearly shown that if they could keep marc gasol and zbo pressured a frustrated inside, their perimeter offense cannot carry them. Last game was the first time all series that we saw their perimeter offense come to light. If I was Scott Brooks I would keep taking that chance and focus on pressuring the two men down low. I know OKC will win this series, but it’s all about knowing that memphis is riding this huge tidal wave of momentum since the spurs series and its bound to flatten.

  70. Pac says:

    I am a Mavs fan but I do think the semi finals will be much harder for Dallas. They will face a team that will fight all night and all series long. Dallas won’t be the underdog anymore and we all know that there are nights Dallas always takes the wrong decision.
    So, yes, I do think both Memphis and OKC have a chance to win the championship, but I guess Dallas will go to the finals with a 4-2 win 0:1, 1:1, 2:1, 3:1, 3:2, 4:2 my prediction.

    • B says:

      Dallas will sweep Memphis. OKC might be able to win 1 or 2 games against us.

      • MavsForTheTitle says:

        God, are you drunk? You seen Memphis? Z-boe has been fabulous on the shooting range, he’s actually trying to become a Dirk Nowitzki. Memphis will be hard, they might have to even go to Game 7. Just remember Dallas has home advantage in the Conference Finals.

  71. Latin7 says:

    LMAO how can this ppl say that Mem or OKC have a chance to the tittle 1st the mavs defeated the team that no 1 in the west wanted to see in the playoffs The Blazers then they swept the defending champs and did in a fashion way r u serious this ppl just want dallas to go down again but oh well no one expected them to get this far

    • D'Andrae says:

      All truth! I hope people keep counting them out, it’s obviously motivating them like no other…

    • MavsForTheTitle says:

      True. Actually, the media didn’t expect them to beat Portland.

    • OKCKD35 says:

      Actually the nuggets were a hotter team going into the playoffs. They had the 4th best record in the league since the trade. The Lakers this year where nowhere the lakers of old
      (and i am talking about the bench, yes you matt barnes and steve blake, you guys suck) Any team still in the playoffs has a chance at the title, if the Mavs were so superior why did they only have 2 more wins than the Thunder? (See only 3 game losing streak of the season when the trade occured) Yes i am a Thunder Fan, no i am not saying we are going to dominate anyone in the playoffs, i am saying we play good hard fough basketball, and we are rarely out of a game, if you think it will be a walk in the park because you beat the lakers think again, we almost beat the Lakers last year (when they were playing well) and we are better this year. Come get some, if we make it past the Grizz. If not the Grizz are a very physical team, either way it will be a battle. i dont understand where your sense of confidence comes from with a team that is known for choking in the playoffs. I know this is a new year, but dont be so damn jaded

  72. The Grizzles have a real shot to make it to the finals, now that the Lakers are out. The west is wide open.

  73. czech maverick says:

    Dallas have beaten the Lakers 4-0, so it would be easy for OKC or MEM to go past them…??? Everyone has seen that the Dallas Mavericks have been way better than Lakers – the biggest thread. And now the Mavs are no thread? I don´t understand that.

  74. Maurice says:

    The Conference Finals are going to be just as hard as every other series,
    it will be alot of fight in the West Finals no matter if MEM or OKC makes it against
    Dallas. Dallas play with a bit more confidence lately, especially after the Lakers series. They will be a tough matchup for either team,

  75. Corey says:

    Claiming the mavs will easily win just because they swept the lakers? The grizzlies put out the spurs which is a better team (this season) than the lakers. so that logic is out the door. Anyone can win the west now. What I think this really means is that the winner of the heat/celtics series is gonna walk through the rest of the playoffs to a title (no im not a fan of either team or the eastern conference).

    • D'Andrae says:

      Claiming that whoever wins the heat/celtics series will win a ship is ridiculous. First of all heat probably won’t make it past the Celtics if Rando can play with a hurt elbow…secondly, the heat have no bench, no center and no point guard play which the mavs have a lot of. Finally, the Celtics sure as heck don’t wanna see the mavs if either teams make it to the Finals. We’ll have to wait and see how it plays out, but in my eyes no team left in the NBA matches up well with these mavericks.

