Ok, the Dallas Mavericks opened the 2012-2013 season with a great victory over the heavily favored Los Angeles Lakers and looked pretty darned good when they did it, but then they travel to Utah to face the Jazz and, well let’s just say we didn’t start the season 2-0.
But all was not really lost; you have to understand that this team is still acquiring players and those that did come to camp, are still still trying to acclimate their game to the way the Mavs coaching staff wants them to play and they are still learning the playbook and all of this without their illustrious leader, Dirk Nowitzki.
Dallas started the 2nd night of their back to back very well, hitting 7 of 8 three pointers in the 2nd quarter alone and gaining good ground for a nice lead during the course of the first half. But that’s just it, in the 2nd half, Dallas ran out of steam, didn’t play the ball as a team as they did in the 1st quarter and thus, lost the game because the Jazz did to Dallas in the 2nd half, what Dallas did to them in the 1st half, but as I said, not all is lost.
This is just 2 games into the season and granted everyone is pretty much writing Dallas off, well just because they think there are a lot more teams that are better than Dallas, but when I have scanned other games, the Mavericks are just as good as anyone else out there, including the Lakers, the Spurs, the Thunder and certainly the Heat.
As I said, this is just game 2 in a season that has 82 games in the season, so if you want to write the Mavs off this early, go ahead, they love it that way; they love flying under the radar; after all that’s what they did when they made the playoffs in 2011 and then eventually won the championship. They were not ever picked to win any of their playoff series, as people called them the “one and done boys”, well Dallas proved people wrong then and they can certainly prove them wrong again.
After viewing the first 2 games, I think Darren Collison was a huge step up to take control of the front court. Now I will not take anything away from Jason Kidd because he has the basketball IQ that you need to completely read the defense, get your guys ready on offense and see 2 plays ahead, but what Collison brings to the game is his youth and tenacity. He has worked the ball against the defenders, found his men to pass the ball off to and used his speed to run the offense and get back on defense.
O J Mayo is a player that is looking for someone to give him that second chance to prove that he is a threat and in his previous games, he is showing that he can be a definite asset to this team and be a leading scorer or a second threat once Dirk comes back. Jae Crowder has certainly left his mark on this team. He will take it to the rim, shoot from the perimeter and not afraid to take it from downtown and light up the three pointers as Dallas showed against Utah and LA.
Elton Brand still has a little left in his tank; granted he looked tired in the 2nd half of the Utah game, but in LA and in the 1st half of the Utah game, he showed us why Dallas needs him. He can handle the low post game, he can spread the court and take the outside shot as well as go toe to toe with some of the bigs in the league, but the main thing is, he can back up Dirk and when he does that, you don’t lose any scoring options on the court.
Now if we can just get Chris Kaman back from his calf strain and keep him healty, this team will be a contender and have a nice, deep bench; but they can’t let teams get the best of them as they did against Utah. You get outscored and outhustled to the ball, you are not going to get very many victories that way.
At this point in time, it’s a wait and be patient game as far as Dirk is concerned. I’m sure that if he would have had any indication that he was looking at possible surgery before the season started, I’m sure he would have re-evaluated the situation a little bit differently because you know that he’s chomping at the bit to be out there playing. But for now, he and we have to be patient and hope that his recovery is successful and he comes back ready and hungry to play.
So tonight we open the home season with the Charlotte Bobcats, a team that finally pulled off a victory and wiped out the 23 game losing streak, so that makes them a very dangerous team so Dallas can not take anything for granted, even though they just played them in pre-season, that was pre-season and now they have the taste of victory in them and they will want more so we have to be on our toes and ready.
And with that, I will bid you a good day and say good luck and let’s go Mavs!