The MVP and the Mavs – Playoff Pondering: May 5, 2011

The way Dirk Nowitzki's playing, nobody can beat Dallas
(image by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

CHI over ATL, 86-73, (Series tied at 1)
The newly minted MVP plays in high altitude
(image by the AP)
A few nights after his coach was named COTY and his team was gutted by the Atlanta Hawks, Derrick Rose won the MVP award, but I’m sure winning Game 2 and heading to Georgia with a tie felt much better.

The 22-year old MVP scored 25 points to lead the Bulls past Atlanta and level the series. Joakim Noah and Luol Deng backed him up, both finishing with double-doubles. Carlos Boozer heard some boos and was still not his real self, but he didn’t have to be as Chicago played just well enough to win.

The Hawks didn’t miss Kirk Hinrich (for the 2nd game in a row) as back-up Jeff Teague shot well, finishing with 21 points and 0 turnovers. Still, it wasn’t enough to get past the gritty 62-win Bulls.

Joe Johnson and Josh Smith played well, but noticeably underwhelming were Al Horford and Jamal Crawford, who finished with a combined 5-22 from the field. No way these Hawks are going to repeat their Game 1 upset if those two don’t get their act together.

Not against the COTY. Not against the MVP.

Atlanta still has the advantage here, due to Games 3 & 4 scheduled at Philips Arena, but one can feel that the Bulls may have already figured out the Hawks. And now that Rose has finally been crowned, he can focus all his attention on ballin’ out.

Joe Johnson was not as prolific as in Game 1
(image by the AP)
The Hawks can't wait to go back home
(image by the AP)
DAL over LAL, 93-81, (DAL up 2-0)
J-Kidd and the rest of the Mavs kept Kobe and the Lakers
at bay for the 2nd straight game
(image by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Who knew the Mavs had it in them?

The series ain’t over yet, oh no sir not yet, but who honestly thought Dallas could snare two games in LA?

Well, they just did, and how!
Kobe played well, but not nearly well enough
to derail Dallas
(image by the AP)

Behind the hot hands of Dirk Nowitzki, and a key 9-0 blast led by JJ Barea, Mark Cuban’s boys are on their way home with a commanding series lead.

But everyone knows a 2-0 lead isn’t safe, especially the Mavs. Remember 2006? NBA Finals? Yeah.

But one this is different. Dallas is going to play Games 3 and 4 at home, where they haven’t lost yet this postseason. Where they have a more than fair chance of eliminating, nay sweeping, these Lakers. BTW, Ron Artest has a more than fair chance of being suspended for Game 3 after giving Barea a clothesline.

I honestly think it won’t happen (a sweep I mean). Kobe and co. just have too much pride to let themselves get swept by a team with the exact same regular season record. But they’ll find it tough. They can probably swing one more game in LA, and then a Game 6 in Dallas, but, and mark my words here, if Dallas wins a third game in the next two, then LA’s 3-peat will not happen.

Don’t let me down now Dallas. Not now. Not when it seems you’ve finally gotten rid of your demons.

Not even LA's twin towers could stop the Dunking Deutschman
(image by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
The Matrix shot his way to 14 points
in aid of Nowitzki
(image by the AP)
Here's a clip of JJ Barea cutting the Lakers D to shreds:

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