      • rj says:

        your’re right only because the winner of that series will have to face the MVP the next round. just saying you remember what rose did to boston in his rookie season, and he has beaten the heat 3 times this year it dramatic fashion lol but miami is superior from what i can see than boston but it’s very close, refs usually are the achilles heal of the heat tho when they dont give the superstars their foul quota lol

  76. McKenzie Pacers Fan says:

    Wow, the Mavs still get disrespected even after sweeping the two time defending champions. First people said Portland would destroy Dallas, then they claimed LA would be too much for Dallas. Now that both of those hurdles have been destroyed Dallas is still slighted… You can really sense the bias on NBA.com.

    • OKCKD35 says:

      OK Mavs fans dont gett all butthurt from this article, It istrying to relay that we have 2 teams playing for the western conference finals that havent been there (yes i realize seattle was there in 96). The mavs have made the playoffs like 11 years in a row, they are trying to say now that the lakers ands purs are out of it (see the NBA finals the last decade) that a new team has an opportunity to emerge, not that they are going to go in and blow the doors off of dallas. Seems to me he is talking about “2 teams of the future” have a great opportunity to become team of NOW!

    • Queen of Clubs says:

      I couldn’t believe that I’ve read such an unprofessional and biased article at NBA.com. This writer should resign from his job and give the public an apology for this highly unprofessional article.

  77. John C says:

    I can’t believe Blinebury has counted the Mavs out already… Just more to motivate Dirk and company. GO MAVS!!!

  78. REALIST772 says:

    as we’ve seen in these playoffs, trying to predict winners of each series is extremely difficult. any one of the remaining three has a good chance, it all depends on how the matchups play out , we’ll see them in south beach.

  79. D'Andrae says:

    I don’t understand this article. How is facing a team that just swept the Lakers EASIER than facing the Lakers? Really? At the high level the mavs are playing at, I don’t see either of these teams beating them, although it may be more of a challenge than the Fakers. Neither one of these teams have much of a bench and nobody in the league matches up with Dirk

    • rj says:

      mavs shot ridiculous numbers from outside, they were hot and everybody knows that, but NO team carries that kinda shooting for long remember the orlando magic who lived and died by the three in the finals against the lakers? the mavs three pointer killed the lakers but their shots won’t be fallin as much in the series to come, but no matter who makes it out of the west any ways will have a really hard time beating the east representative because who do you want to face out east? Boston’s big four? Miami’striple threat? The MVP?

      • Drew says:

        The Mavs aren’t a team that lives and dies by the three. There was a lot of dribble penetration by not only Dirk, but Barea, Kidd and JET…that led to a lot of their shooters being wide open. They took the shots LA gave to them. Dirk is a mismatch for any team and when you adjust to him you’ll leave someone open, his teammates are just finally making shots unlike years past. Mavs in 5 in the next round. Here’s hoping that Miami makes the Finals and D-Mavs get their revenge against them. Eventually people will stop making excuses and start realizing the talent on this Mav team…who cares about their mentality other years…check out the talent! Dallas is a beast from player 1 thru 10. EVERYONE who plays in their rotation can start…EVERYONE!

      • WOOOOW says:

        With the exeption of game 4, mavs really didn’t shoot the three all that well, 11 for 29, 8-26 something like that, 8-20, which is about 36% really, the important thing is that they made them when they counted. Anyways, I think you judging the mavs-lakers series wrong, lates take game 4 as exmaple, they won by 36 points, say that instead of 20-32 from threes they were 8-32, they game would have been tied. I know its not smart to break down a game that simply, but I just want to make a point, they didn’t rely on the 3 point shot to beat the lakers. Now that beign said, its true that the lakers didn’t play up to their potential, but playing with only halve of the efficiency they played on game 4 for a consistant basis, means the end for the grizz and the thunder, and i strongly believe the mavs are more than capable. And as far as im concerned, grizz and thunder have had it easy so far, first round, grizz won in 6 games due to a lucky shot from neal, okc destroyed the nuggets, mavs were against the team nobody wanted to face, and if not for “devine intervention” in game 4, the series would have ended in 5, the the 2 time defending champs. Mavs to the finals… I may be wrong, but I doubt it!! jajajaja love Chuck!!!!

    • D'Andrae says:

      The mavs actually didn’t live and die by the three pointer…they lived off of Dirk! Secondly, when you have TWO of the top 5 three point makers in the history of the NBA then you’re good. That Orlando team didn’t have no where near the level of talent the mavs does when it comes to the three pointer, but the thing is the mavs give what the defense gives them so they’re not gonna camp out on the three point line all day every game.

