How can the Mavericks get back into the NBA Finals? | Good Word with Goodwill

Yahoo Sports senior NBA reporter Vincent Goodwill and senior NBA writer Dan Devine discuss how the Mavericks can climb back into the NBA Finals after going down 2-0 as the series shifts to Dallas. Hear the full conversation on “Good Word with Goodwill” - part of the “Ball Don’t Lie” podcast - and subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you listen.

Video Transcript

If you go up 20 in the NBA finals, 86% of the time you're going to win the series.

We've seen it go in the other direction.

Most notably in 2016, the Cavs come back from down 20 down 31 to beat the Warriors game seven.

All that type of stuff, right?

Kyrie Irving brought up that tonight with Dan Devine.

He said I did not play well in the first two games of that series and I turned it around and I didn't remember Kyrie having a bad game one and two against Golden State in that series.

I looked it up.

He was like seven or 22 in, in one of those games.

I was like, oh, ok. And then he had like the, the master opus, you know, the, the 40 point balls against Klay Thompson and you know, bus and steps and everything was all right, cool.

Can they depend on that or is there another route?

Is there another, maybe we can get downhill and, and break off Derek lively and Gafford and start finishing over the top of the defense again or is that route completely closed?

I don't think it's completely closed because I think we, we saw Eno or at least enough success at that.

It requires like Luca being a battering ram for a quarter and a half.


And that was effective.

It did open up the playmaking game.

The question for kid though is like, how do we manipulate the pieces so that if we're able to get Luca pound, pound, pound downhill enough to force Boston to bring more help.

So that when those passes go out, it's like instead of it being a kick back to Josh Green, it's a kick back to Kyrie Irving, right?

Like how do we move the pieces around enough to where you get or if you're moving, uh, you're able to, to get Luca with that space, it's to create a corner shot for those guys, like a more comfortable in their game shot for those guys.

And I think, you know, kid had mentioned that after the game, like, that's the kind of, that's where we need to go.

And then also the other part, like, don't turn the ball over, right?

Like, uh, the, it, it doesn't look like it doesn't pop off the screen like 15 turnovers.

It's not a, it's not a G number.

It's a, but it's that, I think it's when they happen, they're timely.

Absolutely, they're timely.

And then also it's, it's the, the nature of them.

It's not like, you know, we throw the ball into the 15th row, 10 of those 15 were live ball turnovers.

Boston had 10 steals in this game and they scored, I look this up cleaning the 2.17 points per possession after a steal.

So basically every steal guaranteed bucket and sometimes you were getting the hook on the three point shot.

So like those are absolute killers, especially when your offense is not functioning at the level you want to, you can't afford to give them, you know, you finally got them in jail a little bit off.

Uh on defense, you're or you're slowing them down.

You can't give them the easy life.

You can't let them, you know, it's the, the, the pick sixes from Jalen Brown in game one, you can't let them just get downhill and be dunking the ball that way.

So there's, there's room to clean up, there's room to clean up the ball possession that obviously Dallas has been a fantastic turnover avoiding team all season.

That's part and parcel of the way that Kyrie and Luca can dominate the ball and you know how comfortable you feel with them generating something good.

So there's clean up that Kyrie Irving cannot play, cannot finish, cannot shoot the way that Kyrie Irving has played in these first two games.

Jason Kidd often talks about with Luca.

You got to participate on defense, right?

You gotta be an active participant.

They got to participate in their own salvation on offense.

Can't have stupid possessions, can't have empty possessions, can't throw the ball over the place.

And when you get those rare clean looks against the Celtics defense, you got cash out.

You cannot squander those opportunities because you're just not gonna get that many of them.