Dallas beat Charlotte, 101-86, in their first game of the season.
A streak ended tonight, and a streak remained intact. Dallas won their first season-opener in 4 years, doing so convincingly. They beat the Charlotte Bobcats, a team that has never beaten the Dallas Mavericks. Not once. Tonight's win was the 13th in a row for the Mavericks over the Bobcats, leaving them as the only team Charlotte has not been able to beat in their franchise history. There were a few lapses of quality basketball play during the second quarter, but for the most part, the Mavs looked better than they have in a while. They were gelling offensively and playing pesky defense. The new Mavericks played great, the oldest Mavericks played better.
Here are some numbers/facts/figures:
*Jason Kidd played 31 minutes, had 18 assists and 12 points, along with 3 steals. Those 18 dimes were just one shy of the opening night record set by none other than John Stockton. The Mavericks were +30 when he was on the floor, and it was obvious why. Kidd's court vision is second to none, and he was hitting Chandler for alleyoops and Dirk and Jet for backdoor cuts. I may be biased, but there's no question that age is just another number for Jason Kidd.
*Dirk Nowitzki was a scoring machine tonight. He looked like a sharpshooter, even hitting his signature German-one-footed-fadeaway shot, this time with an added bank off the glass. Dirk also scored a double-double with 28 points and 13 rebounds. I can't say anything about the man you don't already know. He's just that good.
*Tyson Chandler got the start, and tried his best to show us why he deserved it. While his stat line wasn't stellar, it was nice to see someone who isn't afraid to make contact under the basket. He got into it a few times and picked up his usual fouls including a double technical with Wallace, but he got a solid 23 minutes of playing time.
*Surprisingly, Jason Terry took the starting position and ran with it tonight. He quietly scored 22 points, dished out 6 assists and grabbed 4 steals, all while sharing time on the floor with Kidd and Barea. If he plays this well from the get-go, maybe there's a spot in the starting lineup for him in the future.
*The Mavericks at one point held a 17 point lead in the second and let the game get away from them. Charlotte was able to pull ahead and led by 4 at one point. The difference? Why, the lineup, of course. A whole slew of bench players came in and just couldn't get the job done. Once that was corrected, the Mavericks pulled back in front and kept the lead for the rest of the game.
*Brian Cardinal, Ian Mahinmi and Dominique Jones all saw a few minutes of garbage time. No one stood out in particular, but I expect to see good things from them as the season continues. DoJo had some good moments and some turnovers, but again, he fills a need we've had for years- a powerful, driving guard.
So what were your initial reactions? I know the Rangers didn't have the best night and many of you were distracted with that, but I'm curious to see how you all feel about the direction of the 'New Look Mavs'.