      • rj says:

        i agree they have a lot of talent and are playing really good ball but it just seems to good to be true with them hitting so many shots, but it’ll be a diffrent ball game playing against Memphis or Oklahoma. More so for MEM because they play the same kinda team game that DAL plays, and if they can out play the spurs, and are headed to beating OKC Id put my money on MEM. BUt from the start of the playoffs I already called that the only teams that can play comfortably is Dal and MIA so we will see because MEM surprised the hell out of me! anyways tho East is going to win it this year anyways whoever comes out of it. Way harder conference this year!!!!!!!!!

    • qUENTIN says:

      Agreed!!

    • Brian says:

      OKC has one of the better benches in the league. Harden can really pile up points when he’s hot. Maynor can surprise you with his skill set. Collison has done an admirable job guarding Randolph. You must not watch enough Thunder basketball if you can’t see how deep our roster is. Even analysts have pointed it out on a few occasions.

  80. EASTBEAST says:

    I disagree with “year of the upset” and “Rattlehead” and even with the article! I think the Mavs could easily rep the West, but I also think that OKC could take out the mavs, they are too good offensively, and Memphis, well they have proven they can run with the big dogs of the West as well. So, I think anything is possible in the West.

  81. EL PRESIDENTE says:

    YEAH they have a great chance but DALLAS just grown from a playoff choker team to a CONTENDER that beat the 3PEAT seeking lakers. That shows something. WEST is gonna be rough but EAST has always been the most gruesome conference of the Two.

  82. vinciTY says:

    Z-BO and MAYO is the MAN!!! Grizz sweep MAVS!!!

  83. LA Loser says:

    HAHAHA.. WERE are the LAL fans now?? you guys always say they have this 7 game mentality
    well for the MAVS they went home to get a broomstick…

    • LOSER says:

      how many championships do the MAVS have compared to lakers again? …oh

      • OKCKD35 says:

        Compare the past, thats all the laker fans can do, guess what lakers fans that makes the celtics better than the lakers! add up the titles, retard!

      • Bradley says:

        Well the Lakers are young and powerful, but thats not enough. They are beginning to get stupid with the ball. O AND IF THEY HAVE SO MANY CHAMPIONSHIPS WHY DID THE LOSE????

      • MavsForTheTitle says:

        Bradley, their not YOUNG! THEIR OLD! THEY NEED NEW PLAYERS! The only weapon LA has to defend their team is how many titles they hav.e If their so awesome how come their not number 1 in the Western Conference? Sheesh, why aren’t they number one in the LEAGUE?

    • al respect the game says:

      its alright, we’ll settle for the last two rings. u just hope ur team gets their ring now that we’re out of the way. if ur team hasnt lost already that is

    • Ryan says:

      Hey grzzfan – the Lakers beat the mavs in the regular season series as well 2-1 we know how much that helped them. All the games the grizs and mavs played were all close games but one. But you have to get past OKC first….

  84. Ken says:

    How can facing Dallas can be any easier if the team just trashed Lakers 4-0?

    • al respect the game says:

      because it was as much a lakers failing as it was a dallad victory. dallas won, true, but if the lost 2 games to portland, then it makes sense to conclude that something was wrong with the lakers. but just watch the next series and ull see what were talking about

    • Thunder Roars! says:

      If the Lakers had played as defending champions, that question would be relevant.

      Since the Lakers played like also-rans, it isn’t wise to draw too many conclusions based on that series.

      • D'Andrae says:

        The Lakers went into that series as defending champions and got 0 wins. Writing that series off would be foolish

    • Jadm14 says:

      That’s an easy one. The answer is: Better 3-point shooting Defense. Both the Grizz and OKC are great defending 3-point shooting teams and that’s the main thing that allowed Dallas sweep the Lakers. Also they both have big mans that can switch well defending Dirk (I’m not saying they’re going to stop him but at least slow him down a little). I’m a Lakers fan but i gotta say that if anyone can beat Dallas, that is Memphis and OKC.

      • Chrisco says:

        They have no one on the roster that can guard Dirk…..not even a little bit. They will end up putting Battier on him and he has never done well against Dirk.

