The dust has settled from the 110-82 victory for the Los Angeles Lakers over the Dallas Mavericks. That may be the case, but that doesn't mean that the story is over. Mavericks owner Mark Cuban went on the Ben and Skin Show which airs weekdays from 9am-Noon on 103.3FM ESPN Radio. "We couldn’t hit an open shot," Cuban said. "You have those games during the course of the season and we picked a bad time to do it. The unfortunate thing was we were probably due for one of those nasty games where you get blown out and it happens to every team. It probably couldn’t have happened at a worse time but that’s just the way it goes. It’s just one game and you move on."
Perspective is a crazy thing in the NBA. Just a few weeks ago, the Lakers looked lost in the water as they were having devastating losses to teams like the Cleveland Cavaliers and the San Antonio Spurs looked invincible. It's just all part of the ebb and flow of the season and Thursday night's loss to the Lakers is just another bump in the road for the Mavericks.
TNT/NBA analyst Chris Webber observed the scrum between the Mavericks and the Lakers in TNT's studios and said Dallas was "soft." He watched a replay of the altercation and had this to say:
"Jason Terry is the only Dallas Maverick that does something. Look at Dirk Nowitzki, look at these two big guys, look at Haywood. They deserve to be fined. I hate to say this, but I put the rules on me team that if were not in there, you deserve to be fined. Not the guys on the sidelines of course. Don't fight anybody, don't kill anybody, don't do anything crazy. I'm not saying it's the end of the world or this is as serious as war. No one out there get upset and e-mail me. But what I am saying is, when your guard gets pushed and no one else on the team ... the Lakers already won."
Mark Cuban was told on Friday about the comments Webber said and had a simple response. "Chris Webber has never had an original thought. It doesn’t really matter," Cuban said. "You know how these guys work. The last time I looked it was Jason Terry pushing and our guys responding — no one is backing down from anybody. And it’s the same nonsense talked by the same people who haven’t had an original thought in their entire lives. Look, we don’t care what Chris Webber says. It doesn’t matter what Chris Webber says. We just go out and do our thing."
Jason Terry Terry went on Colin Cowherd’s ESPN Radio show "The Herd" to discuss the incident, and when asked "Do you think Matt Barnes of the Lakers is the first tough guy they’ve had in years?" he responded by calling Barnes "The Charminator." So what characteristics makes someone that, "That is a guy who is as soft as Charmin toilet paper," Terry said.The guard referenced the fact that Barnes has been an journeyman in the NBA and he feels that the newest Laker has taken on an identity that doesn't necessarily belong to him. "All of the sudden, you put on this Laker uniform and you turn into Jerry West, Kareem (Abdul-Jabbar), (James) Worthy and (Johnson). Those are the real Lakers, not Barnes."
Barnes responded hours later on Twitter, moments after his one-game suspension was announced due to his involvement in the altercation on Thursday night.
"Also another thing NO ONES worried bout wat Jason Terry is talkn bout everyone remembers the 07 season," @Matt_Barnes22 tweeted. "Me & the Golden St homies laid out the blueprint on how to beat Dallas.. "PUNK'EM" Aint [expletive] changed homey.. So enough w/the small talk"
The Mavs guard continued by saying his altercation with Steve Blake was out of frustration and was also done to send a message to the Lakers, the message? "Just to let them know if we do see them down the line, we won’t be a pushover, literally," Terry said. News came Friday afternoon from the Dallas Morning News' Eddie Sefko that the league office downgraded Terry's flagrant foul. That means no suspensions will be come in the direction of the Mavericks.
Messages have been sent from both sides the day after the one-sided affair. On Friday, Ron Artest was using his twitter account (@ronartest) to throw jabs at Mark Cuban. It appears that this is all leading up to a budding new rivalry between the Mavericks and the Lakers. The two teams could potentially meet in the second round of the Western Conference playoffs which would certainly be must-see TV.
The Mavericks need to work on sending a new message, winning games against elite competition. Dallas is 2-10 against teams in the Western Conference playoff race since the beginning of 2011. On Thursday night, the Mavericks allowed the Lakers to play the game in the Lakers' favor, even though the goal was to get the game in an up-tempo pace. Dallas will need to use these last couple of weeks in the regular season to figure out a way to respond when teams take away their flow offense. If they don't, the playoffs will be ending sooner than the Mavericks expect.
Dallas is now vulnerable after a crushing loss to the champions. After a humbling loss, teams can either go one of two ways: crumble and fade away or come back stronger than before. Saturday night's game against the Golden State Warriors should give everyone an early indication of which route the Mavericks have decided to take.
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