As expected, the chasm of difference between the athleticism of the Mavs and Thunder was on full display last Saturday night in Oklahoma City. And it wasn’t pretty.
Bigger problem: It’s only going to get worse in Game 2.
Staggered by a whopping 38-point loss to the Thunder in Game 1, the Mavs will likely be without their top two point guards Monday as J.J. Barea (groin) and Deron Williams (hernia) struggle with injuries.
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The two tried to fight through their limitations in Game 1, but it wasn’t pretty attempting to keep up with OKC’s Russell Westbrook.
Barea missed two of the final three regular-season games with the injury, and re-tweaked the groin late in the first half of the Game 1 blowout. Williams missed eight games late in the season with the sports hernia, and was clearly limited Saturday with just two points on 1-of-9 shooting.
Even with a healthy Barea, Williams, David Lee (out with a torn plantar fascia) and Chandler Parsons (done for the season after knee surgery), the Mavs would be lucky to win a game in this series. But now? Just being competitive is a major hurdle for head coach Rick Carlisle and his limping, under-manned roster.
Despite the gritty Mavs’ impressive 7-1 push down the stretch to make the playoffs, this series presented them with a horrible matchup. The series was over before it started. And Game 1 was finished as soon as it tipped. Dallas fell behind 9-0 and managed a franchise playoff-low 70 points in a humiliating 38-point loss.
“We’ve just got to show some pride,” said Dirk Nowitzki, the only player to score in double-figures with 18 points. “We obviously got embarrassed tonight.”
The Mavs beat the Thunder in five games en route to their championship five years ago. These days that feels like 500 years ago.
Oklahoma City is bigger, faster, stronger, deeper and better than Dallas. Oh, and much healthier. Now without three of their top six players, this Mavs’ funeral might get even uglier before it’s over.
A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.