      • MavsForTheTitle says:

        Chris, where’d you get that? Z-bo made a rainbow jumpber that beat Dallas. Kevin Durant had the best shooting average in the NBA up to March 23. I’m a Dallas fan, but I’m stating the fact. Los Angeles was overconfident, they were terrible on D, and absolutely sucked on the 3-pointers. Yes, LA actually tried in Dallas, and I’m one of them to think if Dallas can beat LA, they can go to the finals. But one minute at a time, one second at a time.

      • OKCKD35 says:

        Who does Dallas have that can guard KD or Westbrook? please dont say Chandler, Marion and Kidd. Chandler is a good defender but KD can spread the floor andrise up whenever we wants.

      • OKCKD35 says:

        Noone can guard Dirk either, him and Durant should cancel each other out for the most part.

    • KDEISEL says:

      THIS YEAR: boston swept the knicks. had a nice long break. then got promptly owned twos by miami. LAST YEAR: ORL EASILY swept i think it was ATL? whoever it was, ORL was lookin GREAT. they then got booted in the conference finals. if anyones knows anything about the playoffs, sweeping ONE team means very little towards the next team.

  85. grizzfan says:

    Well I gotta argue with you two. The Grizz beat the Mavs 3-1 during regular season. They will put up a fight if they get past the Thunder.

    So the “gonna be spanked” … not gonna happen!

    GO GRIZZLIES! I BELIEVE!

    • Cjmaverick77 says:

      They MIGHT put up a fight. Regular season and playoffs are TWO different things. Lakers beat the Mavs 2-1 in the season series and then Dallas came in and thrashed on the Lakers in the playoffs.

    • bs says:

      i agree. memphis is a team that cant be overlooked. their inside game is awesome and conley, tony allen, and even o.j. mayo can execute in the half court. if the bench plays well theyre a championship caliber team.

      • MavsForTheTitle says:

        True, you can’t overlook Memphis. But Charles Barkley said it himself. Dallas is hoping for OKC, not Memphis. I’m a Dallas fan, and I believe they’ll have an easier job in the conference finals against OKC than Memphis.

      • OKCKD35 says:

        That makes no sense, why would you want to play OKC rather than Memphis? Lets see the NBA scoring leader, an explosive point guard, and good big men that are in their 2nd year in the playoffs? Or a team that has good big men and no real outside threat that are in their first playoffs in forever. But thats ok, the Nuggets said they wanted the Thunder and they got their dose of them! Haha! Bring on the Mavs!

  86. Rattlehead says:

    Yeah so Dallas sweeps the defending champs an somehow that’s supose to mean that Memphis or OKC will go to the finals? Let’s be real here, whoever wins this series is gonna be spanked in the conference finals.

    • Tbone says:

      The Lakers fell apart and simply stopped caring. The conference finals will be more competitive.

    • OKCKD35 says:

      Dallas looked really good in the LA series, at the same time a lot of teams have looked good against L.A. once their 17-1 streak snapped. I would never under estimate dallas as they have a deep team of good shooters. however, i think both Memphis and OKC are big and strong enough to make it a competitive series, i would not look too much into the Lakers thing, if you saw that series you could see the team falling apart on the floor, not rotating on defense, Mamephis and OKC are much better than that on D. I am an OKC fan but i will be happy with any of the 3 teams left winning the West, its time for a change!

    • Rob says:

      Rattlehead – have you ever watched the NBA prior to this summer? Yeah? Good, so you know who Dallas are, right? A freaking time bomb. Once every year, for one series only, they implode. There’s a reason Dirk’s been on a 50 win team 11 times but only been in one Finals – and lost it.

      They’ve looked brilliant against LA, decent against Portland, so that’s 2/4 down… 75% chance they’ll spontaneously combust against Memphis in the conf finals.

      • KDEISEL says:

        haha @Rob. so true. they played exceptionally well v a tired and careless laker team. that doesnt prove against all the previous years of imploding. also see: regular season v OKC and MEM. DAL didnt exactly blow them out. this is not to rag on a very talented dallas team. however i do not agree with the asisine commenters posting that OKC and MEM suddenly have zero chance against DAL. since when were we so confident in DAL? Right, only after they beat LA.

    • Jackmouve says:

      Dallas didn’t beat the Lakers, the Lakers self-destructed, if you don’t think there is a difference, watch the rest of the playoffs.

