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Chuck Cooperstein | Dallas Mavericks Radio PxP Voice

Amy Lawrence Show / Amy Lawrence
The Truth Network Radio
June 13, 2024 5:45 am

Chuck Cooperstein | Dallas Mavericks Radio PxP Voice

Amy Lawrence Show / Amy Lawrence

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June 13, 2024 5:45 am

Mavericks radio PxP voice Chuck Cooperstein joins the show to recap Game 3.


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See site for details. We're going to jump right into our conversation with Chuck Cooperstein because he's already called a game tonight. So we're glad to have him join us here from Dallas.

Longtime voice of their radio network. Yeah, Chuck, thinking about the ebbs and flows of the finals to this point, taking the 3-0 out of it, there have been some great stretches where it looked like the Mavericks might have an advantage. How close are these two teams if we're not looking at the three wins? There's one significant difference, and that's in the three-point volume of Boston that, you know, they're shooting what they shot 46 in Game 3. They shot 39 in Game 2, and they shot 42 in Game 1.

And the Mavericks, who were actually second in the league in three-point attempts during the regular season at 39 a game, but saw their numbers drop down once they made the trades. They're averaging 26 threes in these three games. And so like tonight in Game 3, Boston was a plus 24 on three-point shots in a seven-point game.

I mean, that's the difference in the game. Boston is generating all types of shots from deep. They're playing the math game. They're playing the game that, you know, the modern analytics people, you know, say is the way you have to play in order to win. And for a lot of old school people who watch Boston throw up a bunch of threes and a lot of time go through a stretch where they're not making threes, and they just hate watching that game, but ultimately the game worked because the free throw shooting was about the same. The overall field goal percentage was about the same, but the three-point percentage, even though it was basically the same, the Celtics were 37%, the Mavericks were 36, just the pure volume of shots has been the biggest difference in the series. The Mavericks were able to go on a 22-2 run and cut the Celtics deficit. Looked like they were about to run away with Game 3, and the Mavericks really quick are able to take advantage of some missed shots, and they're aggressive, and it looked like their defense was much more intense.

What's the key for them to be able to put a game together like that? I think Boston kind of helped because, and Boston is wont to do this from time to time, where they'll just get a little stagnant and it becomes a lot of isoball, especially with Tatum, Brown to a lesser degree, but they didn't always get great shots, but the Mavericks did play better defensively, and I think they started to figure out a few things. And they have had, as you mentioned, those stretches in each game where they've been pretty good, where it looks like they've figured it out until they don't figure it out. Fortunately for them tonight, that happened late in the fourth quarter when really the key of the game, the Mavericks, as you mentioned on that 22-2 run, Boston doesn't score for almost four minutes, but the Mavericks couldn't hit enough shots, in fact couldn't hit any shots, save for that one Kyrie basket with about three and a half minutes to go, where they really had Boston on their heels, but they couldn't make the shots, couldn't get in front, couldn't make the Celtics think about it, and then Brown hit his shot off of an offensive rebound, Tatum kind of lost the ball, got it back, put it in, and Derek White, as he always seems to do, hit a killer three. Not to mention Luka Doncic fouls out. It's one of those judgments that could go either way, but not having him on the court final four minutes just changes everything.

Absolutely, and that has been another huge part of this series. When Luka leaves the floor, the numbers are not good. He's not played in basically like 25 minutes in the series, and I want to say the Mavericks are like minus 22 in the 25 minutes that he hasn't played. That's hard to overcome, and it puts a tremendous amount of pressure on him, and clearly the Celtics know that, and they're putting tremendous pressure on him, whether it's Brown or it's Tatum, you know, they're trying to get him into defensive actions and trying to wear him out, and for the most part, I think they have succeeded in that. In this game three, Derek Lively has the double-double off the bench. They did get double figures from P.J.

Washington. Kyrie finally has a breakout game where he's hitting the shots. This was enough in the other series in the West. What else do they need if they're going to take a game from Boston? They're going to have to find a way to generate some three-pointers.

I mean, I hate to go back to that, but really this is the difference in the series. I mean, look, the Mavericks shot a better percentage tonight than the Celtics overall. Their free-throw shooting was not a factor tonight.

I mean, in a bad way. They were 14 of 16 from the line. The free-throws were basically even. The Mavericks out-rebounded them.

The Mavericks took care of the basketball, which they didn't do in Game 2. It really is a matter of them being able to generate some threes, three-point attempts, and making them, and Boston, and being able to hold Boston down. I mean, 46 threes is a ton.

If you can keep them to 35 or 35 to 38 or something like that, well, you've got a better chance. The thing with the Celtics is that not only do they generate all those attempts, but all those guys can shoot it. It's not like they ever have a guy with a ball in his hands that you're looking at and say, I don't want you to shoot that. Everybody on that team can shoot it, and they're probably the only team that can say that.

