Blog Entry

Nowitkzi might just shoot 40 FT's tonight

Posted on: May 19, 2011 8:25 pm
DALLAS -- After two days to contemplate the 48 points Dallas' Dirk Nowitzki laid on his team in Game 1, Thunder coach Scott Brooks has decided his team needs to get more physical with the Mavericks' star forward.

That's right. I said more physical. After his team surrendered 24 free throws to Nowitzki on Tuesday.

So what's the over/under on free throws tonight for Nowitzki?


Here's Brooks:

"We have to do a better job of forcing our toughness on [him]," Brooks said of Nowitzki, who he said "did a great job getting to spots, catching the ball where [he] wanted. ... We have to make sure we're very physical, play with more toughness, not let them have the ball where they want the ball."

Brooks said the sight of Nowitzki simply shooting the ball over his defender need to stop. No more jump-shooting for Nowitzki. No more step-back shots.

"That's the plan," Brooks said. "Make him put it on the floor. Make him go to his right. We're not going to throw anything he hasn't seen before, unless we throw four guys at him. You're picking your poison, but that's what you do -- pick your poison, and then you have to execute it with great precision. And sometimes even that doesn't work."

Thunder center Kendrick Perkins said he was leery of doubling Nowitzki, knowing the Mavericks are loaded with players who can shoot the 3-pointer: Jason Terry, Jose Juan Barea, Jason Kidd, Peja Stojakovic.

Thunder forward Kevin Durant said he was leery of the other side -- allowing Nowitzki to go one-on-one, hanging another half-a-hundred on the Thunder.

Brooks is the one who has to make a decision, and it sounds like he has decided: One player will force Nowitzki to dribble, and a second defender will provide help. If Nowitzki finds open teammates -- and if they're knocking down 3-pointers -- so be it.

I just broke down tonight's game for you.

You're welcome.

Category: NBA
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