    • OKCKD35 says:

      Hmmm so lets judge how a team matches up based upon a series against a different team, makes no sense. Matchups are what defines playoffs basketball. Yes dallas beat the lakers, they matched up against them wel las they were much faster, dribble penetration, kick to the outside and the Lakers could not cover the 3. OKC and Memphis are much better at this as they are young and fast. What i mean by this is all of the open 3’s in the LA series will be much more limited. both memphis and OKC could present unique matchup challenges for the MAVS, like Kidd trying to keep up with Westbrook, Or Ibaka trying to defend Dirk. Chandler trying to defend durant, Terry on Harden (just speaking on my team) i think when you compare matchup to matchup it will be an entirely different series! hope it is a good one, this years playoffs have been amazing!

  87. Year of the Upset says:

    Neither of these teams stand a chance against Dallas. 5 game series at most next round.

    • Marius says:

      defenitly agree, when i saw the heading for this i was confused about wat he was talking about
      how does a team that just completely and uterly destroys the 2 time chumps(not champs) give a once in a lifetime opp for thunder n grizz, neither of these teams stand a chance against dallas, 6 games or less to beat either

      • Think About it Please says:

        They will destroy them as long as they keep shooting well, but if they go cold we could be in for a long series

      • OKCKD35 says:

        Dalls won what 2 more gmes than OKC this year? i think looking past the Thunder or Grizzlies is a mistake, just look at the Spurs. just as i am an OKC fan looking past the Grizz or Mavs is also a mistake, they killed the lakers with speed, something they cannot do to either of the remaining teams, should be a good series!

    • AlreadyForgotTheAlamo says:

      Lot of people said the same thing about Memphis when they faced the Spurs. San Antonio was supposed to mop the floor with the upstart Grizz. People are giving Dallas all this credit for beating a self destructing Laker team, but already people seem to have forgotten that Memphis already took out the number one seed (for those whose memories are obviously verry short, San Antonio had a better record and seeding than the Lakers). Dallas may have beat LA but Memphis beat a team with a better record. And if anybody wants to point at San Antonio’s age, it might be good to look at LA’s age too (the main guys, Kobe, Fish, Artest and Gasol aren’t exactly the new kids on the block).

      Good series win for Dallas, but it’s only one series. They still have to win two more to get the ring, And as these playoffs have shown, records and seeding don’t matter. It looks like the article may have been counting Dallas out, but the reality is that all three teams now have a good chance to make it to the Finals. Games are played on the court, not on paper. Otherwise we would have just skipped to Chicago-San Antonio. Dallas is far from a lock to make the Finals. Dirk is good, but we all remember what happened during his MVP season. Then again, with such short memories, maybe we don’t all remember…

      • MavsForTheTitle says:

        Exactly why Dallas is hoping for OKC to win.

      • jOHN says:

        Look how old the spurs were. the mavs have better 3pt shooters and they’re young with shawn marion, tyson chandler(who’s a beast), and jj barea, who took thwe biggest hit when Bynum abruptly hit him. The mavs made 20 threes in Game 4, and Jason Terry was 9-10 from 3pt and peja stojakovic was 6-6 for 3pt. This shows that the Mavs are ready to beat anbody. The grizzlies-no experience whatsoever. The thunder- they have quickness, but they can’t even beat the grizzlies. WATCH THE MAVS GO TO THE FINALS AND BEAT THE HEAT IN 6 GAMES! YES, I SAID THE HEAT!

    • MackDaddy says:

      No way Spurs go down 2 – 4 by the hands of 8th seed Memphis in first round…. no way.

      No way Lakers get swept by Dallas in second round…. no way.

      Surprises are coming in bunches this year, so dont hold your breath waiting for Dallas to win it “for sure”.
      Certainly nice to have a fresh finals lineup though (even though league was probably hoping for a LA v Celtics final fight for ratings bonanza).

    • MavsForTheTitle says:

      Agreed…this is just odd…Mavs just utterly destroyed the two time champs in a 36 point win. Why are people saying now OKC and Memphis can beat them? As long as they keep their cool and play like they played LA, their sure to cruise to the Finals.

    • MFFL41 says:

      Just watched OKC and Memphis bang it out with the Dunderheads outlasting the Greasies in three overtimes of thououghly pedestrian basketball. These teams are evenly matched, but whichever one survives a punishing six or seven game slugfest will be in a world of hurt against a polished veteran Mavericks team of dominent big men and proven sharpshooters with a week’s rest.