Not a great game, and one made more disappointing with a boat load of pregame comments by the Mavs on how serious they were taking this game.
"Tonight's game is an important game on a lot of different levels. There are a lot of teams bunched up in the Western Conference. You look at playoff standings and it's early/mid December but every game counts. This game is meaningful to us and to Denver.'
Before tipoff, the local broadcast pointed out a stat that I was pretty surprised by.
|Ben Gordon||26||12/9/06 - 1/11/08|
|Jason Terry||15||11/14/08 - Active|
|Detlef Schrempf||12||3/3/92 - 3/24/92|
|Cliff Robinson||12||4/23/93 - 11/30/93|
|Dell Curry||11||4/1/94 - 4/20/94|
Jason Terry made it 15 tonight. While he made two big threes in the fourth quarter and finished with nineteen, it wasn't a real efficient performance.
- Only 70 seconds had run off the clock before Mark Followill said the words "Jason Kidd, toe on the line."
- In the first quarter Dirk made three field goals and at one point caught an inbounds pass only to immediately dribble the ball off of his foot.
- In the third quarter, Dirk scored 12 points before he missed. He finished the quarter with 16.
- Dallas really did rely too much on JJ tonight. He was the leading first half scorer and took 16 shots (5-16, four blocked).
- Here's a lineup that would have given Avery Johnson nightmares. For much of the fourth quarter, Dallas used JET/Barea/Kidd against Billups/'Melo/Smith. Surprisingly, it was the offense that had problems.
- From 8:26 to 1:11 in the fourth quarter, Denver made just one field goal. During that stretch, Dallas had one steal, three blocks, got Denver into the bonus, and only decreased a sixteen point deficit to thirteen.
It speaks to the importance of good starts, not playing from behind, all the things I've talked a lot about. They were shooting a very high percentage for the majority of the game. We brought it down in the second half, but offensively we couldn't hit a bull in the ass with a bass fiddle either. When you're not guarding them and not making shots you are going to suck. We made a great run in the third quarter to get it tied, and then I forget what happened, but there was a swing play where they hit a three. We were just never able to get the momentum back. They're good. We needed to be good tonight too. We just weren't good enough.
We felt like this game was important and would have made it a very successful stretch of games. But hey, 5-2 with four of those games one possession ball-busters, is nothing to dismiss. It's significant, but we gotta get that sixth win, whether it's this one or San Antonio, it's the one that kills you. Now we go out on the road and we've got to regroup. These games on the road are going to be hard games as well.
All things considered, I thought he [J5] did well out there. It's difficult. There's no way he can have any kind of rhythm. He knocked down a three, made four free throws, and he looked sound so those are all good things. We've got to build on that and get him back to where he needs to be -- in our starting lineup.
I hope so. [will josh's minute increase next game] That's something we'll know about tomorrow and Wednesday. Since he went in the boot he's progressed. Hopefully the swelling will stay gone after tonight. And hopefully we can build the minutes up from there.
Disappointing. We didn't handle the switches well. That's something that we had worked on and practiced on a couple of years ago. It's something that you have to be prepared for and we just didn't come physically prepared to play tonight. It's on the players. We've got to look at ourselves first. We're the one that are out there in the action. Give Denver credit. They're a good team and they're pushing for top of the division right now. We'll see them again.
Defense is where we are going to win the game, and all of us didn't get it done. We just weren't physical enough for this team. Now we're going on a tough road trip. First game is Toronto and they're a physical team so we have to match that.
That was the positive that came out of tonight was seeing [Josh] out on the floor. Hopefully his ankle holds up and he's healthy so we can move forward full strength.
We've just got to start the game off aggressive and attack them. We were kind of back on our heels.
Josh is a big part of this team and we are excited to have him back.
If they're struggling [Dirk and Jet] and we aren't hitting the offensive glass then we are going to struggle.