It took an early timeout by Coach Rick Carlisle to get his players back on track, but the Dallas Mavericks are looking a little bit better as we wind down to these last games of the season. It was a back and forth game, but Golden State was getting too many easy shots and open baskets and Carlisle had to set the tone and get his team focused, and it worked.
Dallas has as much as a 19 point lead during the course of the game, granted they let a lot of it get away from them by getting too comfortable, but was able to maintain the lead and the eventual win. Golden State got the early lead, but once the Mavs settled in, they took the lead and never lost it again.
Dirk led the team in scoring tonight with 27 points, but was limited to only 1 rebound, not very often that happens to the big guy, but he had plenty of others to help out in that category. We are all sure the Mavs are glad again that Jason Kidd is back on the court as he threatened with another triple-double tonight by having scored 9 points and he had 10 rebounds and 12 assists, not bad for the oldest guy on the roster. Shawn Marion, who in my book should be very top in the running for defensive player of the year, tallied 7 points, but grabbed 12 rebounds for the night.
The big key to Dallas’ win tonight was their bench. Dallas’ bench outscored Golden States bench 57-33 and was led by JET and Brandan Wright who had 16 points each, Vince Carter added 12 and Roddy Beaubois scored 11 of his own. Again the Mavericks shared the wealth in scoring, but the bench was a big key to Dallas’ success.
Now Golden State was not without their heroes of the evening as well, as they were led by David Lee who scored 30 points, Klay Thompson added 24 points, which included some highlight reel plays and Nate Robinson put up 10 points, but without any “JET” mocking plays for the night.
Dallas is not known for their fast break point effort, but tonight they managed to score 21 fast break points to Golden States’ 15. Dallas also shot 50% from the field compared to Golden States 46.9%. The Mavericks are still having issues at the free throw line on being able to convert attempts into points, but tonight they did manage to complete 75% of their attempts to Golden States’ 87%. Golden State also got just a marginal edge in the three-point category as well, 38.9% to 37.5%, but Dallas did protect the ball and only committed 10 turnovers to Golden States’ 16.
Coach Mark Jackson had a look of wonder on his face at one point when they committed a sloppy play and gave the ball back to Dallas who converted it into a basket as if to say, “what?”, then put his face in his hands and shook his head; that’s kind of how the second and third quarters went, but then they had a spark of “I think I want to try and play now” in the fourth and started to make a comeback.
From the beginning of the game, Dallas toyed with the idea of letting Golden State stay in the ball game, but when Dirk hit the three-pointer at the buzzer to end the first quarter, he was not just there to play, he was there to win and he had a look of determination on his face that said so. That look and determination took them through the next 2 1/2 quarters until Dallas had built their 19 point lead and then started relaxing and Golden State started to make a comeback and was eating at that lead.
With 10:20 left in the fourth quarter, Golden State had gotten the game to within 5 points, 89-84, when another basket was scored and brought the game to within 3, 89-86. They played around with this over the next couple of minutes, but never more than maintaining a 3 point lead. Then at the 8:41 mark, the score was Dallas 91-88, when Dirk got the ball, hit the inside shot at the rim, the ball came through the hoop, he head butted the ball to the ref, Dallas took a 93-88 lead. Again, the look of determination on his face spoke volumes.
On the very next possession by Dallas, they passed the ball from side to side, until Kidd found JET at the top of the arc for a 3, and Dallas expanded their lead to 6 points, 94-88 and never relinquished it from there. Behind Kidd’s lead on the court, and Dirk’s determination, Dallas was going to win this game no matter what.
A lot is still being said about the Lamar Odom situation and I will give a lot of credit to the Mavericks organization as to not bash a guy who as some would say completely demolished their team and brought a cancer into the locker room since his feelings were still hurt after being traded by the Lakers and also with the fragile state his mental demeanor was in after suffering loss of a family member and the accident he was a passenger in that resulted in the death of the other party. Yes we all suffer a great deal in our lives and we have to learn how to handle them, but you pick up and you have to move on or it will eat you alive if you don’t.
I’m just not sure that Odom knew how to do that and he let the trade scenario get the best of him and it was all downhill from there. I for once will give kudos to Charles Barkley, the same one who stated that Dirk was done as father time had gotten the best of him, but he made a good statement. Why should Odom be paid to basically sit at home on his backside and not do anything to contribute to this team? Good question there Mr. Barkley; I don’t think it’s fair to the Mavericks organization to pay a man who almost destroyed your team, I don’t think it’s fair to the players to have to try and build back up what he destroyed, I don’t think it’s fair to the NBA as a whole to allow this type of crap to happen.
Now if he was unable to play due to some unforseen circumstances, that would be one thing, but to pay a man to sulk and pout his way through a season, is another. I think he should be made to play in the D-League for the remainder of the season and to have his pay cut accordingly and then look at a trade once the season is completely over so you are not stuck with him on your books at the end and have to pay taxes on his salary or to have to pay him any more money.
I appreciate his wife, Khloe Kardashian-Odom for trying to stick up for her man, but come on; you’re a businesswoman, you know how businesses are ran and you can’t tell me that you applaud his attitude and his actions. If you do, then you are no better than the other women in your family and I gave you much too much credit for being the more level-headed female in the family.
We all know that Lamar is a good player, and we all know players have their own quirks and needs, but he is a little bit more needy than most and he let his stardom both on the court and off the court go to his head and made himself and the Dallas Mavericks look like a bunch of goobers. What he should have done was to step back, take some time off before the season got started and taken that time in the D-League as was offered to him and get himself back on track. Yes, Lamar Odom was and is a good player, that’s why Dallas took him in the first place, but to act like a child of demon spawn is completely ridiculous and I for one am glad that he is gone, but do wish him well.
Mr. Odom, take everyone’s advice and get the help you need to deal with the issues you have or it will eat you alive and get back to where everyone knows you should be or stay at home and work on your reality stardom.
Next up for the Mavericks will be a trip to Portland to take on the Trailblazers and let’s hope the end results are better than when they were in Dallas and then the Mavs will wind down the west coast trip by visiting the Lakers in LA before finishing up with the Jazz in Utah. These last games are critical ones for the Mavs if they want to have any hopes of staying in playoff contention.
And with that I will bid you a good night and say good luck and let’s go Mavs!