Woohoo, how’s that a start for a season! To win against a so called heavily favored team without your true superstar on your team. The Dallas Mavericks were able to again prove to everyone that they can win without having a superstar on the court like they did in 2011 when they won the NBA Championship; and then they only had 1 true superstar, Dirk Nowitzki.
Dirk was not only not on the court, he didn’t even travel with the team to LA since he is still recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery, so this was a tremendous feat for the other players on the court.
Now I realize that this was just 1 of 82 games for the season, but this was a big “1”. When the Lakers acquired both Dwight Howard and Steve Nash in the off-season, that boosted their quality of team up quite a bit; then you have the Mavericks who tried to acquire Howard as well as Deron Williams in the off-season without any luck, so they got the best of what was left and that was in Darren Collison, O J Mayo, Chris Kaman and Elton Brand and then just last week Eddy Curry off waivers, well all I can say is welcome to the NBA boys!
The Mavericks had 6 players in double digit scoring for the night with Collison leading the way with 17 points, plus he had 3 steals and 3 blocks. Others were Brandan Wright who had 14 points, Mayo added 12 and Shawn Marion, Vince Carter and Roddy B had 11 each and Brand had 8 points to go with his 11 rebounds. Marion also added 9 rebounds to his scoring for the night.
Of course the Lakers were not without their now “big 3” in Howard, Nash and Kobe Bryant, but as a team, they were no match for the team play that the Mavericks put to them on the court. Pau Gasol had a big night with scoring 23 points and had 13 rebounds, Kobe scored 22 points and Howard had a double-double night with 19 points and 10 rebounds, but needless to say, he was atrocious at the free throw line with connecting on 3 of 14 attempts; that was ugly.
As a team, Dallas proved to the nay-sayers who said that this team was no match for anyone let alone the Lakers without Dirk; well,they proved them wrong. Granted it might have been different with Dirk on the court, but without him, the players proved to themselves that they can hang with the big boys without the big German. We for sure miss Dirk and want him back as soon as possible, but with this group of young men, and I do say young men, they will put it together and hang in there until his triumphant return.
Now for my numbers people, it was all over the place, but here’s how it all went down. Dallas shot 47.1% from the field, while connecting on 33.3% from behind the arc and sunk 77.8% of their free throws. Dallas only committed 12 turnover and had 40 rebounds as a team. The Lakers shot 49.4% from the field, but only 23.1% from behind the arc and Lord have mercy 38.7% connection from the charity stripe, YUCK. LA committed 14 turnovers and grabbed a total of 46 rebounds; so you can see where the comparison was close in some categories, but in others, no comparison.
It was good to see the guys group together and share the ball and make fast breaks work and recover on their own their mistakes and capitalize on the mistakes of the Lakers and convert them into points; because that’s what caused the hurriedness in the Lakers that gave Dallas the win.
From the beginning of the game it was a pretty even deal, but the Lakers were getting the edge and had the lead at the end of the first quarter, 29-25, but once Dallas settled down, they worked the ball, worked together as a team and got the 23-17 advantage in the second quarter and took a 48-46 lead into halftime. It’s always good to have the lead at half, that way you have something to build on for the second half; the only thing is that in the past Dallas has had a problem maintaining a lead going through the 3rd quarter and then having to pull out all the stops in the fourth to try and get the win. That was not the case tonight because Dallas maintained their composure during the third and took the scoring advantage again to take a 74-66 lead into the fourth.
LA started to make things come together in the fourth and got very close, but then Dallas closed it out and got the eventual win. So this is something they can build on going into Utah tomorrow night to face the Jazz. The only advantage there is that Dirk is not there since they really don’t like him in Utah, so the team might have a fighting chance at survival without him there.
We all know there has been drama in the locker room the past week and we are not going to linger on it, what’s done is done and this team has to move on and hope that all things work out the way they need to and we all wish everyone the best of luck. Right now, the Mavs need to focus on being a team and getting the wins and weathering all the storms.
So with that, I will bid you a good night and say good luck and let’s go Mavs and see you in Utah tomorrow!