This was The Game OJ Mayo Finally Broke Out. His 30 points on 17 shots was clearly the line of the night, although Collison’s 18-10 is some competition. Every night won’t be like this, especially with as inconsistent a player as Mayo, and especially if he can’t get more going inside, but this was a game he needed and Mavs fans needed to see.
After three games, it’s clear the Mavs have a lot of interesting pieces. It doesn’t mean that tonight was a huge deal, except inasmuch as any win without Dirk is a huge deal, but it showed what the highest profile new pieces (Mayo, Collison, Kaman) were capable of.
It was against the Bobcats, and since most of the damage was done from outside, the Mavericks will still be susceptible to the kind of drought that led to the shellacking in Utah until they figure out how to diversify their offense.
Nevertheless, we did see one big change from the Kidd-era---Collison’s ability, even Dojo’s ability, to drive and dish, and get the likes of Kaman and Wright easy buckets, is a big, big addition to the Mavericks offense. The problem, again, is that it was against Mullens, Haywood and Biyombo, so maybe we don’t really know. Also, Brand has yet to get going.
Nevertheless, a win is a win, and a big win is a big win, whoever it’s against. The Mavericks certainly lost to some putrid teams last year. And right now, it looks like if you plug Dirk into this offense, it could really be something after all.
- Darren Collison‘s double-double was great, but he also hit the shot of the night, a floater/three-pointer from well-behind the line, at the end of third. He was 8-12 and played with the kind of poise Mavs fans have come to expect, after three games.
- Although, again, not going up against a particularly well-rebounding frontcourt unit, the Mavericks won the rebounding battle for the first time this season, 43-38. Still lost out on the offensive boards, 15-8. Especially disappointing is that 7 of those were from an inspired Brendan Haywood, who went for 16-10. Which won’t help his image here.
- Troy Murphy did not attempt a shot tonight but he DID grab 5 boards in 9 minutes, which is obviously an upgrade on Eddy Curry’s performance in that department. Time will tell if that was a fluke.
- Chris Kaman did not rebound that well, but was 8-9 from the field, making 8 in a row—tied for the longest streak of consecutive makes in Mavs history (with the likes of Drew Gooden and others).
- Elton Brand still struggling. Hasn’t shot well all season, 1-5 tonight, seems to be getting frustrated (2 boards, 1 block). I expect better from him, in the future.
- Jae Crowder was 4-5 for 10 points, his first double digit game as a pro. Bernard Jamesvrecorded no statistics, other than a foul, in 9 minutes. And Jared Cunningham scored his first NBA points, two three-pointers in garbage time.
- OJ Mayo was unconscious from three, hitting 7, his career high, on his way to 30 points. Great to see. Game high +27 on the night, not that that’s an important stat.
- Mavs move to 2-1 on the season, and without Dirk. They play the Blazers on Monday.