I'll be honest guys, this one doesn't bother me too much. Would I have liked to see the Mavericks get a win against a (presumably) championship caliber team going into the playoffs? Absolutely.
Do I know whether playing Oklahoma, San Antonio, or Los Angeles would be better for the Mavs? I do not.
So, you know. I'll save my blood pressure for the playoffs.
Bullets:The Mavs DID want to win this one, but only if it didn't cost much. They kept Dirk playing for a lot of the fourth, then, when it got close at the end, they put him back in. A Brandan Wright miss that looked, to me, like a wildly incontrovertible foul, and a Bulls three, and Dirk was back out, of course. But you know, when you get right down to it, the Mavs have done what they had to do to get a chance to rest their stars, they rested their stars, okay, okay.
This was a weird game to me, because the following things happened. First of all, the Mavs offense was, as it often is in the first quarter, so bad, several apartments in the vicinity of the Chicago stadium had to plug in their Glad Air fresheners. They were down 21-8, and throughout the game, they never once led. But still, it was somehow two dominant Bulls runs in the third and fourth that put this game away. There's something about the math of all that that doesn't make sense. RIght? Like one team massively ahead and gets two massive runs late in the game and the game is often close? I don't know.
There are really only two notes I want to make. First of all, Roddy B dislocated a finger on his left hand, got negative x-rays and came right back. Dwayne Wade, who mocked Dirk for having a cold in the Finals last year had the exact same injury, did not come back, the Heat lost to the Wiz, and is day to day. Also, Roddy was awesome after he came back. Which was really weird, because he was terrible before hand. If anyone ever figures out how to switch on the good Roddy, he might make a player, but we're all a bit tired of waiting.
The second is it's been a long time since the Mavs got much from their center rotation, outside of Wright who keeps filling it up offensively. Hay's grabbed more than 5 rebounds twice this month, and scored more than 5 as often. Ian's grabbed more than 5 three times and scored more than 5 twice. Wright has had more than 5 boards five times and more than five points seven times, and in fact has scored 15+ three times this month, but Carlisle doesn't like playing him against big centers (6 minutes against Utah, 9 against the Lakers, 2 against Memphis) so it's hard to see him having much of a role in the first round unless they play the Thunder. All I can say is that his defensive metrics must be so bad human beings can't behold it with their eyes.
Dirk (+10) and Beaubois (+4) were the only ones who finished positive in the +/-. It's no surprise to Mavs fans that the Mavs' only defense against good defenses is there ain't no defense good enough to stop Dirk.