I have for the last several seasons, defended the Dallas Mavericks, it’s organization, it’s owner and people in the decision making that controls this team. I knew that it was a matter of time before they would win the NBA Championship and Dirk would put another mark by his name, and he did; and that they would be known for something other than the “one and done boys”, and they have, but what’s going on now?
Since the 2011 Championship series where the Mavericks beat the ugly, bad boys of the NBA, Miami Heat (and that’s the only time I will mention them in this writing), we have gone through a lock-out season, then a shortened season where we were still in party mode in February to getting our butts beat early in the playoffs, to getting swept last year by Oklahoma City to busting up a good, no I’ll say it, great team to now you are back to where we were when Don Nelson was the coach and running your leader into the ground.
Dirk had surgery right before the season started; I’m sure that if he knew he was going to have to have surgery, he would have planned it sometime else in his life rather than right at the beginning of the season. Ok, so we get through that and still have a chance at something, then he comes back and we all knew that it was going to be a while before he was back in game form and he was sluggish at the beginning and now recently he has been doing what he does best, trying at all costs to win games.
Then he has a right adductor strain in his right leg and has to miss a couple more games. I’m sure he really needed more time to let it heal, but he just is not one to sit there and see what his team is doing and not try and help them any way he can, but I for one felt that he came back too soon.
But that’s not the problem or the issue at hand. Take for instance in the game recently against Oklahoma City; Dallas started off that game with a lot of gusto and moving the ball, getting everyone involved and even making a threat to the Thunder and then when they felt that they were in control, we start making stupid, silly mistakes and then give that little breath of life to them, and when we did, they took it literally.
Dallas scored first and was playing good ball and with a few minutes left in the first quarter, it was tied at 22, but then someone turned off the smart decision light in the Mavs brains and we started the downfall and with that let Oklahoma City capitalize on some very foolish turnover that resulted in points and needless to say, they took a 29-22 lead into the 2nd quarter.
Well, it didn’t stop there at all; we kept with the bad decision making and let them outscore us 39-22 in the 2nd quarter alone and take a 68-44 lead into halftime. This is the most points scored on the Mavs in the first half of a game this season and tied the most points they have scored on another team; now that’s something to be proud of.
Dirk was having a hard time at some point, but he did manage to score 10 points, but you could tell, he was not as he was in his last couple of games and his slowness was taken advantage of by the Thunder. I don’t know if it would have been best for him to take another game to rest the leg or not, but without Vince Carter there as another scoring threat, I guess Dirk felt he had to as he said it “give it a go”.
Shawn Marion was able to muster up 23 points on 10 of 14 shooting from the field and little used guard, Dominique Jones looked like a bit of JJ Barea, and added 15 points on 5 of 8 shooting and rookie Jae Crowder put up 10 points also on 3 of 11 shooting, all this while getting into a jawing contest with Kendrick Perkins, who drew a technical foul for his mouthing and shoving. Another rookie to shine for the night was Bernard James who put up 4 blocks on the stat sheet for the night.
One thing Dallas was able to do was to contain Kevin Durant, to an extent anyway, and only allowed him to score 19 points, but he also grabbed 10 rebound, but they were not able to curtail Russell Westbrook, who put up 24 points, but he created some very costly turnovers for Dallas that created points for Oklahoma City and snagged some steals that notched up some fast break points for the Thunder as well.
The Thunders addition of Kevin Martin was a good one as he put up 17 points on the board and kept his three-point shooting alive by connecting on 3 of 5 from downtown, which is the reason that Oklahoma City got him in the first place, because whether it was Sacramento or Houston, he is and has been known for his three point shooting and of course, Serge Ibaka kept the crowd going with scoring 12 points, but also his shot blocking talent.
I don’t know what it’s going to take for Dallas to get back in the flow of things, because this is the worst that I have seen them in a very long time and I honestly don’t know if they have the ner do well to get to the point of the playoffs. Now if you would have asked me a week or so ago, I was saying yes, they had a shot at it, but the ball was in their court, so to speak. But now here we are 20-28, 8 games below .500 and sitting in 11th spot in the Western Conference, 6 games out of the 8th seed; but the thing of it is, most of the teams ahead of the Mavericks in the Conference are winning games and we are losing games.
Now I really feel that the 4 game road trip (1-3), was a turning point of such as after the Portland debacle, the association ruled that there was a mistake made and the wrong call was made, which was a huge blow to the Mavs; but what can you do about it now. You can’t take that loss away and insert a win or put an asterisk by the game and it make a difference. If the right call was made, Dallas would have won that game and then it might have helped with their mentality going into Golden State and might have won that game as well and instead of a 1-3 road trip, it might have been 3-1, we will never know.
Dallas now has 5 straight home games with 4 of those before the All-Star break and one after it before they head out again, so the big question is, will this same team be on the court after the break or not? Something has to be done, whether it’s change in personnel or pull a Bull Durham move in the shower to get the attention of these players.
When you have your franchise player risking his health to get on the floor to play and healthy guys are only putting up 8-10 points and making stupid mistakes, what do you expect the rest of the team to do or your fans to do? It was sad to see that when most of our starting line-up was on the court with the bench-bench players and we couldn’t do good, that’s not a good thing to see.
Now we are home and will face that same Portland that we lost to last week and see if we can turn things to our advantage and get a much, much needed win and I’m sure we can. And with that, I will bid you a good day and say good luck and let’s go Mavs!