Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Season comes to a disappointing end

NEW ORLEANS – With the season and possibly more hanging in the balance, the Mavericks summoned the kind of effort needed to continue the fight. It still wasn’t enough.

Not much went right Tuesday night when the odds were already long enough. The final blow came in the form of a gut-wrenching 99-94 loss at New Orleans Arena, giving the second-seeded Hornets a 4-1 series win. The Mavs begin another long summer after a second consecutive first-round playoff exit.

“Our offseason has started,” Avery Johnson said after his fourth playoff run as coach. “We will evaluate everybody and every situation from the coaching staff and the players.

“[Team owner Mark Cuban] and I have great communication and we’ll sit down and talk about it, and see what we need to do to go from here.”

After being virtually uncompetitive during the three previous losses, including the first two games in New Orleans, the Mavs slugged it out with the Southwest Division champs for the full 48 minutes. Dirk Nowitzki should know. He was out there for all 48. The last seven minutes witnessed a furious rally from 17 down that made it a one possession game with 33.2 seconds left.

The Mavs got the stop they needed with the score 97-94, but Tyson Chandler tipped out Chris Paul’s miss back into Hornets’ hands. The Mavs were forced to foul and Peja Stojakovic nailed two free throws with 5.7 seconds remaining. The five-point deficit turned into a five-month break.

Nowitzki’s grit seeped into most of the team, which was trying to extend the series to Game 6 back at American Airlines Center on Thursday. Other than winning Game 3 in Dallas, the focus and tenacity had never been better. It was what Johnson, coaching in his hometown, hoped to see and the players hoped to show after running their own practice Monday.

“The effort was great,” Nowitzki said. “We just didn’t play well enough to win. In Game 4 when we lost at home, we needed that effort.”

Read the rest of the story at mavs.com.


Lizzy said...

Josh Howard quit on this team as soon as the Kidd trade happened. His whole team fought, but he didn't want the Mavericks to have a chance.

Lizzy said...

Art, can we have the postgame quotes? The Pistons-76ers presser was on when the Mavs one should have been.

I want to say how proud I am of this team's effort besides one player. They fought, and could have gotten over the hump, had someone not thought it better to be counterproductive rather than try to get a ring for the Mavs that left because of the Kidd trade.

Anonymous said...

I, as many others are disappointed in how this season played out. the team looked tired all season long. Josh and Dirk both seemed to have awkward hands and feet at critical stages of games and in the season. maybe not a coaching change but perhaps a GM change (get rid of Donnie Nelson) hire a free throw coach a sports psychologist to get the team past mental hurdles. missed open shots and getting offensive or defensive rebounds and missing free throws are guaranteed ways to have disappointing seasons. Mark in Arlington

Anonymous said...

Going to the hoop they were good but just didn't do it enough. They seemed mixed up. Whatever happened to the outlook program to recuit foreign players with talent, like Dirk? And what's with a non-scoring center? Change maybe good.