April 08, 2011
Somebody gave George Karl the truth serum! Everybody run to your laptops! The Nuggets coach pointed out on Wednesday that his team would likely prefer to play the Dallas Mavericks in the first round of this month's playoff run, as opposed to the Oklahoma City Thunder, because the Mavs are old and slow, and the Thunder are young and fast.
All three of those things are true, and while Karl only went on record with the first part of it, it's still astonishing enough in a sports culture that sees players and coaches lie through their teeth time and time again when asked who they would prefer to play in a hypothetical matchup.
With the Mavs and Thunder duking it out for the fourth seed in the West, and the right to play Denver in the first round, Karl pointed out to ESPN 103.3 FM that "if we had to pick and choose on it, we would probably say 55 percent Dallas, 45 percent Oklahoma City, only because Oklahoma City is athletic like we are and they have two great players."
Go cry in your kasha, Dallas.
"They have two All-Stars who are really in their prime and have never won on the playoff stage. I just think right now our speed might have more effect against Dallas than it will against Oklahoma City."
Karl went on to give the Mavs yet another nice/nasty shot, with this aside:
"In a lot of ways, I think [Dallas'] strength is their weakness. Their strength is they have tremendous ability to score by making jump shots. They are the best jump-shooting team in the NBA by far. [Coach Rick] Carlisle is a very good offensive guy in getting good shots and tricking teams into open shots. They're very unselfish in finding the open man and getting open jump shots."
Your strength is that you stink. Deal with it, Dallas.
Karl's not wrong, and jokes aside, Rick Carlisle probably would agree with what the Nuggets coach is selling. The Nuggets have beaten the Mavs three out of four times this season, only winning once by one point. The only thing Carlisle would likely disagree with, if given the same truth serum, would be the idea that the Nuggets are only "55 percent" for Dallas. It's probably 100 percent, at this point. We're not dismissing Dallas, either. I think this team matches up as well as anyone as a conference finals or NBA Finals contender, but it might be stuck in the crosshairs if pitted against Denver.
Of course, you can't always get what you want, even under the influence of truth serum (that is a real thing, right?). The Mavs are currently a full game up on Oklahoma City with three games to play, so it's more than likely that Denver will face Dallas in the first round unless the Mavs continue to fade and the Thunder win out.
But until then, keep tellin' it, George.