Thursday, February 15, 2007

A Wise Man Knows the Difference, Right?

I wonder if Dirk is still trying to figure out who he is as a player. Tonight in the first quarter, he botched two entry passes to the post, one to Diop and another to Dampier. It was reminiscent of last year's finals, when he got the huge assist to Dampier at the end of game 5 but got a turnover trying the same thing at the end of game 6. I suspect it's no coincidence that this happened the first game after Dirk's 8-assist performance on Tuesday.

Both passes were almost on target, but both were into traffic to players who (1) aren't exactly offensive virtuosos and (2) weren't open. Players like Dirk typically, it seems to me, get their assists (3-4 per game) by passing out of double teams, or off the dribble, to open jump-shooters and slashers. Occasionally a power forward like Larry Bird or Chris Webber can do something a little fancier and thread holes in the lane, but it's my impression that's not ever going to be Dirk's game. Dirk may or may not agree with that.

Tonight's game was weird. With two teams ranked 1 and 4 on Hollinger's list, you'd expect a good matchup. And it started out beautifully –– back and forth, everyone making their open shots. But then it just turned ugly.

By the start of the fourth quarter, it looked like Dallas was headed for about 75 points, but then Dirk kind of went nuts and scored 12 points in the first six minutes of the fourth, capped by back-to-back 3-pointers to give Dallas a 72-69 lead....and then he disappeared offensively for the rest of the game. In the last 6 minutes, the Mavericks managed just 6 free throws and one wide-open jump shot. McGrady hung around a little longer, hitting a 3-pointer with about three minutes left to tally 15 points in the fourth...and then Houston managed one point the rest of the game.

Ring up the win. Nine in a row, 44-9 record, 68-win pace with 29 to go.


Ryan B said...

This doesn't pertain specifically to your post here, but I just wanted to comment that this Mavericks blog is a lot better than any of those blogs about theology/philosophy. What a bore! I don't read blogs usually, but I'm going to make it a priority to read this blog consistently. You know, to focus on important things in life.

On another note, no one has talked about how amazing it is that the Mavericks have a 9 game lead over the Spurs at the All-Star break. If you had asked me before the season started if I thought that the Mavs would ever have a 9 game lead over the Spurs, I would have said, "No way!" The way we've played at home this year, I feel much better about getting through the Western Conference playoffs with the #1 seed.

Connor said...

Oh yeah!, glad I stumbled upon this blog. While I love reading wonderful theological expositions, nothing is better than good old Mavs discourse.

scoots said...

I'm thrilled to see y'all two in the neighborhood. Although I have to keep being a grad student these next few months, I'll try to keep the Mavs posts flowing.