Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 2/3/13
Wow, what a difference a day can make. Dallas is on the 3rd of a 4 game road trip and so far had not done so well after losing 2 close ones to both Portland and Golden State. Just for the record, both of those games Dallas should have won. After seeing a lot of the media writing after the Portland game, it’s nice to know that I’m not the only one who felt that the play at the end that cost Dallas the win, was a blown call by the referee. But, in the true spirit of the game, players and coaches and owners can’t publicly complain about these type of things because it’s detrimental to the NBA and the Referees, even though they are the ones creating the problem. But it’s nice to see other people speaking out on this and noting that it’s not fair to assess fines to these said individuals for speaking their minds and venting their frustrations, just saying; something needs to be changed. Now that I got that off my chest, let’s get to the game at hand! Finally…finally we get a win after playing such a sloppy game in the first half. Dallas got the good early start, even though it was only 2 points, hey, 2 points is 2 points, but then they went to sleep;both on the offensive end as well as the defensive end. It really aggravates me to no end to see someone standing around and not blocking out on the perimeter and under the basket. Again I pose the question, “do these guys not watch game films on their opponents?”; well we all know they are supposed to, but you’d think that we have brain lapses and forget what our job assignment is. Dallas allowed Phoenix to get in that comfort groove and try to get the win as they had just recently done against both Los Angeles teams and we were about to allow that. There were time that the Suns led by as much as 11 points before Dallas decided to play ball and with the juggling of the lineups that Rick Carlisle is having to do to see who is going to give them that spark they need, we look lost sometimes and it was evident at one point where Bernard “Sarge”  James and Jae Crowder were getting into, as one of the announcers said, an animated conversation as to what who was supposed to do and we still looked lost. During the first half of the game, even though Dallas ended the half with a 54-54 tie, it was an ugly half with Dallas committing 12 turnovers, which by luck, Phoenix was only able to convert into 8 points. However in the second half, Dallas only committed 3 turnovers and played a much better secured game. O J Mayo, again led the Mavs with 20 points on 7 of 13 shooting from the field which also included connecting on 2 of 3 three pointers and also got 3 steals. Darren Collison, once he settled down, probably played one of his better games and ended with 19 points on 6 of 9 from the field and he also connected on 2 of 3 three pointers. Former Sun, Shawn Marion, added another double-double for the season with 14 points on 6 of 14 from the field and grabbed 11 points and even though Elton Brand only scored 4 points, he nabbed 10 rebounds for the night. Dallas out-rebounded Phoenix 51-46 for the night. Dallas’ bench also outscored the Suns bench 52-25 led by Vince Carter who had 17 points on 5 of 10 shooting from the field which also included going 2 of 4 from downtown. Rookie Jae Crowder lit up the stat sheet tonight with 13 points on 5 of 7 from the field and also connected on 2 of 4 from behind the arc as well and Branden Wright, who is trying to get more time on the court, added 11 points on 5 of 7 shooting. The Suns were led in scoring by Shannon Brown who had 20 for the night and then Goran Gragic had 19 points, 8 rebounds and 9 assists. Luis Scola added 18 points, Jared Dudley had 17 and Marcin Gortat added 16 points. When you looked at the stats for the night, Dallas came out on top, especially in the category of blocks for the game. Dallas had 12 blocks for the game by getting 4 from Marion and Brand, 2 from Collison and 1 from Carter and Crowder, not bad for a throw together team if you ask me. Dallas again had to find a way to play and try to get a win without Dirk Nowitzki who missed his second game with a right adductor strain. Hopefully with the meds and treatment he is getting, he won’t miss too many games. Dallas is now having to travel to finish their road trip in Oklahoma City, who even though they recently lost to, it was a very close and very competitive game and it’s a matter of does the Mavs want to try and get to the playoffs or not. If they don’t start getting some victories against the playoff teams ahead of them in the standings but also some of those upper Eastern Conference teams, they might just as well right off this season and whatever hopes they have of getting someone of substantial talent in the offseason or even before the trade deadline this season. They are now 20-26 and still within reach of a spot, but they are going to have to pull together some winning streaks to move up the ladder. The sad thing is, the Mavs have the talent in both the young kids and veterans, it’s just that they still haven’t been able to figure out how to make it all work together cohesively. You can’t blame the fact that Dirk missed the first 20 plus games and of course when he came back to play, it was a slow start for him, but now he’s getting back into his form and now another injury. The other guys are going to have to step up because there are nights when the big dog will not be on the porch and the little dogs are going to have to show their teeth and bark a loud bard to make the other team take notice. After the Suns had beaten the Lakers and Clippers, they were feeling very good about themselves and they were about to feel even better if they would have beaten the Mavs, especially since they had lost the previous 2 match-ups. Even though some of the usual scorers put numbers on the board, they were able to hold Michael Beasley to only 4 points on 2 of 13 from the field. He was averaging 18.2 points and 5.4 rebounds in 24.4 minutes, well until now. So I guess that Dallas did something good tonight. So now they bask in their victory and travel to Oklahoma and see if they can be at full force with the return of Dirk. And with that, I will bid you a good night and say good luck and let’s go Mavs!

This article first appeared on isportsweb.com and was syndicated with permission.

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