Monday, April 24, 2006

Dirk was huge and the Mavs take a 1-0 lead


Dirk is looking to end his poor playoff history, and last night he started with a bang. 31 points, 11 rebounds, and was clearly the leader of the team. He took control of the game when he needed to and refused to let Memphis back into the game. Last night he looked like the superstar that we hope him to be.

Mavs won 103-93 and took a 1-0 lead in the series against Memphis. The last two years the Mavs have lost their home playoff opener, so it's nice to get off to a better start this year.

Tim Cowlishw from the Dallas Morning News wrote this morning that Dirk "brought his playoff face" last night. Here's the intro to the column:

There was no playoff relapse for Dirk Nowitzki. That's why the Mavericks had a better opening playoff weekend at American Airlines Center than the Stars.

A year ago, Nowitzki failed to be the dominant player he had been in previous playoffs. Dominant? He wasn't even very good.

His 40 percent shooting was an all-time low. He failed to hit timely shots. In the opening round, Houston's Tracy McGrady was clearly the better player. Dallas survived in large part due to Jason Terry's big shots.

n the second round, Nowitzki's old pal Steve Nash was far superior, and that ended Dallas' playoff run.

This year, after leading Dallas to 60 wins and averaging 27 points and nine rebounds a game, Nowitzki is a strong Most Valuable Player candidate.

Fans chanted "MVP" in the first minute of the game Sunday, and Dirk responded with a huge night. He had 31 points, 11 rebounds and three assists as Dallas defeated the Memphis Grizzlies, 103-93.

The victory gave Dallas a 1-0 lead in the series and kept Memphis winless all time in the playoffs.

"Obviously, after last year's playoff run, I wanted to get in a rhythm really quick and feel good about myself," Nowitzki said. "Giving up two [wins to Houston] at home last year put us in a huge hole. We wanted to come out and be more aggressive."

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