Friday, January 22, 2010

Game 43, Dallas Mavericks visit Philidelphia 76ers

Game 2 of the J-Ho, Let's Go watch.

The Mavericks took the night train to Philadelphia from Washington (literally, that's what they did). According to Sefko at the Morning News, Tim Thomas is back with the team after dealing with a family issue (hope everybody's okay!) and Eds Najera is still inactive. Word on Josh is he's starting tonight, but that's not 100% for-sure.

Okay, let's dissect the 76ers. According to Basketball Reference, the 76ers score 97.8 points per game whilst allowing 101.0, placing them 22nd and 19th in those categories. They shoot 45.4% from the floor including 34.8% on threes, grab 40.8 rebounds, average 20.5 assists, 8.2 steals, 5.8 blocks, and 14.3 turnovers. Their opponents shoot 47.3% from the floor including 41.2% (!) on threes, grab 41.0 rebounds, and average 22.5 assists, 7.1 steals, 4.3 blocks, and 15.1 turnovers.

This is also the first time in a long while the Mavericks have had to deal with the Can't Sir, Allen Iverson. Who has been voted into the starting lineup for this year's All Star game. There's a line from Memoirs of a Geisha, where the narrator reflects on her position on a Top Ten list, and she notes that people have a hard time seperating what's great from what they've just heard of. No further questions, Your Honor.

Tip-off in two minutes:


Great. Now that I'm done barfing up blood, let's tackle the numbers.

FG% -- DAL 39.5% (20.0% 3pt), PHI 43.0% (20.0% 3pt)
Rebounds -- DAL 42, PHI 49

Less possessions -- Dallas's percentage figures on 32 makes off 81 shots, Philadelphia's figure on 37 makes off 86 -- and bad shooting. Whenever Dirk shoots in the low twenties and Jason Terry goes 2-12 and el zilcho on threes (pause to cough up fresh blood) things tend to go horribly wrong no matter how bad the other guys are on defense.

So much for the idea that the team can weather bad shooting nights, and by extension so much for serious title hopes. Remind me to avoid Basketbawful's Worst of the Weekend on Monday.

As pertaining to the J-Ho, Let's Go watch, I'm going to pass the peach to Mike Fisher:

Josh entered at 4:18 of the first. He watched Jason Kidd attempt a 3.

Then, at 3:58, he touched the ball for the first time.

At 3:55, he shot a jumper and missed.

At 3:23, he touched it again, shot another jumper, and missed.

At 2:48, he made a 3.

At 1:20 he took another 3 and missed it.

That, my friends is what we call "shot-hunting." In 158 seconds – from the first time Josh touched the ball to the last errant 3-pointer – Howard recorded no assists, no rebounds, no steals, no fouls, no free throws … but four shots. All of them jumpshots. Two of them from 22-feet or more. Three of them missed.

Fast-forward to the final quarter. Mavs down 83-72 with 5:30 left. Here comes Josh, dribbling into the lane, in traffic, and he attempts a dribble-and-spin move. It’s like something the psychedelic Robbie Benson tried in "One-On-One." It’s not Josh’s game, he doesn’t have these sort of handles, it doesn’t fit the flow of what Dallas is trying to do.

And predicably, the ball bounds out of Josh’s control, into the hands of the Sixers for a turnover and a steal.

Buncha jump shots, midrange or more.

That is not what we need from Howard.


Does anybody have a HandiWipe?

Final: 92-81, Philadelphia

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