Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Game 17, Dallas Mavericks host Los Angeles Clippers

Theme: Covenant, "We Want Revolution"
Game Info: Constant evolution

At the time, I was bloody ecstatic. Came yea close to blowing my voice out whilst riding the escalator. Upon reflection though, I'm worried.

- If one looks at the first forty minutes of playing time, the Clips should've won this game. The Mavs weren't getting shit done defensively, weren't attacking the basket, and the jump shots weren't falling.

- Dirk scored 29 points . . . on 10-27 (!) shooting.

- Okay, anybody else want to ask how bad we need Josh Howard? He was in civvies last night. According to the Morning News, his ankle swelled up on him on Tuesday morning and the team's opting to give it time. I'm crossing my fingers for Thursday.

- Maybe it's because I don't know what to look for, but I still fail to see why Devean George is getting the playing time that he's getting.

- I spent most of the second half in a state of nervous collapse. The Clips were outshooting us and beating us on rebounds. I hate booing, but gentlemen, you had it coming. Guys!

- I haven't seen the Golden State series (don't want to, can't make me!), but just by what I was seeing Baron Davis's reputation as a chronic pain in the Mavs' collective ass is deserved. Fucker.

- According to the Morning News, as a Plan Z the Mavs went to zone in the fourth quarter. They also played probably the smallest lineup possible -- Kidd at the point, JJ, Jet, Dirk, and Bass. Hey, it worked. The Clips went dry for the last three minutes.

- And then, thank you God, the threes started landing. Jet started with the bacon-salvation with four minutes left. 26 points on 9-17 shooting, plus three boards and three assists.

- The rest of the bench not too shabby, neither. Bass had a great night, and JJ . . . I hereby repent every time the words "pet rock" crossed my mind over the preseason. Read on.

- So we're down by one, having clawed our way back after three quarters of truly disgusting basketball. Down by fifteen, to the fucking Clippers! Clips take a timeout and the folks break out the flags. We in the audience who had stuck it out (and let me admit this, I was tempted to leave) were getting ready to go nuts.

- It's down to the final minute. Eric Gordon missed a jumper, Kidd came away with the rebound. And he passed it to . . . JJ. Our JJ. My heart shivered as JJ caught, set, and shot. OhmyGodnowayhe'sgonnamakeit-- BINGO!!! Up by two!

- Clips take a shortie, Kidd steals the ball, gets it to Dirk who misses the three. My heart stopped as Al Thornton got the rebound and the Clips moved it up the floor. Terry fouled and the Clips took it out of bounds with six seconds left. Three point shot would've won the game. Baron Davis jacked it . . . and it bounced off the rim. They tried for the second-chance field goal. No good. Dirk grabbed the ball and the clock turned red. Game over! Cue manlovish pig-pile and fans yelling all the way home.

In The Wash: I'm terribly worried by a lot of what I saw. The Mavs are, like it or not, a team the lives or dies by the jump shot. Jump shots are defensible, shut-downable. The Clips collapsed in the fourth quarter, and we were able to take advantage of that.

Of course that's the sober reflection. The shameless homer says, it's like the Mavs woke up in the fourth quarter said, "Hey, this is a sub-.200 team," and proceeded to swat them like flies. The Mavs can now call themselves a winning team with a straight face -- and hey, check it out, we're eighth in the conference right now. The fanbase has a reason to shout "How 'bout those Mavs!" Mainline the hope everybody. We're gonna need it.

Other lessons? We are clutch, we can play small when we need to, you won't like Dirk when he's angry, our bench is a lot deeper than the early season has indicated, Gerald Green is unfortunately not ready to be a major part of the game plan at this stage, but JJ Barea is.

Well that's in the books. Time to gear up for a more honest test of where we are as a team; the Suns are in town tomorrow. I will be representing B3 in the Rowdy Proud and Loud zone, with a pair of goggles in my hair and a flag around my shoulders.

Final: 100-98, Mavericks!

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