What started out as one of the most disgusting displays of basketball, turned into "where amazing happens" in a blink of an eye.
The Mavericks continued their abysmal shooting (mainly because they continue to live by the jump shot) however they never lacked in the defense department. Everyone continues to chip in on the defensive end.
The Mavs defense is the only thing that kept them in the game, but through the first 4 minutes of the fourth quarter not even that could keep them close. The Utah Jazz (who also shot horrifically) began to stretch their lead and left most of us believing the Mavs were done.
Then out of nowhere Dirk took over! The basketball Gods decided to remove the "Lid" that had been placed atop the basket.
Do not be fooled into thinking that this was the sole reason for Dirk's display. Many will have you believe that he simply "got in a zone", I have an all together different perspective however and it is one that the rest of his teammates need to understand.
It was obvious to me while watching the historic run that Dirk went on, that he made a drastic decision that changed the course of the game, and ultimately brought the Mavs a victory.
Nowitzki at about the 8 minute mark of the fourth period made a drastic change to his shot selection. No longer would he simply be okay with taking a 15-18 foot jumper. Dirk was a mesmerizing 7 of 8 from the field in the 4th, of those 8 shots only 2 were from farther than 10 ft from the basket.
Dirk simply made up his mind to take the ball to the rack and let the chips fall where they may. This team has a legendary history of dying by the jump shot. It is notorious for when the shots are not falling to just... well continue to jack'em up.
This offense can be so much more if everyone will simply follow Dirk's lead and begin to attack the basket. For 3 quarters I watched in disbelief as each trip down the floor the Mavs routinely had 4 players standing around the 3 point line, no cutters, no movement, the offense was simply stand there and hold the ball until the shot clock gets below 10 and then take a jump shot.
J.J. Barea looked awful last night but I blame a lot of it on his teammates. JJ is a guy that can create a ton of open shot opportunities for his mates, but it is all predicated upon them moving without the ball to create open lanes for him to penetrate. Time after time JJ was left to create all by himself and well that just led to him taking some very bad shots and no one to kick the ball out to.
This Mavericks team is in a bit of a predicament until the return of Josh Howard, without a true shooting guard it is imperative for them to have good movement, with and without the ball.
This was a great win, and an heroic effort by Nowitzki, but this team cannot continue to thrive by Nowitzki alone.