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Late game screen adds some bad blood to Dallas, Portland series

Apr 26, 2011, 2:09 PM EDT

Mavericks' Chandler gestures towards an official as Trail Blazers' Camby runs up court during their NBA Western Conference playoff game in Dallas

Now, just to add to the big comebacks and pressure shot in a fun series, we have some real bad blood between Dallas and Portland.

It stems from this play at the end of Dallas’ win to take a 3-2 series. With just 18 seconds left in a nine-point game, you usually see the defenders back off and the victorious team dribble out the clock. But Portland defenders kept pushing trying to force a turnover without fouling. Both teams were playing hard the full 48.

And with 15 seconds left Brian Cardinal set a hard screen that sent Blazers guard Patty Mills to the ground. And left him there for a few seconds.  Watch the video by following this link. Cardinal leans into Mills to free up J.J. Barea. He flattens Mills when the game was essentially over. After the buzzer sounded Wes Mathews. Marcus Camby and Andre Miller jawed at Cardinal, DeShawn Stevenson jumped in and both sides did some posturing.

Portland fans and players are pretty pissed off, reports the Oregonian.

Mills said the Blazers players felt it was a “cheap” play by the Mavericks.
“I didn’t see it, I didn’t know anyone was there, but I was wondering why Barea was pushing the ball hard up the court,” Mills said. “But I found out why. He set it up (with Cardinal). He set it up….

“At that point in the game, I don’t know … I don’t know if you do that when you are up that much,” Mills said.

My read of the play — Portland kept defending hard, Amon Johnson in particular, and if you’re going to keep playing like that then Dallas should keep playing hard. So a hard screen gets set. If you don’t want to play that way then back up and don’t pressure the ball. That was not the vibe, so Dallas responded.

If you really don’t like it, win so you can set the screens at the end if you want.

  1. chargerdillon - Apr 26, 2011 at 2:28 PM

    Neither of these teams have a chance to get past the second round. They’re playing a nice competitive series thats fun to watch if you like guys playing hard.

    Whether it went 4 games or 7 games, these 2 teams have no future past the next round

    • jjared1101 - Apr 26, 2011 at 2:47 PM

      With the way Portland plays LA, and the way LA is playing, I could very easily see Portland beating them in the second round. I think LA is a tough matchup for Dallas, but they could take out Oklahoma. It’s all about match-ups my friend.

    • pdbro - Apr 26, 2011 at 3:26 PM

      Wow, Chargerdillon. That was an incredibly insightful and objective comment. It also helped summarize Kurt’s post as well. I bet you have zero rooting interest in any team. Congrats.

      Anyway, welcome to the playoffs, Patty Mills and Blazers. Did you really think Dallas was going to let up for one minute after the debacle in Portland on Saturday? You come hard you should expect the other team to respond as such.

  2. jjared1101 - Apr 26, 2011 at 2:33 PM

    “At that point in the game, I don’t know … I don’t know if you do that when you are up that much,” Mills said.


    So…you can pressure and try to create a turnover, but when they combat that, it’s not cool to do that when up that much? Got it.

  3. drmonkeyarmy - Apr 26, 2011 at 3:10 PM

    I saw that screen as it was happening and maybe it was unnecessary. But you know what was more unnecessary? The Portland guards fouling the the hell out of the Dallas guards on the perimeter as the game was winding down. If Portland backs off then there is no reason for a hard screen.

  4. jstrizzle - Apr 26, 2011 at 4:06 PM

    How dare you Brian Cardinal. Playing basketball while we play basketball.

  5. lunasceiling - Apr 26, 2011 at 4:30 PM

    P-Town resident here (although a Suns fan…yeah, it was a grim year), but I have to say that this was one you just shut up and deal with. The ball was being brought up the floor quickly because the Blazers for some reason decided to pressure the dribbler in a game that was over. Setting a screen is one way to defeat that pressure…and a hard screen is part of playoff basketball. Don’t pressure the ball in the last possession of a lost game, and this doesn’t happen.

