Thursday, June 2, 2011
Peja Stojakovic liked his looks in Game 1
By Art Garcia
MIAMI -- Peja Stojakovic was shut out in Game 1, his first scoreless outing in nearly three months. The midseason pickup took just shots -- all 3-pointers -- during an unproductive 15-minute stint during the 92-84 loss to the Heat.
Stojakovic said he got good shots and his stroke was fine.
"It felt good," he said. "Hopefully tomorrow is going to be a better day for us and for me."
Stojakovic hasn't had a good day in a couple of weeks. His shooting struggles were somewhat masked during the Western Conference finals by the Mavericks beating Oklahoma City. Stojakovic averaged just 5.0 points on 31.3-percent shooting in the six-game series.
His does his most damage out the arc, but made just 5-of-21 3-pointers (23.8 percent) against the Thunder. That came after a series against the Lakers were he averaged 12.5 points, hit double figures three times and shot 52.4 percent from downtown in the four-game sweep of the Lakers.
Stojakovic last put up a goose egg March 3 in 13-minutes against Memphis. But he was only part of the problem off Rick Carlisle's bench in Game 1. The second unit scored postseason-low 17 points Tuesday night. Jason Terry, J.J. Barea, Brendan Haywood and Stojakovic shot 4 of 22 as a unit.
"We had pretty good looks," Stojakovic said. "We just didn't knock it down. They tried to run us off of the 3-point line. We just didn't make those looks."
Heat backup point guard Mario Chalmers said running at shooters and forcing them to put the ball on the floor was part of the plan to keep the Mavs bench in check.
"Just keep a body on them," Chalmers said. "J.J. is tough when he gets in the paint. He creates things for everybody else. We want to keep Terry from getting open looks, and especially Stojakovic, who's one of the best shooters in the game. We want to run them off the 3 and keep a body on them at all times."