Mavericks Lose Dirk to Back Tightness, Game to Grizzlies,

DON'T BE HURT. (Nelson Chenault-US PRESSWIRE)

So the big news it that Dirk left in the 2nd quarter with back tightness. That's something new, but it sounds like it's just old man disease striking and the Mavericks being precautionary. If not, feel free to volunteer your back for transplantation.

Of course, the Mavericks lost, too. Pretty sure once it was clear Dirk wasn't returning that the Mavericks weren't going to win. The offense has been pretty horrible in February, and so there was very little hope once he went out.

The one big wild card the Mavericks played last season and throughout the playoffs was the three point shooters, but it was Antarctica beyond that three point line again today. Nights like this, shooting 4/23 from back there, are becoming almost commonplace. Plenty of good looks, plenty of bad bricks, plenty of face palms from Maverick fans everywhere.

Just to make it clear just how bad the Mavericks offense was? Of the seven Maverick players who had at least four field goal attempts, Brenden Haywood had the best field goal percentage. He was shooting jumpers all game. Just in case you missed it: HAYWOOD WAS SHOOTING JUMPERS.

Alright, hit the jump and read the bullets.

Vince Carter. Solid first half, with some nice moves going to the hoop and in the paint. Casper in the second half, scoring zero and just a total ghost in every facet. I don't know if this is a coaching issue, fatigue problem, or mental thing, but the Mavericks need to figure it out.

Rodrigue Beaubois. Solid first half, with twelve points. Sucktastic in the second half, missing good looks, taking bad shots, and just not playing smart. Like Vince, I can't tell you how beneficial it'd be to get some consistent production from him. This doesn't always mean scoring, but just a solid drive and kick to an open three point shooter. He did this perfectly once in the second half, and Terry drained the three. With his athleticism, he should be able to do this all the time.

I know I was ragging on him above, but seriously, Haywood's offensive game is starting to come around a little. Back in Washington, he was a much bigger offensive factor, but here in Dallas there are audible groans every time he puts in on the floor. He's started to find little windows for short ten foot jumpers, though, and somewhat surprising is hitting them. Kudos to the man, although I have no confidence his offensive game is here to stay. Prove me wrong.

Come back soon, Dirk.

Nice game from Wright. Good defense, which is less sexier but much more important than one handed alley oop dunks. Although he better still have some of those left in him for later in the season, I don't want it to be too dull.

Marion is living around the basket, but those shots just won't go. His offensive game is underappreciated -- no one notices when it's flowing smoothly and every pass is being finished, but plenty of people take issue after a 3-11 night such as tonight's. On the plus side, his defense is just as defense-y as ever. I loved him forcing a long 20-foot airball from Gay late.

Friday sends the Mavericks to New Orleans for a nice divisional showdown. Time to right the ship, hopefully with Dirk back at the helm.

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