The Dallas Mavericks defeated the depleted Los Angeles Lakers 123-104. Monta Ellis had his second 30-point game as a Maverick, dished 9 assists and was 8-8 from the line, Jose Calderon was 4-6 from the arc, and Jae Crowder was 7-8, 4-6 from the arc fro 15 points. Nick "Swaggy P" Young scored 21 points for the Lakers on 8-12 shooting.
After so many years of games that were so close at the end no Mavericks fan ever got a chance to relax, the Mavericks have won games by 9, 12, and 19. With 5 minutes left in the game, the broadcast crew had devolved to the point of talking about whether the 7'8" Paul Sturgess, now playing for the Legends, could dunk. For like three minutes. And Robert Sacre played. That's how over it was. And it was never really close.
If you saw it, you saw it and loved it, if you didn't, well, it was a blowout.
Here's some things we've learned:
Jose Calderon is looking to shoot. We've talked about the downside of the Calderon-Ellis tandem and we'll have chances to revisit those this year. But Ellis' ball-handling ability frees Calderon up to hunt for his own shot from time to time and for last year's 3-point champion, that's a good thing. It's not so much that he was 4-6, it's that he was letting it fly when the opportunity arose.
Jae Crowder is lighting it up. Before I say anything, take a minute to guess what you think Jae Crowder's 3-point percentage is, on the season. Have you got a number? Great. He is 11-15, a 73% clip. I'm not going to look it up. He's never had a 5 game stretch like this. Honestly, half this good (36.5%) is probably the difference between Jae Crowder, NBA player and Jae Crowder washout.
In a not unrelated subplot Wayne "Make it Wayne" Ellington has slid all the way down the depth chart. After a DNP-CD against the Grizz, he came in with the Bernard James' of the world to close this thing out. As Jonathan Tjarks noted (personal communication), playing Crowder instead lets Vince play the 2 which is better for him matchup wise. But I imagine Carlisle won't hesitate to call his number when it seems reasonable. He's played well, he's just a little redundant.
Monta Ellis is so far more than the Mavs could have hoped. His 23 points a game on 46% shooting is fantastic, but his 6+ assists in 3 of 5 games are particularly important to how Monta the Maverick turns out. Especially games like tonight when it 9 assists to 1 turnover. There will be some rough Monta games, of course, and more than anything the Mavs cannot afford to have a total of 6 non-Monta free throws, but when it works you call it a win and move on to the next one. He took only one three tonight, on route to his 30.
All of the starters played less than 30 minutes besides Monta (31 minutes). Don't worry about Dirk. He was saving his energy for tomorrow.
I thought Gal Mekel's three-point stroke wasn't looking bad, although he was only 1-3 tonight. Keep an eye on that one.
Hey, the Mavs had a collective 12-34 from Dirk, Shawn and Vince and they scored 123 points. You know?