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Game Recap: Mavericks Edge by Bobcats 98-97

Here we are on a night where the Dallas Mavericks honor America’s armed forces with their Seats for Soldiers campaign by offering up a little "home cooking" versus the Charlotte Bobcats.  The Bobcats are coming off of a loss against the San Antonio Spurs last night, arriving at the American Airlines Center with a record of 9-12.  

While it would be easy to sleep on the Charlotte Bobcats (the Mavericks are the only NBA team left who the Bobcats have not beaten) they have an above average starting five (Stephen Jackson, Boris Diaw, Raymond Felton, Gerald Wallace, and Tyson Chandler) and can easily beat a team that underestimates them. 

So, how did the Mavericks do?  Did they under estimate or was it no contest?

Game as a Whole:

Each team was coming off of a back-to-back tonight and it seems that the Mavericks were on the cusp of winning the game for most of the night but couldn’t quite get over the hump.  If you have to point at anything that slowed the Mavericks down it would be tired legs due to a back-to-back (they aren’t the youngest team).  The team showed tremendous fight tonight in gutting out the win when they easily could’ve packed it in toward the middle of the fourth.

It seems like Carlisle has decided that he is going to slim down his line-up to something along the lines of eight guys.  I am sure many of you are asking where Roddy and Humphries are and while they haven’t done anything wrong they just aren’t in the rotation right now (not to say they can’t get back in).  Since things are working and the Mavericks are winning I guess Carlisle is making the right decision.

Lets look at the quarters…

1st Quarter
  • Mavericks win the tip and immediately looked to Erick Dampier (who passes out of a double team). Glad to see them hitting him early and trying to get him involved. 
  • Dirk missing two free throws.  I am not living in Crazy Town, am I? 
  • Stephen Jackson is having a bit of trouble against Dirk.  9:23, Jackson gets his shot blocked by Nowitzki.  Jackson gets the ball back and then puts up a contested jump shot against Dirk.
  • Josh Howard did not dress for the game tonight.  Rick Carlisle is determined to make sure that Howard stays healthy for the rest of the season and rests his ankle.
  • 7:43, Jason Kidd gets comes up with a steal (that gives him 2,235 for his career and making him 8th on the all time steals list).  Have to appreciate how active he is, even after a score.
  • 6:20, Dampier gets a reverse layup in the paint.  It always makes me a bit nervous when big men (especially ones with bad hands) don’t just go up and dunk the ball under the basket.  
  • 4:47, Welcome back Quinton Ross, seems that the back is better.
  • Quinton Ross looks a little rusty.  He lets Gerald Wallace bump him off while taking it to the basket.  You have to stay in front of him and cut off the paint.
  • 3:18, Dampier hits a 15 footer to beat the shot clock. The Bobcats come back and commit a shot clock violation.  
  • The Bobcats and Mavericks have both gotten turnover-happy in the last two minutes. 
  • Barea is currently perfect from the field (4 of 4 and 2 of 2 at the line).  Seems like he has decided to be the first quarter spark plug.
  • With .07 left Gooden gets a great tip in on a missed 3 pointer.  Love it when he comes in and brings energy. 
2nd Quarter
  • The Bobcats have clawed to within one.  The Mavericks have had a rash of missed shots (Nowitzki leading the way shooting 1 of 7). 
  • 10:20, Mavericks cannot get a defensive rebound and end up fouling Gerald Wallace. 
  • 9:48, Dirk bites on a shot fake from Gerald Wallace.  Forces Rick Carlisle to call a timeout to explain to Dirk that Gerald Wallace wants to go to the basket (he probably didn’t call a timeout for this reason). 
  • 9:24, Gooden gets another put back off of a missed shot.  He is the only one who seems to be around the basket when the Mavericks throw up a shot.
  • 8:00, Charlotte is currently up by four and the Mavericks commit a turnover.  They need to be careful as the game can quickly get away from them here.
  • 4:38, Dampier and Barea are leading the team in scoring again.  Mavericks are currently down 39-34.  Dirk is 2-12 tonight, everything seems to go half-way down and then rim out. 
  • 3:40, Up to this point the Mavericks have only scored 8 points in the quarter.  Lucky the Mavs are only down by 5. 
  • 1:51, Jason Kidd makes a big three pointer and then gets a steal on the defensive end.  Way to close the half Kidd.
  • Barea ruins a great steal from Kidd by committing a turnover while trying to get the ball to a trailing Shawn Marion.   
3rd Quarter
  • Back-to-back steals for the Mavericks but they are still down by 4.  Need to capitalize on Charlotte’s miscues.  
  • Dirk gets fouled with 10:03 left.  Good to see him exploiting the mismatch at the top of the key.  
  • Kidd, uncontested three at 9:12 and he misses it.  I have seen Kidd shoot contested three’s better than he shot that ball. 
  • Don’t know why Kidd decided to take another contested 3 pointer without working the ball around. 
  • The Mavericks are currently bricking everything they throw up at the basket.  I cannot believe Gerald Wallace steps in to take a charge against Dirk. 
  • Not seeing a lot of movement from the Mavericks on the offensive end.  Each player that touches the ball seems to want to do it all themselves.  People need to cut to the basket more often and go harder.
  • 4:28, beautiful pass by Jason Terry as Dampier rolls to the basket.  The resulting foul puts the Mavs in the bonus for the rest of the quarter.
  • 4:20, great out-of-bounds play executed by Kidd and Nowitzki.  Mavericks continue to play zone on Charlotte’s next possession, which leads to a stop.
  • Erick Dampier has another double-double, it’s his sixth of the year.
  • Still waiting for the Mavericks to wake up in this quarter.  
  • Dirk punctuates the fourth quarter with a one handed jam.  It gets the crowd going, but only cuts the Charlotte lead to 8. 
4th Quarter
  • Tim Thomas gets fouled while shooting a 3 pointer by Charlotte rookie Derek Brown.  I am sure that Larry Brown is steaming on the bench right now. 
  • Mavericks get three chances on one trip to put the ball in the basket.  Needless to say, they can’t convert.
  • 9:56, Marion, running hard, recovers a Jason Terry miss and puts it back in.  Boris Diaw commits a loose ball foul on the other end.  Looks like the Mavericks are making their run now.  
  • The Bobcats currently have 3 fouls.  They have also seated Stephen Jackson on the bench.
  • 7:16, Marion gets a trip to the charity stripe due to a loose ball foul on Gerald Wallace. It’s nice that the Mavericks are going to be in the bonus the rest of the way tonight.
  • 6:41, Jackson gets a foul called on him for a push while Dirk is posting.  That’s another two shots.
  • The Mavericks are currently scoring all of their points off fouls.  That may be good, that may be bad, and I am undecided.
  • Stephen Jackson takes a page out of the Shane Battier playbook (flop) gives Dirk an uncontested layup.
  • The Mavericks are getting their chances but the shots are just not falling. 
  • :10.9, Dirk hits a wobbly shot that gets an extremely friendly roll.  Let’s go to overtime, shall we?

