View Full Version : What if Avery Johnson had allowed the Clips to make the playoffs?

02-20-2016, 02:43 PM
This requires abit of a backstory, and Im pretty biased but here goes....

The year is 2007, Avery is fresh off being Coach of the Year, Dirk is finishing up an MVP winning season and both are on route to leading the Mavs to a franchise best 67 wins. This after tying their franchise record the year prior, they have the look of a team focused on avenging a Finals defeat.
As the regular season comes to close however, they find themselves in the unique position of choosing who they want to face in the first round. Mind you, they had already sealed HCA throughout the playoffs so there was little else on the line.

The Mavs final 5 games were VS Clips, @ Minny (lotto team), VS Jazz(playoff bound), VS Spurs (Rivals), @GS and @ SEA (Lotto team).

So 2 lottery bound teams, 2 playoff teams and 2 teams fighting for the Final seed in the LAC/GSW. Guess which ones Avery rested his team for? After going full bore against the Clips, Avery chose not to play anyone in the game vs the Warriors and that marked the moment the Clips knew they had no shot at catching GS. Not trying to take credit away from the Warriors or downplay the failures of LAC, Dallas could have won and the Clips might still miss out but as a fan, that was a hard game to stomach, especially after watching Dallas basically play to win every other game they wanted to.

I remember rumors that Avery desperately wanted to show up Don Nelson, and thats the reason he enhanced their chances at grabbing the 8th seed and the rest is history.

But WHAT IF the Clippers had made it? Personally, I think Dallas crushes them but what happens the rest of the way?

The Jazz likely lose in the Semis, Dallas vs SAS happens for like the 3rd time in a row I think. Who wins that matchup and does Dallas destroy Cleveland?

02-20-2016, 03:20 PM
I'll never forget that. My brother and I talk frequently about it. I remember thinking at the time that the Clips would've been a better matchup, and that Dallas had it backwards.

My, how I would've loved to be wrong on that one. Yes, Dallas would've beaten Cleveland, in about 5 games, and I think if you ran the Dallas/San Antonio series 100 times, it'd be 55/45 Dallas, so basically a coin flip.

02-20-2016, 05:41 PM
I think they get picked off by the Spurs

02-20-2016, 05:59 PM
I think they get picked off by the Spurs

I think they probably lose there as well.

I think they lost in the first round the following year and then fired Avery for Carlisle. I dunno if this loss would change much but maybe if they make WCF and then lose first round in only 08 it looks more fluky and they don't make that change? That would be the biggest impact imo if it somehow lead to not getting Carlisle.

02-21-2016, 11:23 AM
I'm guessing the Spurs still win.

Their three-point shooting was spot on that year. Manu, Bowen, Bonner, and Parker were all shooting over 38%, and Finley was shooting 36%, and Barry was dropping them at an astounding 44%. They also had Horry.

On top of that, they had a 30-year-old Duncan, in the prime of his career, posting 20/10, playing stellar D, and hitting FGs at a rate of nearly 55%, calling on double teams to stop him from shooting at 60% and opening things up for everybody else.

Not to mention that guys like Parker and Manu were in their prime, and Finley was still a very good player.

Now the Mavs had Dirk, Terry Howard and Stackhouse shooting the 3 well, but the problem is that their best scorer was a 3-point shooter, so he wasn't drawing defenders into the paint like Duncan was, so they didn't have the spacing. Also, they didn't have the depth of 3-point shooters the Spurs had.

My gut feeling is also that if the Warriors were able to beat the Mavs so soundly, then they really didn't have a chance against a team as good as the Spurs.

The Spurs record wasn't as impressive that year, but neither as Pop grinding his players out. Duncan led the team with 34 minutes. Nobody else played more than 32. However, when the playoffs rolled around, those guys were playing 37 minutes a game. Had they done that in the regular season, they likely would have come away with 65 wins themselves.

The Mavs on the other had, had three players averaging more minutes than Duncan in the regular season.

You play your best players more, you win more games. But the level of play is what you want to look at.

It would have been a good series, but I think Johnson would have been outcoached.

Ty Fast
02-21-2016, 09:34 PM
I think GS had beaten them like 3 out of 4 as well that season. I remember Barkley saying GS had no chance and he would kiss Kenny's *** if GS won lol.

02-22-2016, 02:45 PM
Try the Raptors in 2010 too. Cleveland, already with the Eastern conference title in hand, had games vs Toronto, Chicago, Indiana, Orlando, and Atlanta to end their season. They decided to send everybody out vs Toronto, then rest everyone vs the last 4 teams. They beat Toronto (also taking out Bosh for the rest of the season in the process), then lost the last four games, losing to the Bulls by a single point. Chicago went on to get the 8 seed by a single game over Toronto :laugh2:

I honestly don't have any issue with the best teams resting their players (as they have earned it from the start of the season), but I did absolutely love watching Cleveland choke in the 2nd round to Boston once the playoffs started :laugh2: