Mavs-Nuggets: Irrationally Optimistic Game 3 Preview
Before Game 1: Doubtless.
After Game 1: Defiant.
Before Game 2: Determined.
After Game 2: Depressed.
University of North Texas Mean Green Mens Basketball vs. Louisiana Tech Bulldogs Mens Basketball
TicketsThu., Feb. 23, 7:00pm
TicketsThu., Feb. 23, 7:30pm
TicketsFri., Feb. 24, 7:00pm
Monster Energy Outbreak Pres. The Cadillac Three: The Black Roses Tour
TicketsFri., Feb. 24, 7:00pm
Before Game 3: Desperate? Delusional? Dead?
Fine, then you tell me. For my prediction of Thuggets in 5 to remain in play, the Mavericks have to win a game at home either tomorrow afternoon or Monday night at American Airlines Center. It'll happen.
*In all-time Game 3s when trailing a series 0-2 the Mavs are 7-2. So, they got going for them. Which is nice.
*They also have a history of digging out of 0-2 playoff holes. Anyone remember the Houston Rockets series in 2005 (40-point win in Game 7) or the first-round upset of the Utah Jazz in 2001 (Calvin Booth)?
*The Mavs haven't lost three in a row in almost five months, since way back on January 11-14.
*The Mavs are 17-1 at home since February 18.
*The bad news: The Nuggets were involved in those last two bullet points, beating Dallas in Denver by two points on Jan. 13 and by two points at AAC on March 27.
*But in the loss in Dallas, the Mavs played without Jason Kidd and Josh Howard and lost only when Dirk Nowitzki missed an open 17-footer in the final seconds.
*The woman talking to Dirk during Game 3 will be ESPN sideline reporter Nancy Lieberman. Doris Burke will be the color analyst. Pretty sure ex-fiancee Cristal Taylor won't be in the building.
*Honestly, I'm much more troubled by Josh's ankles than Dirk's mindset. You?
*Just be glad this game's in Dallas. Had it been in Denver - where Dirk is already booed upon every touch - the taunting, trash-talking and creative signs would've been brutal.
*Jason Kidd just isn't this bad. In the series' two fourth quarters he has four assists, three turnovers, no points and zero impact. I'm not surprised by 0-2, but Kidd's vanishing act is shocking. He re-appears tomorrow. Or else.
*Since the game is on ESPN and not TNT, think Avery Johnson has the gonads to take a poke at Kidd? Me neither.
*Jason Terry is a minus-41 points in Games 1-2. He'll have his best game of the playoffs tomorrow. I'm predicting 25+ points and a couple of those trademark flying-arms celebrations.
*Not that he's a tattooed bad boy, but doesn't it seem like the closest thing the Mavs have to a Nugget is Gerald Green? A little pizzazz and a lot of athleticism would go a long way toward morphing this from a slaughter to a series. Worth a try.
*Bad matchups, bad injuries and bad distractions be damned, the Mavericks are too good to get swept.
*Of course, it would help if someone - anyone - would stand up to the Thuggets. Yes, Erick Dampier I'm looking at you.
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Dallas, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.