Originally written on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 1/9/12

I know that everyone is having some jet lag with the season as it is and playing more games in more nights compacted as they are, but the Dallas Mavericks appear to be taking a beating on this schedule even when they win. We are now nine games into the season and we are 4-5 after the 96-81 win over the New Orleans Hornets Saturday night in Dallas.

As oddly as it was, the team leader/captain as such, Dirk Nowitzki, only had 10 points and was close to being held to single digits in back-to-back games for the first time since 2003. He converted a free throw with 3:02 remaining, that’s what allowed him to finish with 10 points.

But this team showed that even with Dirk having a bad night as he was and without their court general, Jason Kidd, they could pull it together and get the win. Coach Rick Carlisle announced before the game that Kidd would miss at least the next 3 games due to a back strain that he sustained during the San Antonio game which meant that he would have to hand the reins of the team over to someone else to act as leader for now.

Delonte West had been playing some point guard as well as shooting guard, and since Kidd was going to be out, Carlisle thought it would be best to put West in at the point and start Carter in at the shooting guard and see what would happen. It seemed to have been a good, smart move on Carlisle’s part.

Carter led the team with 13 points as well as back up center Ian Mahinmi and West and JET added 12 each, Roddy B had 11 and Dirk added his 10. This has been one of the slower point averages for Dirk since 2003, but in listening to Carlisle, he’s not worried about Dirk because he knows that Dirk is going to keep shooting and eventually they will start falling as they always do.

Al-Farouq Aminu led the Hornet with 15 points and he was the only player in the game that double digits in any capacity of the game because he also had 12 rebounds. Jarrett Jack added 13 points, Carl Landry had 12 and new Hornet Chris Kaman added 10. There was no one else in double digits of anything on the game.

The numbers on the stat sheet was fairly even in some categories where Dallas did outshoot New Orleans 43.2% to 40.6% from the field, but New Orleans was 54.5% from behind the arc compared to Dallas’ 42.1%.  Both team were a little over 82% from the free throw line, but Dallas was able to keep their turnovers low at 14 compared to New Orleans, who had 21. The Hornets had 39 rebounds to Dallas’ 35, but Dallas took the edge on points in the paint 32-30 and again the bench led the way with 51 points to the Hornets who had 31.

If it were not for the bench coming through for Dallas, the outcome of the game might have been a different one, but we’ll take it anyway.

Dallas started off having the advantage and I guess it might have been some redemption play going on there from the ugly loss to San Antonio, because other guys stepped up and played like they did a couple of years ago; but there again you give teams a little more time to rest and they can play like they need to.

The turning point of the game was when Dallas was able to start to get some of their 3 point shots to fall and when Brian Cardinal’s 3 at the start the second quarter, that was followed in short succession by two more from Beaubois, that helped to liven up not just the crowd, but the team. The Mavs finished 8-for-19 from behind the arc after going 1-for-19 in Thursday’s loss at San Antonio, so you can see there was a vast difference between the two nights.

Maybe getting this win under their belt will help revitalize the Mavs in doing what they know they need to do and that is defend their championship better than what they are doing. Yes, they may have one of the oldest rosters in the league right now, but that also means they have the more experienced roster in the league and they need to utilize that knowledge and gel together as a cohesive team and not just 5 guys on the court at any given time.

This is just my thought though; they are professionals that get paid a lot of money to play a game and they need to do better at that game if they want to stay where they are as a team. Everyday is a work in progress and everyone is going to have good days and bad days, but the more we play as a team, then the more we will be a TEAM!

So I bid you a good day and say good luck and let’s go Mavs! And here’s also wishing them a safe journey to Washington to the White House and have fun!

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