Dirk Nowitzki has perfected the one-leg fade away shot that now several All-Star players are trying to duplicate, such as Kobe Bryant and Kevin Durant. Kobe said Dirk’s might be better, but it’s ugly and his is sexier and Durant gave homage to Dirk in trying to copy his signature shot; but no matter what, Dirk is the Uber German with the infamous shot that is always a thing of beauty and he demonstrated how good it is tonight and as a lot of people will attest to, his shot is practically unguardable.
Dirk scored 19 of his 33 points in the first half, again getting off to a good start and in just the first quarter alone, he hit 5 of his 5 shots and the Mavericks ended the quarter shooting 62.5%.
Denver drew first blood on their first shot and actually got a 4 point lead when Dallas said, “don’t think so” and they took over. It was a back and forth game for some time, but Dallas had extended their lead before the Nuggets started on a comeback and made the first quarter a 4 point difference with Dallas leading 33-29 and then ended the half with a 63-56 lead.
Dallas then in the third went on a frenzy and let everyone know they were not done yet and scored 29 points to gain a 14 point advantage with a 92-78 lead on the scoreboard. Dallas finished the fourth quarter strong and gave the Mavericks a 112-95 win.
This was Dallas’ night to shine well, but Dirk was the light bulb that made it happen. Denver was sending everything but the kitchen sink at him to do not just single coverage, but double coverage and at some points he had three defenders on him and that’s when he pulled the old switcheroo and passed the ball to the open man for the shot.
Dirk ended the night with 33 points, 11 rebounds and 6 assists. The Mavericks as a whole was an unselfish team as they tallied 33 assists for the night and at one point they had 12 assists on 16 shots. They moved the ball well and if someone was open and had a better shot, they passed the ball to complete the play.
Dallas was again without Brendan Haywood and Shawn Marion, which Haywood is supposed to be out 4-5 games, but Marion is on a day-to-day basis and he stayed back in Dallas to receive treatment on it. Hopefully the Mavs will get him back soon because it’s always good to have another defender of his caliber, but can also fight in the paint for points and rebounds.
Brandon Wright and Ian Mahinmi filled up the center position in Haywood’s absence and they played the tandem well with finishing the night with 15 and 11 points respectively,which for Wright was a season high and providing the athleticism of blocking that Dallas needed in the middle. Roddy B added 14 points in his 36 minutes of play and again was everywhere on the court on both ends and slicing and dicing through the defense as he needed.
Vince Carter proved he still has some good moves left with adding 14 points, JET had 10 and Jason Kidd added 7 points and had 10 assists for the night.
Aaron Afflalo led the Nuggets with 24 points and the newly resigned Wilson Chandler had 13 points in his debut back from the China league. Al Harrington added 12 points and Ty Lawson had 11.
The Nuggets tried to battle from the beginning and suffered 2 key injuries; one to Andre Miller who had done a pump fake to draw a foul on Mahinmi, ended up hurting his right shoulder during the process and had to leave the game. Also, Danilo Gallinari had gone up for a block and hit the backboard and broke a bone in his thumb and even though he tried to play through it, was unable to do so and had to leave as well.
Carlisle was very impressed with the game, so much so as he stated it was the most impressive game he had seen this season; the number of assists and the way they played the game, never panicking even when the Nuggets made their comeback to get within 1 point of the score.
It was a very impressive game and the Mavericks proved that they still have something left in them to show that they are the Champions and they rightfully deserve the respect other Champions have been shown in the past, but Dallas has yet to get. Most of it is because I really feel that they lost that competitive edge once they won the title and their drive was there, but not like it had been before they won the title.
Even Dirk had admitted that to not only himself, but to the team, that’s why he had to take the week off earlier in the season as he was not where he needed to be for himself or his team, they are now getting back in the flow of things and slowly but surely will inch their way back up the ladder.
With this win, Dallas is still in the 6th seed in the Western Conference, but they now hold the tie-breaker with Denver and this gives them the momentum to build on, because their next opponent is the LA Lakers at home on Wednesday night and right now Dallas is one game back of the Lakers; but with a win, that gives them more confidence and gets them even closer to the next spot up on the ladder of playoff spots.
Even though both teams were running extremely hot on their shots in the first quarter, Dallas finished the night shooting 53.6% from the field to Denver’s 43.4%. Dallas also won the battle of the three’s with shooting 40% to Denver’s 28.6% and connected on 80% of their free throw attempts to Denver’s 85%.
Dallas won the rebound battle 45 to 35, but Denver had only 13 turnovers to Dallas’ 14. Denver, who is also very good at scoring in the paint, sometimes averaging close to 50 points; tonight they barely beat Dallas for the points in the paint battle, Denver scored 46 to Dallas’ 42. So as you can see, Dallas was much better at controlling the ball and seizing the opportunity for the win and the best thing is, when Denver was knocking on their door to take control of the game, the Mavericks never wavered, they never gave in, they stepped it up and regained their composure and took the game to the next level.
This is what a champion is made of and Dallas is that champion, now they just need to continue with this type of intensity and compassion and they will go far to complete this season as a viable contender, a championship defender to the end.
So with that, I will bid you a good day and say good luck and let’s go Mavs!