So, really, they're the only team that can play this way. If nothing else, it gives the Mavericks and it gives everybody else around the NBA, when you start getting past this series and into the offseason and preparing for next year, how do we get shooting? Shooting right now is the most valuable commodity that you can find.

Frankly, when it comes to the draft, what's the thing that you always hear? We're worried about the guy shooting. Maybe he'll develop into a shooter.

Well, that's not really what anybody wants to hear right now. They want to say, can you shoot? And if you can shoot, you're going to get paid.

So I really think that that ultimately is the biggest part of this series. P.J. knocked down a couple of threes in the fourth quarter. Well, one in the fourth, one in the third, that was encouraging. Luka was one of seven from three tonight.

He's obviously got to be better than that. Kyrie hadn't made a three before tonight. Had missed his first one.

He was 0 for 9 before he hit four of his last five. So it really does come down to that, being able to run your offense to where you can generate the three-point attempts, and then you've got to be able to make them when they're there. The Mavericks just haven't done well enough in that area. That's the biggest difference in the series.

Same number of made buckets in this game, but the Celtics had eight more from beyond the arc. Chuck Cooperstein is the longtime play-by-play voice of the Mavericks radio network. We're so excited to have him back here on the show following Game 3.

It's After Hours with Amy Lawrence. Where do you think experience factors into a series like this one? I think it certainly helps that the Celtics were there two years ago. They were up in that series two years ago, and it took something Herculean from Steph Curry to change that series and ultimately put it in Golden State's favor. But I think that it helps certainly in the case of a guy like Tatum, whose shooting has not been great in the playoffs, but he has learned how to help his team even when he's not shooting well. Whether it's his rebound or his passing, he's been really good that way. And I think Jaylen Brown learned from his experience last year, the bad Game 7 against Miami in the Eastern Conference Finals. People wondering, why do we want to pay this guy $300 million? Well, you're watching right now why you want to pay the guy $300 million, because he's great. He's great at both ends.

He's just become a really complete player. And when you have all of these experiences of playing under pressure, and even if the Celtics have only lost two games here in the postseason, I think they've now been through enough close games, certainly scares with the Mavericks and games against Indiana that they absolutely could have lost in the Eastern Conference Finals to suggest that everything that happened to them really in the last couple of years when they've been an excellent team and have turned into this juggernaut this year, they've learned from all of that. And there's nothing that fazes them. To the point where even when they get hit with a 22-2 run, they didn't give up the lead. They didn't let go of the rope. And they wound up winning the game as a result.

Credit to them and credit to their coaching staff for getting them in the right places to make the right plays and go ahead and win games. Exactly 13 years ago tonight, it was Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Kidd and the Dallas Mavericks. Oh, and yes, Chuck Cooperstein, who was there calling the game when they captured the NBA title at the expense of the Heat, what do you remember about that night, Chuck? Everything.

Everything about it. They got off to a really good start, got up like 14 in the first half. Miami put a big run on them at the end of the half. Dirk was terrible in the first half.

He was like one for ten, couldn't make anything. But Jason Terry was the one ultimately that he kept them afloat, and he was actually the leading scorer for the Mavericks in Game 6. In 27, you know, Dirk got busy in the second half and made a few – made some shots.

And Miami never really made a serious push at them. And, you know, it was just incredible to watch them grind down that so-called super team to win in six. And then, you know, Dirk jumping over the table and going into the locker room and not wanting to come out, but basically being told by the NBA, you have to come out because you're the most valuable player. We got to give you a trophy. You know, he was just so overcome with emotion. Everything about just the joy of a lot of players that had been very accomplished in their careers, but were missing that one thing.

And they were able to achieve that. And they will always have that brotherhood as a result of that. We see Dirk Nowitzki courtside at big games. He's got a big smile on his face. He's still around. And obviously casts a very large shadow with the Mavericks. Is it possible to even describe his impact or what he means to this organization? He is the most beloved player in franchise history. And I think he will always be the most beloved player in franchise history. You know, Luka Doncic, I believe, will be the greatest player that this franchise has ever had. Dirk has pretty much said that as well. You know, with all the things that Luka has done in his first six years in the NBA, you know, he's exceeded so many of the things that Dirk was able to do in 21 years.

Luka is a remarkable player. But, you know, Dirk, not just for his playing, but for his off-the-court philanthropy. And just, you know, when he had the chance to leave, he didn't leave. And he spent 21 years with one franchise.

Now, it's not something that you see very often, if at all, in sports today, let alone in the NBA. And he's always been revered for that. And I think he always will be revered for that. And the fact that he has that championship, I'm sure, for a lot of fans, you know, just cements his place in Dallas.

