Last night's game pretty much went according to plan (box score - highlights). I'm not sure what it was exactly, but late in the first quarter with Dallas up 21-18 I felt pretty sure that Dallas wasn't going to trail the rest of the game. The Kings, without Kevin Martin, shouldn't score 80+ against Dallas, and they didn't so job well done.
There was a disappointing element to the game though, and that's how boring it was. Remember when Dallas/Sacramento meant something? That was a fun rivalry. Now Dallas is winning by 20+ without trying, the crowd is quiet, and the arena isn't exactly full. Oh well, I know Dallas will eventually go through the same phase that the Kings are currently in, but for now I'm glad it's them and not us that has faded away.
Mike Fisher points out how easy it was for Dallas.
How easy was it for the Mavs to handle the Kings? Even Devean George played well.
....What, exactly, did LA-lovin' Devean do to earn such praise? He played even with Kings emergency go-to-guy John Salmons.
Yup. John Salmons is their go-to-guy.
Rick Carisle's play of the game:
Dirk Nowitzki punched the ball away from guard John Salmons, beat him down the court then hurled himself to the floor to flip the ball back to Devean George for a layup.
"That was a defining play in this game," Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said. "That was an effort play, where you got a max player going down on the floor.
Hubbard says the Mavs still aren't where they need to be but have improved dramatically.
The two victories over winning teams came in San Antonio and Houston. But each team was missing a major player. The Spurs were without Manu Ginobili and the Rockets played without Yao Ming.
Still, despite no quality wins against teams at full strength, the Mavericks are playing better than the team that lost a game to the Los Angeles Clippers.
Carlisle with a Josh Howard update.
"I'm hopeful. I'd like to say that I'm optimistic, but really it's up to Mother Nature at this point. I know that he's doing everything he can do in terms of treatment to try and condition the ankle as it progresses. But I don't have a crystal ball right now. Obviously the sooner the better for us."
And Jason Terry is not one of the people who think Dallas playing well without Howard means anything.
"I mean, we're still not all the way put together. J-Ho [Josh Howard] is out. He's a big part of what we do. I mean, how can we even judge where we're at when you don't have your All-Star out there with you?
"I'm not using that as an excuse. It is what it is. We're doing a decent job of banding together. It says a lot about this team. It says we're playing hard."