Overtime 1

  • Mavericks win the tip and get the first possession of overtime.  Dirk misses his first shot.
  • Marion has just been in the right place all night.  Cleans up another Jason Terry missed three.  Mavericks then get a defensive stop against Gerald Wallace in the paint.
  • Dampier gets a dunk on what should have been an alley-oop from Dirk (it was a missed shot).
  • Smooth jumper from Dirk with 2:03 left.  Looks like his legs aren’t so tired.
  • Charlotte ties it on a technical foul (Jason Terry) and then a made two-point basket by Stephen Jackson.
  • Tyson Chandler fouls Jason Terry as Dallas tries to inbound the ball.  One free-throw and possession stays with Dallas but they can’t convert. 
  • Another play goes to Terry as Dirk is doubled.  Makes a short 10-foot jumper. 
  • Kidd commits a horrible foul away from the ball by running into Gerald Wallace on a pick.
  • I don’t think anyone can question how clutch Dirk is today.  
  • As soon as Jackson let the ball go it was obvious that there was no way that shot was going into the basket. 
  • Mavericks win 98-97. 
Some Choice Statistics
  • Dirk is currently sitting at 89% for his free throw shooting percentage this season.
  • Dirk is 30th all-time in free throws made (4,901).  Can’t believe Shaq actually sits at number 17 on this list (5,772). 
  • Rick "Robot" Carlisle played his college career at UVA.  He is also an NBA champion (he won a title with the Celtics).  
Closing Thoughts:

The Mavericks stay unbeaten versus the Charlotte Bobcats and Dirk Nowitzki shows just how clutch he can be.  There is nothing better than winning a close game and this will be a definite morale booster for the Mavericks, who showed some toughness tonight.