I don't know that he necessarily needed it, but it certainly didn't hurt. Luka, it blows me away that he's still only in his mid-20s. And he's been a pro for more than a decade, if you go back to his days at home. How have you seen him grow in terms of being a leader? And as you point out, developing into the greatest player that the Mavericks franchise has ever had?

I think he's done a lot of growing up. His relationship with Jason Kidd, Jason Kidd understanding, you know, what a point guard and a great point guard goes through. I think Kyrie has really helped him as well. I think Kyrie has really helped center him in many ways. You know, if things were really close to going off the rails, which I don't think they ever were this year, but Kyrie was always there, they have a really good relationship. And Jason Kidd has a great relationship with both of those players, which I think is first and foremost the requirement of a modern-day NBA head coach, because if you don't have your superstars in your corner, you might as well just go find another job.

It's just not going to work. But, you know, he's engaged. He has a baby, and I think that has helped center him as well. He's become more committed to his fitness.

You know, he has a whole team around him of, you know, physiologists and a cook and, you know, trainers and things like that that are always there. You know, these are the things that Dirk, you know, pretty well learned in his mid-20s and then carrying on through his career. I mean, yeah, he's been a pro, and he's been a pro for a long time, and he's been very successful, but, you know, I think there were certain things that he knew he had to get better at.

And I think, you know, this season has shown that. He put together a season that we've never seen in the NBA. And frankly, I mean, he's put together a playoff run that we've never seen. I mean, nobody has averaged as many points and rebounds and assists, you know, as he has, you know, in a playoff run.

So it's really impressive what he's done. And look, if the Mavericks don't win this series, and it looks like they're not going to win it, you know, I think he will use the fuel the way so many great players do when they do fall short. The only question in my mind that Luca is going to win a championship at some point. And he might win more than one, even with the West being as difficult as it is.

And it looks like it's going to be for the foreseeable future. He's a great player. He's done nothing but win his entire life, even though he's likely not to raise a trophy here in 2024, that that's really going to keep him from at some point doing exactly that. Chuck Cooperstein is with us from Dallas after calling Game 3 of the NBA Finals. Before I let you go, Chuck, the NBA lost Jerry West. From your perspective, what does he mean to the league? Everything.

I mean, really, everything. I mean, a 14-time All-Star. You know, some will hold it against them that he only won one championship.

But, you know, he was victimized by the greatest dynasty in basketball history in the Boston Celtics. And he was phenomenal in those series. I mean, just even think back to, you know, 69 and their loss to the Celtics in Game 7, and he had a 42-point triple-double. One of only four 30-point triple-doubles in a losing cause in NBA history.

And he did that in Game 7. I mean, he was a great shooter. He was a great defender. He was a great leader of their team. And he then had a second life as arguably the greatest team builder that the sport has ever seen as the general manager of the Lakers. You know, he was a coach even before then, and he was an excellent coach, and he just couldn't take it. He was so competitive, it just drove him absolutely insane. And even as a general manager, I mean, he had a really typical time watching games.

It just, you know, his stomach couldn't take it. But he understood talent. He knew what an NBA player looked like and should look like. And he built his teams accordingly.

He was a depth trader. I mean, clearly, you know, the deal for Kobe Bryant is something that would be remembered, how they were able to lure Shaq in free agency away from Orlando. You know, he was a terrific drafter. You look what he did in Memphis afterward after he left the Lakers, and he built up the – he and Hubie Brown and Mike Fratello, you know, built the Grizzlies into a really, really good team in the mid-aughts. You know, he went on to, you know, Golden State and the Clippers. And while he wasn't, you know, the man in charge, he was, I don't want to say necessarily the power behind the throne, but he was the wizard, right? I mean, he was the Yoda. He was the guy that, you know, you could go to for, if you were Bob Myers and get Golden State, you know, for advice, what do you think?

And he would be very unvarnished in how he did it. And I think it was just awesome how he could understand, you know, the game as he played it in the 70s, as he helped build it in the 80s, and then as the game has evolved, you know, through the years. I mean, he was sharp as a tack. I mean, he knew everything about everyone and every team. I mean, he was the ultimate NBA man, and he will just be extraordinarily missed. You know, it's just too bad, I think, that there's a whole, you know, maybe even two generations of people that are listening to us tonight who watch things on Wednesday and who will watch things over the next couple of days who never saw Jerry West play, who don't understand why he is the logo and why that never changed all these years because there isn't anything that Jerry West didn't do and that he didn't do at an extraordinarily high level.

Sixty years he was involved with the NBA, and as you point out, a champion and a nearly perennial All-Star. All right, you can find Chuck Cooperstein on Twitter at Coop Mavs. Long time, Mavericks radio play-by-play voice.

You can hear those pipes. It's always good to have you on the show, Chuck. Thank you so much for a few minutes. Thanks for having me, Amy. Appreciate it.

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Whisper: medium.en / 2024-06-13 07:18:43 / 2024-06-13 07:27:46 / 9

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