Dallas Mavericks Overcome Dumbest Ending to a First Half to Beat Lakers

The Dallas Mavericks were lucky to beat the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 1 of their playoff series Monday night, and not just because Shawn Marion was playing with a cut above his eye. The Mavs had one of the worst endings to a first half of basketball I’ve ever seen. Honestly, the fouls committed by Jason Terry and Dirk Nowitzki to end the half were two of the dumbest you’ll ever see.

Terry was trying to play aggressive defense on Lamar Odom who was getting ready for a half-court heave with less than a second left. He ended up fouling Odom and giving him three free throws. As if that wasn’t bad enough, Dirk got whistled for a technical after he threw an elbow at Ron Artest on Odom’s third free throw. I understand fighting for position, but let’s be real — there was less than a second left — what was going to happen?

The Dallas Mavericks literally gave away four points to the Lakers to end the half and ended up down 53-44 instead of 49-44. Luckily they won the game otherwise you could point to those four points as the biggest culprit. Honestly, the Mavs may want to open up a loan company if they keep giving away points for free like that. That was truly embarrassing and the team won’t be able to get away with those mental mistakes the rest of the series.

You can see a replay of both stupid fouls at the :50 mark in this video:

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Shawn Marion Cut Himself Walking into a Glass Door

Dallas Mavericks forward Shawn Marion was lucky he didn’t have the difficult assignment of guarding Kobe Bryant for all of Game 1 Monday night. From the sounds of things, he has much more simple tasks to worry about.

Marion was sporting a noticeable cut above his right eyelid that required a few stitches. Marion explained he hurt himself leaving the hotel Friday morning after Dallas closed out their first-round series against Portland.

“I got into a battle with a glass door and the glass door won,” Marion said. “Dead serious. It was an accident. I was in a rush trying to get on the bus and I slipped and I had my glasses on and I cut my eye.”

So he got cut because his glasses broke. Non-prescription fashion statement glasses.

Even though Marion loses points for wearing pointless glasses, he regained them by getting stitched up by a team doctor on the plane. That’s pretty hard, Shawn, but it still doesn’t keep you from joining this infamous list.

Fist pound to Sports by Brooks Live for the story

Photo Credit: Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images

Lakers Play Hangover Wolfpack Speech in Video Session as Motivation

They say the best coaches are the ones who can “reach” their players. You may have great information to impart, but what good is it if it falls upon deaf ears? With that in mind, the Lakers coaches decided to play a clip from The Hangover to end their video session Monday, Beto Duran reports.

Duran says the meeting’s message was “Wisdom of Wolves – Strength of Wolf in pack, and strength of pack in wolf.” Wisdom of Wolves is a motivational book that preaches teamwork, patience, unity, failure, attitude, communication, play, loyalty and change. To reinforce their message of teamwork and working like a wolfpack, the Lakers staff played this infamous rooftop speech made by Alan in The Hangover:

Pure genius, right? Why didn’t I have coaches like that! My only question is if Kobe, who enjoys comedies, got the same motivation from that movie as his alltime favorite.

Atlanta Hawks Leave Tickets for Jameer Nelson to Chicago Bulls Series

Back on April 10th, the Chicago Bulls beat the Orlando Magic 102-99. The game took place just before the regular season ended at a time when playoff seeds were already determined. After the loss, Magic point guard Jameer Nelson said to Derrick Rose “catch you in the second round.” Here’s that video:

Hearing Nelson say that was pretty stunning because he was guaranteeing both teams would win their first-round series. Chicago took care of business against Indiana, but the Magic lost to the Hawks in six games. Don’t think for a second that Hawks employees forgot about Nelson’s guarantee. They let him hear about it.

Hawks P.R. man Arthur Triche left tickets at will call for Nelson to attend Game 1 of the Hawks-Bulls series … as a spectator. Here’s a picture of the tickets Triche tweeted out courtesy of TNSP Sports Net:

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Erik Spoelstra Insists Miami Heat is a Physical Team

The Miami Heat beat the Boston Celtics in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series 99-90. Dwyane Wade carried the Heat with 38 points while James Jones added 25 on 5-for-7 three-point shooting. Paul Pierce was ejected after getting his second technical foul for getting physical with Dwyane Wade, and the game was described as “chippy” by Doc Rivers. Miami beating the physical Celtics was a surprise for some folks, and Heat coach Erik Spoelstra was asked about it. He offered a different perspective of his team.

“Both teams are physical, and this is the playoffs,” Spoelstra said. “At this point in the year you can’t be somebody you’re not. We are trying to play our game, the game of basketball, the habits that we’ve built for five months and do it better than them for four games. That’s it.”

“We’re not stepping out of who we are, we’re not trying to be more physical than who we are because it’s the playoffs, [or] because it’s Boston,” he continued. “We’re a physical basketball team and that’s probably been understated all year long. We’re one of the better rebounding teams in the league. We play a physical, aggressive style of defense, we’re not doing a lot different.”

That’s an extremely different assessment of the same Heat team people feel is soft because of Chris Bosh’s crying episode, and the word from Spoelstra that the team was crying after a March loss to the Bulls. If Miami manages to beat the Celtics, and moreover, win the NBA title, I fully expect all the criticism of them crying to change to it being an example of the Heat “having heart.” You heard it here first, from your neighborhood friendly blogging hero.

Paul Pierce Ejection Video – Referee Ed Malloy Going too Far?

Easily the most controversial call of the second round of the NBA Playoffs came in Game 1 of the Heat-Celtics series. Paul Pierce already had one technical foul when he set a screen on Dwyane Wade in the fourth quarter. They exchanged words, and Pierce may have said something to referee Ed Malloy who gave him his second technical. The second technical resulted in an automatic ejection that had Doc Rivers livid and all fans screaming about the call. Here’s a video of the Paul Pierce ejection for you to judge:

Jeff Van Gundy was going nuts as a commentator about the call, saying referee Ed Malloy had gone too far. Fans were screaming the same thing. That may be the case, but we can’t fairly judge the situation until we know what Pierce said to Malloy. The NBA instituted a rule before the season saying players were being watched more closely for overt reactions to calls and that their reactions could result in technicals. I’m guessing that’s the reason Pierce got his second technical that resulted in his ejection.

Under these guidelines, it’s quite possible that Pierce’s words (or actions) warranted a tech. Whether the rule should be in place is a debatable issue, but what isn’t questionable is receiving a technical for overt reactions to calls under these rules. Sadly this isn’t the first controversial call we’ve had during the playoffs.

Chest bump to Ben Golliver for the video

Lionel Hollins References Black Hole Kevin McHale Talking about Zach Randolph

The Memphis Grizzlies pulled off a stunner by beating the San Antonio Spurs in the first round of the NBA playoffs. It was only the fourth time in history that an eight seed knocked off a one, and only the second time since the first round expanded to a best of seven. The undeniable star for Memphis was Zach Randolph who scored 17 of his game-high 31 points in the fourth quarter Friday night.

Randolph has taken his game to a new level with Memphis and even become a player who shares the ball. Throughout his career he was known as a player who could put up big numbers but couldn’t win. He was also considered a selfish player who never passed. After the Game 6 win over San Antonio, Memphis coach Lionel Hollins addressed Randolph’s development.

“Zach has grown since he’s been here,” Hollins said. “I’ve known Zach since before he got here and I’ve always admired how hard he played. He’s gotten a bad rap for as everybody says ‘a blackhole’ but I don’t think anybody could be more of a black hole than Kevin McHale when he played. But he’s learned how to play with his teammates, he’s made some awesome passes, teams just can’t go and double him and think he won’t pass the ball.”

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