I can haz all your blocks? - Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports
They never gave up, but Dallas couldn't quite overcome the Grizzlies and dropped another on the road.
Momentum is definitely a thing in basketball. The Mavericks came into tonight's game in Memphis with absolutely ZERO momentum, and it showed early. They missed their first five shots, many of which were taken right under the rim and would have been gimmes for any other team. If not for the bench, the Mavericks probably would have fallen behind by 20 in the first and never recovered.
Vince Carter started off the bench with back-to-back threes, and Brandan Wright contributed seven points. The starting back court? ONE POINT in the first half. Mayo's first free throw. Darren Collison had zero. Fortunately for Dallas, they somehow found momentum and put together a 12-2 run to close the 2nd quarter and managed to go into the locker room down just one. The big surprise on offense, however, was Dominique Jones, who scored 8 points off the bench, including a second chance basket off an O.J. Mayo missed free throw to finish the half.
Jones got the nod to start the second half, partly because he was playing well and mostly because Collison went out with the flu. (Sidenote... everyone is getting sick... they need some Purell or something.) Anyways, the Mavericks started the half by getting their first tie of the game with 9:58 left in the third. And then it all went bananas. They never led, but Dallas crawled to within 3, fell down by 17, crawled back to down 5, ended up losing by 10. There were several more swings but I couldn't keep track of them all. It was an emotional roller coaster.
The Mavericks had some success with their zone defense, but they just didn't have the big men to contend with the likes of Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol. Carlisle went with a tiny lineup for a bit too long, leaving Carter and Marion as the two bigs. In their defense, however, the old timers managed to lead scoring for the Mavs with 14 points apiece so we can forgive them for failing to stop guys twice their size. It wasn't necessarily a pretty game (24 turnovers... a team record) but I give the Mavericks credit for never giving up.
- The Mavericks missed their first five shots in the first quarter and their first seven shots in the second. At one point, they missed 16 of 17 shots. Really, how can a team expect to win with a shooting game like that?
- As I said, basketball is a game of momentum. Dallas had a few moments of their own, with a 12-2 run in the first half and a 7-2 run to start the fourth.
- I gave credit to Dominique Jones for a good game... because he was scoring a lot better than usual. But he was also having ball handling issues in the second half, turning it over five times in the game. He did dish seven assists, though, and scored a season-high 13 points, so he's clearly improving in front of our eyes.
- O.J. Mayo wanted so badly to have a good game against his former team, but he couldn't get past Tony Allen. The 9th leading scorer in the league could only muster 10 points in his homecoming.
- Chris Kaman turned the ball over 5 times. He's a center. He shouldn't have that much power.
- Brandan Wright continued to have an unreal shooting performance, going 5-6 from the field. He had two blocks and five rebounds... not huge numbers but decent enough to warrant more trust from Carlisle.
- Bernard James: DNP-CD :-/
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