DALLAS, TX- Lost in the noise of Vince Carter’s game winning shot, was Samuel Dalembert’s best playoff performance- ever. In his 11 year career Dalembert has 21 playoff appearances, but he never had more of an impact on a game than in Game 3 against the San Antonio Spurs.
In 25 minutes Dalembert posted 13 points, 10 rebounds, and 4 blocks including two key free throws down in the waning minutes of the game and a monster first half. With 8:42 left in the second quarter, Dalembert replaced Brandan Wright. The Mavs finished the quarter on a 25-14 run and went from a nine point deficit to a five point lead going into half. Dalembert had already posted nine points, nine rebounds and two blocks.
Despite missing three consecutive layups because of two of Tim Duncan’s blocks, Dalembert recorded three consecutive offensive rebounds against the Spurs’ defense and brought some energy back into the arena.
“I always say that when he’s active and rebounds, he’s hyping up the crowd, when he’s into the game, where a good team,” Dirk Nowitzki said.
Despite being in his dog house for most of the season, even Rick Carlisle had some praise for the center. “When his activity is like this, he’s rebounding it and he’s got a presence at the rim, it makes such a big difference for us. We need him to do that,” Carlisle said.
Currently, Dalembert is averaging 6.3 points, 8.3 rebounds, and a career playoff high 2.0 blocks per game this post season. The last time the Mavericks this kind of production from down low, Tyson Chandler was here. If the Mavericks are going to want maintain the series lead and move on to the next round, they will need the same effort from Dalembert every single night.