Raise your hand if you had the Dallas Mavericks coming away with a split after two games against the San Antonio Spurs.
Actually, let me rephrase that: Raise your hand if you had Dallas coming away with a split against San Antonio with Dirk Nowitzki shooting 33 percent after two games.
There’s no denying that the Mavs, before Wednesday, would’ve gotten out of San Antonio with a split had Dirk had one of his legendary playoff performances.
But through two games, no one can explain who this Dirk is. This Dirk is shooting a combined 11-of-33 from the floor, and has made a grand total of one 3-pointer.
Yet somehow, by whomever is keeping a watchful eye on this team, Dallas went into the AT&T Center and dominated the Spurs in a way that would shock even the most casual of fan. Yes, almost half of San Antonio’s 22 turnovers were unforced. And most will say that the Spurs lost that game more than the Mavs won it.
I disagree. Dallas went into that building and emphatically snapped the 10-game losing streak against the Spurs, and now have a chance to go up 2-1 in Dallas on Saturday.
If you’ve watched this series intently, Dallas should be up 2-0, but I digress.
Yet the Mavs have a chance to make a statement at home. We know the Spurs will come out guns blazing and won’t have another performance like Wednesday. Dallas will need to play its first complete, perfect game of this series in order to take an unthinkable 2-1 lead.
In order for that to happen, someone needs to bring back Holger Geschwinder from Germany and do his wacky voodoo. Dirk needs it, and he’ll need a legendary performance to give his Mavs a clear grasp of the momentum in this series.
If you’re the Mavs, of course you’re confident being tied 1-1 after the way Dirk has played. Devin Harris has been Dallas’ MVP, and it’s not even close. If not for the veteran, the Mavs probably wouldn’t be in this position. He’s been the reason why Dallas has, for all but seven minutes in Game 1, has dominated this series.
What’s shockingly noticeable in Dirk’s struggles, is Tiago Splitter has actually played decent defense against the Big German. You’d be hard-pressed to find any of Dirk’s 11 makes that have come with Splitter in his face. The Brazilian center for San Antonio has played extremely well against Dirk.
Dallas’ scoring balance has been on full display these first two games. That’s mainly the reason why the Mavs have dominated this series. But something’s got to give in Game 3. It’ll either be Dirk going beast mode, or guys like Kawhi Leonard or Danny Green to make their impact.
But the way this series has gone, if Dirk can score at least 25 and grab around eight rebounds, then Dallas will go into Monday’s Game 4 up 2-1. And if the Mavs can do that … no, it’s too early to think about that.
Dallas needs to get through Saturday first.
You can reach Danny Webster on Twitter @DannyWebster21.