This past week has been a trying one for the City of Dallas, the Texas Rangers traded the face of their franchise, Michael Young, to the Philadelphia Phillies, the Dallas Cowboys had tragedy to hit the team with the death of one of their own and another facing charges in the accident and our thoughts and prayers go out to both families effected by the accident.
We are now 20 games into the season and on this last 3 game road trip, our Dallas Mavericks went 2-1. One of those was an ugly loss to the hot Los Angeles Clippers, but it started ugly and ended ugly. Dallas started in the hole and finally got back in the game and was within 3 points when it went south again and they were never able to regain themselves and notched this game up as a loss and had to prepare for the next night’s game.
It’s quite obvious that when you have a bench player and a new addition to the team to lead your team in scoring with 15 and 16 points respectively, then you are in a serious load of trouble. The Clippers had 6 people in double-digit scoring, 2 with double numbers in rebounds and Chris Paul had 13 assists, when you let a team out do you with those kind of numbers, then you need to rethink your process and regroup. The only thing the Mavericks did better than the Clippers was that they were able to convert 89.5% of their free throw attempts into points where the Clips only had 76.2%. Outside of that, the Clippers dominated the game from the beginning and never looked back; that’s why they are one of the strongest teams in the NBA at this time.
Granted Dallas licked their wounds, boarded their plane and left for Phoenix that night since they had to play the Suns the next night. Dallas has not fared well on the road nor with back to back games so far this season, but they were determined to improve on both of those statistics for the night.
The good thing is that they didn’t let the sting from the loss from the night before hurt them, they were ready to face the opponent ahead of them and overcome the agony of defeat and turn it into the thrill of a victory.
Dallas came out strong and tried to dominate the game, but Phoenix had something to prove also, not only that, they were doing a “money back guarantee” to their fans and they needed to look good and get a win at the same time.
The Mavericks let the Suns take control of the game and fought back tooth and nail and they proved what they were about in the third quarter and finished strong for the night. They had 5 people in double scoring for the night led by O J Mayo with 23 points on 9 of 17 from the field and 3 of 5 from the three point line. But Mayo didn’t have to do it all by himself as Darren Collison and Brandon Wright each scored 16 points each, but Wright also proved to the coaching staff that he will be ready when his number is called and tonight was no different and he shined the whole time he was on the court. He helped Dallas rally on both ends of the court and showed that he was another knight in shining armor.
The Suns also had 5 people in double-digit scoring that also included Morris setting a season high for himself with 17 rebounds for the night. Dallas controlled the boards for the night . So they let people know that they might be down sometimes, but they are not out of it.
The bad part of the night was that Shawn Marion left the game with a groin injury and he would have to be assessed to see how severe it was and what he would be able to do. But the best part is that the Mavericks bounced back and took the win with a come from behind score and held it until the final buzzer.
So now here we are halfway into the road trip and are 1-1 and now we head off back to Texas to Houston to face an up and down Rocket team. But with James Harden on the team, you have to be prepared for anything, the same thing for Jeremy Lin. Both of these players were hot for their prospective teams last season, but they had to make moves over the off season and now both have wound up in Houston.
It was a sentimental start to the night as each and every Mavericks player gave a nice gesture to the coach of the Rockets, Kevin McHale, as this was his first game back since the death of his daughter recently. I have always had the utmost respect for Coach McHale and my heart goes out to him and his family to get through this time.
But Dallas got the hot hand first and kept it going. They totally dominated in the first quarter, 39-24, and then let them get that breath of life in the 2nd and ended the first half trailing the Rockets 66-63. Of course it’s hard to get ahead of you let Harden loose on the three point line, which he hit 4 of 9 from. But it just wasn’t his three point shooting that was good, he was driving the lane to the basket and would either get the foul and make the free throws or it was the and one after a basket. He was not afraid to attack the Mavs and he just kept coming at them.
The good thing of it was, that it turned out to be the Mayo-Harden game because the two of them were matching basket for basket, or it seemed that way; because it seemed that every time one of them would make a basket on one end, the other one would make a basket on the other end. Mayo finished the night with the upper hand with 40 points on 15 of 26 from the field which also included going 6 of 9 from the three point line. Harden finished with 39 points and had 9 assists.
Now Mayo didn’t have to do it all by himself because he had a little help from his friends, Chris Kaman who had 20 points, Collison and Carter added 12 each. Dallas did real good on the ball and protecting it since they only had 12 turnovers compared to 22 against the Clippers and 17 against the Suns.
Brandan Wright again had an impact on the game with 8 points, 6 rebounds and 2 blocks. I think there is a silver lining in his playing time and he just needs to keep putting it out there for everyone to see and they will and he will be rewarded.
The Rockets had some extra help for Harden and they got it in the forms of Chandler Parsons who had 18 points and 10 rebounds, Toney Douglas added 13, Patrick Patterson added 12 and Carlos Delfino had 10. This was also a night where Dallas let it be known that they were not going to just sit back and let them game come to them, they were going to come to the game and they did.
Now let’s just hope that they take that home and apply it to the upcoming games and try to stay above the .500 mark while they await their All-Star leader, Dirk Nowitzki, to return. In the meantime, it’s up to Mayo and the rest of the Mavs to do their job and keep the team going. When you look at this team, they have people that can contribute in all areas and categories of the game whether that be scoring or defending. That’s the good thing about Dallas, they have people that can do just about anything when it comes to playing basketball.
The game is not just about who can score the most, it’s also as important to keep the other team from scoring and that comes on the defensive end and they have some fairly good defenders in Marion, Dahntay Jones, Collison, just to mention a few. It’s not just about scoring a lot of points; granted that’s great, but you have to keep the other team from scoring more than you.
So now Dallas will go home and await the Sacramento Kings to come to town before they leave on another road trip, so let’s hope this momentum from the last 2 wins will carry over and they can defeat the Kings and then take that to Boston when they face their former teammate, Jason “JET” Terry and the Celtics.
And with that, I will bid you a good night and say good luck and let’s go Mavs!