Dallas Mavericks beat New Orleans Hornets 96-81, move to 4-5



The Dallas Mavericks beat the New Orleans Hornets 96-81, at home, and move to 4-5 on the season. They’ll go for .500 on Tuesday, against Detroit.

It was one of the greatest team efforts I’ve ever seen, as the Mavs scored that 96 with nobody hitting over 15. Carter had 13, Mahimni had 13, West and Terry had 12, Roddy had 11, Dirk had 10 and Lamar had 9. You want depth? This was some Captain Nemo stuff.

The Hornets, on the other hand, without their best player, and not having all that many to begin with, struggled to hit shots, except for somebody named Carldell Johnson who has the longest hair I’ve ever seen on an Nbaer and who, if I heard correctly, was once an Austin Toro.

And @Rohan_Cruyff owes @Lj_Rotter dinner.

Best quote from tonight?

"When Cardinal fouls, he’s going to make the most of it."

It was, in some ways, fairly typical Mavs basketball. The 17-point lead they had IN the third looked unassailable. The 10-point lead they had at the end of the third looked pretty assailable. When the Mavs win , that’s how they do.

On the other hand, no Kidd, and with Dirk shooting 2-11, for 10, how typical could it be, eh?

The Mavs offense looked so good in the first half that I asked J0shi to confirm for me that it was the best first quarter the Mavs have played. He threw in the second quarter gratis. The second half had its moments, but the Hornets never seriously threatened. In their case, it was just a matter of not having the horses. For the Mavs, it was a matter of lots of guys making shots whenever the Hornets got close.

To discuss the Jason Kidd, Dirk shooting poorly two in a row issue, It always makes me nervous when the Mavs play well going away from the system---Kidd decisions, Dirk and Terry shots, what other people get when they get a chance—because the system has won a million games since 2000. It won’t break down. Other plays work sometimes, but it doesn’t ultimately matter how good New Coke tastes, does it?

You want the one that won’t break down.

Still, I’m willing to bet there’s not a Mavs fan out there who hasn’t occasionally wondered whether Kidd’s brilliance and execution, and shocking sense of moment, wouldn’t be quite as necessary if the Mavs scored, say, 15 more points a game. We got the chance to see that tonight and it looked pretty good.

As for Dirk, am I worried that he’s had two pretty poor games? Not overly. But remember, Dirk’s never had this kind of workload before. Not just the number of games he played last season, but the games he played in Germany, followed by no training camp, followed by a zillion games in a zillion minus three nights. And remember, too, that nobody on any team has the type of role for their team that Dirk has for the Mavericks, as their sole superstar, and that’s, of course, more or less true for Germany. The dude is tired. But yeah, I think he’ll be okay.

As for the rest: The laws of NBA reputations are a strange thing. If somebody asked you who the highest scorer the Mavs picked up in the offseason was, you’d probably say Odom and you’d be right. But you’d be right by less than a full point, as Vince Carter comes in with 13.5 to Odom’s 14.4. Two years ago, it was Vince Carter. Three years ago, it was Vince Carter. And so on. Actually always. Literally every year. And it’s not the story of two guys going in the opposite direction. Lamar is nearly three years younger than Vince, but he still is 31.

Still, Lamar does more of the things he’s always down than Vince does, and that is not only a reasonable explanation for why Lamar’s signing was heralded with such fanfare and Vince’s so little, but a fair one. Lamar can defend, rebound, pass and dribble. Vince can score.

He can still score though, y’all. He can still drive. In fact, he pounded one home over Emeka Okafor that looked like it was straight from 2004. Here, see for yourself.

Incidentally, since someone had that posted by the end of the second, that’s my new record for "the fastest something has gone from real life to the internet". Soon we won't have to go to youtube, because we'll just be youtube.

We can do it, cyborgs.

Anyway.

Vince is my star of the game. He looked great tonight, he hit some tough ones, he that monstrous thing above—I think a lot of people have closed the book too early on Vince’s scoring ability and I’m definitely guilty of that too. I think we’re going to like him.

The young guys: Roddy’s shot looked great—sometimes it seems so easy—and he even passed an open dunk to Marion, and I was all prepared to write nice things about him, then, as usual, he took about four heat check shots he didn’t need to take and got anchored to the bench.

Unless we think no one has sat him down and explained to him clearly (avec limpidite absolute) that even if he hits shots that he shouldn’t be taking, he’s still going to get counted down for ‘em, there’s still something not quite making sense.

We all love Roddy. He’s even made huge strides. It’s like he figures if he can just score 40 points again, he’ll be a starter. In reality if he can just manage to shoot smart shots for one entire game, he’d get some quality burn.

That’s how Rick do it.

Boweman’s favorite guy, Brandan Wright, looked really good in his 7 minutes tonight, scoring on two athletic dunks, swishing a free throw and grabbing one pretty nice looking board. I could stand to see more of that guy, but it’s hard to argue with how the current centers are doing even if, as I mentioned to my tweeple (@andytobo), every time he gets the ball with his back to the basket and makes a move I literally scream "NOOOooooooooooo" at my TV.

Overall, a good win, even if it came against pretty poor opposition and so far this team has actually been as advertised: deep, talented, and with better defense than you think (4 of their last 5 opponents have scored under 90).

This is going to keep happening, guys. In the last few days, the Phoenix Suns lost to the 2-4 Mavs 98-89 then blew out the 5-1 Trailblazers 102-77, themselves fresh from beating the Lakers by 11 and the Thunder by 10. The Atlanta Hawks lost in triple overtime to the Lebron-and-Wade-less Heat in probably the worst game played since those brutal Pacers-Pistons playoff series of the early 00s, the beat the Bulls by 15 on the third night of a back to back to back including that triple OT game.

Looking forward to seeing what happens next.

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