Everybody knows Dirk Nowitzki was a beast in Game 6. He had
33 points, 11 rebounds and even had a key block on Nicolas Batum early in the
fourth quarter to slow down the Blazers’ run.
But there were a ton of other key moments and key contributors
in the series clinching victory.
Most notably, it was Tyson Chandler and Brendan Haywood, who
combined to do an effective job defending LaMarcus Aldridge. The Mavericks made
the decision going into the series that the centers were going to have to guard
Aldridge mostly one on one so that other Mavericks could stay with the
Blazers’ shooters. It was a strategy that was well-thought-out and that
the centers executed.
Yes, Aldridge had some big games. But he did not take over
games, which is what the Mavericks wanted to make sure didn’t happen.
Meanwhile, the Mavericks also got a key 3-pointer from J.J.
Barea, his first one of the series. And they had Jason Kidd again making sure
that the train stayed on the tracks even when things weren’t going well.
Jason Terry poured in 22 points to lead a big bench effort,
but people may forget about his eight assists, many of them on nice, slip
passes in the paint that set up easy dunks or layups for big men.
Mostly, the whole collection of Mavericks kept their focus
in a tough environment.
“If you look at this team, they’re as tough to
beat here as any team in the league,’’ Nowitzki said of the
Blazers’ ability to be a hard out on their home floor. “This is
about as good a test as you can see on the road. This is a big win for us and
it’s definitely big for our confidence to win a road game in the