1)Avery Johnson shot himself in the foot by trying to play to our style with his small lineup, which the Mavericks are ill suited to do as it puts an awkward strain on Dirk Nowitzki's game.
2)Uncharacteristically good defense by the Warriors.
Number 1 I don't expect to really happen again. I think Avery saw the disaster his game plan was in Game 1, but I find number 2 to be very, very interesting.
Here's the deal. The Warriors are notoriously bad defenders. But after seeing how they tried in Game 1, it looks, to me, like something they can repeat. They've always had the athleticism, and the speed, and the strength. They've just never put in effort. Baron Davis and Jason Richardson in most games are laughable on the non-offensive end of the floor. But they started hustling and moving around and all of a sudden turned into pretty solid defenders against Dallas. Ditto pretty much, well, everyone. Mickael Pietrus, the laziest player I've ever seen, looked inspired. He was a tenacious defender of Nowitzki. Harrington and Jackson muscled up on him too. This is what we need more of. It was a pleasure to finally see something like that out of this team.
So what I'm saying is that I think this team has the defensive talent, but a crippling lack of desire and effort, most, practically all, of the time. Can they keep up the effort defensively they showed in Game 1? I don't know. And if Avery Johnson lets the Mavericks play the ball that won them 67 games during the regular season, will it even matter? That, too, I don't know. But it does mean we're no typical eight seed (which I've always believed.) By no means are we better than the Mavericks, but we do have a very legitimate shot to win I think. Though, of course, Don Nelson doesn't think so:
"We were just lucky that first game. They didn't shoot very well, and we didn't either actually. But for whatever reason, we played a little bit better than they did," he said. "I think they'll do just fine the second game. They'll be dominant as they should be and they'll mop us up.
"We have a better chance to get hit by lightning than to win tomorrow night."
Gotta love Don.
Anyway, what I wanted to type next was, "And make no mistake, if the Warriors win this, it'll be the biggest franchise win of the last 10 years." Which, of course, it would, but, like, that's pretty much been the case for the last 4 or 5 wins, so I'll spare you readers that. Except not, sorta, as I already typed it. My bad.