    If anyone’s to blame, it would have to be Nate McMillan. A lot of players are going to continue to play hard unless their coach tells them otherwise. Nothing wrong with that. So Nate should have told the Blazers to let Dallas run out the clock. Now, with what happened, my fear is that the officials will be looking to prevent game 6 from getting nasty, and may well call it closer than most fans would like to see in a playoff game. Hope that doesn’t happen…

  6. yankeesguy - Apr 26, 2011 at 4:45 PM

    Brian Cardinal’s got no game so he has to resort to cheap shots. Kind of reminds me of other aging players like: Dennis Rodman, Rick Mahorn and Bill Lambier. Though he doesn’t deserve to be mentioned with the likes of those players. At least they had game and knew how to win.

  7. drakost - Apr 26, 2011 at 5:03 PM

    “I didn’t see it, I didn’t know anyone was there, but I was wondering why Barea was pushing the ball hard up the court,”

    Tell you what, had I been leveled by a screen i didn’t see comming I’d be tearing my teamates a new one. Basketball more than any other sport requires constant communication. Even in high school games teamates ALWAYS called out screens and picks. Poor play really… and to be honest, if your pressuring you should expect a pick comming

  8. keninoregon - Apr 26, 2011 at 6:05 PM

    Come on Blazers. Play the game….quit being wussies. The game doesn’t last for 47 minutes, its 48. Start playing like you want to advance.

  9. scottm97031 - Apr 26, 2011 at 6:09 PM

    wow what an end to a disgusting game; the dallas referees really outdid themselves this time. Apparently, they think calling all of the fouls in the 3rd quarter will make people not realize how blatantly they are attempting to fix the outcome?

    3rd quarter, about 3 trips down w/ fouls on the blazers in a row. Roy brings the ball up the floor and Shawn Marion KNOCKS HIM OVER attempting to steal the ball, which is knocked away to a teammate who throws it down the floor for a Marion layup (that he goes to the foul-line for missing). And the refs have the balls to T-up coach McMillan; and what follows is about 10 STRAIGHT TRIPS of Portland being whistled for a foul.

    Granted, Portland played bad in the second half; and they were out-rebounded. But that didn’t start happening until the above travesty. This was the worst called game of the series to date, and it makes it obvious to Portland fans that there is NO WAY the NBA and the refs are going to allow Portland a fair game in Dallas; its disgusting to me and I am definitely not watching the playoffs next year if this kind of blatant crap is not addressed; yeah, you expect Dirk to get some calls; you expect Dallas to get some calls at home; but these are the PLAYOFFS; what on earth is going on? Portland is not the only smaller market team this is happening to either.

    Finally, regarding the cheap shot screen, I can’t believe all of the justification and excuses I am seeing. To equate playing hard right up until the buzzer (what Portland was doing) w/ two bench “slop time’ dallas players colluding together to set up an opponent to get hit w/ a blindside hard screen are NOT behaviors that should be even compared: Portland was playing hard; Dallas are a bunch of whiney little pricks who apparently had a chip on their shoulder after a game they had handed to them and should NOT have won. period

    • drakost - Apr 26, 2011 at 8:45 PM

      You kidding? Its called setting the tone for the next game. If you have a team pushing the ball up aggressivly (sp?), then you need to respond. As far as being a cheap shot… absolutly not. It’s called sending a message.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Apr 26, 2011 at 10:09 PM

      Players should not be blind sided by a screen because the screen should be called out by teammates. You are obviously biased and that’s cool….but seriously pressure the ball that late in a blowout, hard screens will be set. Furthermore, there was nothing wrong with the officiating. Officiating did not cause a twenty point deficit late in the game.

  10. lucasblack12 - Apr 27, 2011 at 8:20 AM

    scottm9701, How are you going to call dallas whiney and this and that and then come on to here crying about every little things saying the refs are helping the mavs, when you attack the rim like dirk did you are going to get calls, plain and simple. Quit being a sore loser and pinning the game on the refs. And the screen was completely legal, dont pressure the ball down 11 and it would have never happened. I dont know why everyone is crying over Patty Mills anyways, a bench player haha.

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