Shawn Marion wants everyone to tell him what a good job he did
The NBA playoffs are in full swing and one of the marquee matchups out of the West is the second seeded Oklahoma City Thunder against the seventh seeded defending champion Dallas Mavericks. Both of their games so far in the series have been back-and-forth slugfests, with the Thunder coming out on top each time to take a 2-0 series lead. Game 1 was particularly exciting as Thunder superstar Kevin Durant hit a game winning shot as time expired to push OKC to victory. The twitterverse exploded in response, cementing Durant’s status as a fan-favorite pick for one of the best players in basketball. Everyone was blown away by his effort to push his team to a win…well, almost everybody.
“Personally, he couldn’t even see the basket on his last shot,” Marion said following the Mavs’ morning shootaround. “If you go 10 for 30, what the hell? Y’all just remember that one shot. How many easy buckets did he get last game? Fast-break dunks? How many shots did he shoot with a contested hand in his face that he hit? That’s what you got to factor in. OK, yeah, he hit a game-winning shot. OK, I mean that was a tough-ass shot, lucky bounce.
“If he missed that then what, what are y’all saying, he needs to stop shooting, pass the ball? Everybody’s all saying these positive things. At the end of the day they got a win. Hey, it’s Game 2 tonight.”
Does anybody think Kevin Durant still needs to see the basket to know where it is? The man is a scoring machine, a three-time NBA scoring champ, and is always in a position to score, even if he had to play with a paper bag over his head.
Marion does deserve some credit, however, for playing Durant tough. He held the Thunder star to just 10-of-27 shooting on the night, including 1-of-6 from beyond the arc and 2-of-7 from the field in the fourth quarter before the game-winning pullup jumper. Marion also contributed on the offensive side of the court for the Mavs, scoring 17 points and leading the team with eight rebounds. But at the end of the day, it’s all about how you finish.
That’s where this frustration is flowing from. The Mavs held a seven point lead with 2:32 to play and couldn’t hold off the young, tough Thunder squad and watched Durant hit a game-winner for the second time this year. Back in December, Durant hit a 27-foot 3-pointer off of an inbounds pass to beat the Mavs, and Dallas was unable to close out two other games in crunch time against the Thunder this season. It’s a far cry from the tough play in the closing moments that got the Mavs their championship last season, and the frustration of coming up just short is starting to show for Marion.
So while Marion wants to talk about how good he did for 45 minutes, everyone else is going to be focused on Durant’s heroics in the final three. In Game 2, Marion again did a solid job against Durant, holding him to 5-of-17 shooting and the Mavs again held a lead in the final minute but couldn’t close it out, losing by three 102-99. But Shawn Marion doesn’t want to talk about that part. He just wants to talk about how good he did.