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Game Recap: Mavericks Eke Out Win Against Pistons 98-93

The Mavericks arrive back at the American Airlines Center with more than a few questions to answer after taking one on the chin from the Los Angeles Lakers.  For Dallas it was their worst loss of the season, but at least they’re doing better than the Detroit Pistons, who are currently 11 games under .500.

You have to like the Mavericks’ chances against a team that is 3-14 on the road and is currently on a 9 game losing streak.  Of course, there always is the possibility that the Mavericks could relax so much that they end up under-estimating the effort needed to bring home a win against the Pistons.

Game as a Whole:

Okay, the Mavericks relaxed for about 2 ½ quarters but still found enough energy to get the job done in the end.  To keep it succinct Dallas Maverick’s game wasn’t pretty, but it was effective as the team got big shots, mostly from Jason Terry, in the 4th quarter.  Whether you like it or not, something is still wrong with Dirk Nowitzki.  20 shots to get 22 points is not the picture of offensive efficiency Dirk once was. 

Originally it was thought that Shawn Marion keyed the defense but with another missed game from Erick Dampier it’s clear who truly is setting the tone.  Rodney Stuckey was taking it to the rim at will (when he realized he shouldn’t be shooting jump shots) and picking up fouls left and right, and there was no one to clog up the paint (the Pistons had 44 points in the paint).  Erick Dampier would have helped to clog up the paint but he would have done nothing to speed up the Maverick rotations (Rodney Stuckey corner three comes to mind).  It would seem that the Mavericks have lost some of their focus on the defensive end. 

Let’s look at the quarters…

1st Quarter:
  • 10:02, Horrible missed hook shot by Gooden. It didn’t even graze the rim. 
  • 9:01, Gooden jumps way too early to block Wallace’s dunk attempt and commits a dumb (smart?) foul. Luckily Wallace is a poor free-throw shooter. 
  • 7:49, On the All Gooden All the Time basketball network, Gooden gets a good steal under the basket, but Dirk doesn’t capitalize on the resulting layup. He’s defending nicely now. 
  • Anyone get the feeling that Dirk’s elbow injury has some lingering effects?  Ever since clashing with Carl Landry’s teeth Dirk hasn’t been the same. 
  • 6:02, Bad passing under the basket leads to a shot clock violation.  I thought the first thing they taught you when you start getting serious with basketball was to watch the shot clock?
  • The ball is currently not bouncing the Mavericks way.  Seems there is still a funk hanging over the Mavericks after Adam Morrison played career-high minutes. 
  • 4:20, Kidd takes a three on the inbounds play but it doesn’t fall for him.  Kidd, don’t be afraid to take a dip in the paint. 
  • NBA TV cut out…I am so alone right now.  
  • 2:50, Jason Terry actually drives to the basket and scores… what a concept. 
  • 2:39, Kris Humphries, in the first quarter!  What is going on here?  Let’s see if he can defend Wilcox better. 
  • 1:53, Marion drives into the lane and gets fouled.  Marion gets both free throws to go and the drive is money in the bank. 
  • :38.7 Wilcox tries for a poster dunk, but Kris Humphries says no  (he commits the foul).  I can’t imagine getting dunked on is a pleasant experience. 
  • :01 Gordon makes a long 2 to end the quarter.  Not the way Dallas wanted to come out after such a bad loss. 
  • Barea is a distant memory in this quarter. 
  • Chris Wilcox and Shawn Marion lead the way for their respective teams. 
2nd Quarter:
  • 11:43, Humphries drives HARD to the basket and makes it with his left hand.  Glad he brought his intensity with him to the quarter. 
  • 10:03, Dirk decides to show up to the game with his first basket!  Can he turn the game around now?
  • 8:36, Tayshaun Prince, who has been practicing at the Bruce Bowen School of Defense, trips up Humphries. 
  • 8:27, Another shot falls for Nowitzki.  I have my fingers crossed that the baskets will come a little bit easier now. 
  • 7:42, Barea drives and shoots the floater, which is tipped in by Dirk. 
  • 6:47, Dirk saves a pass he nearly fumbles out of bounds, but Terry can’t get the shot off before the clock runs out. 
  • 6:33, Villanueva is now 4/4 from behind the arc.
  • 6:14, Terry kicks the ball out and Howard drops a long two. 
  • 5:37, Gooden missed 3 shots at point blank range. 
  • 4:24, Gooden has now missed 5 shots total at point blank range.  Apparently he wants to grab a spot in the Dallas record books.
  • 3:47, Terry pours in a much-needed three. 
  • 3:06, A little back and fourth from Kidd and Dirk leads to a Kidd three-pointer. 
  • 1:05, Kidd dives to the basket as Nowitzki hits him with the nice assist. 
  • :24.3, Terry pushes the Detroit lead down to six.  Great to only be down single digits after going down by 14.
3rd Quarter:
  • 11:15, Marion is attacking Prince on the offensive end.  Doesn’t look like Prince can defend him right now with his injury; still surprised he is in.
  • 10:32, Terry gets aggressive and Marion is rewarded with a fast break dunk. 
  • 10:10, Stuckey please keep shooting contested jump shots.  The Mavericks will give you those all day. 
  • 9:45, Finally a tip-in goes down for Gooden.  In other news Drew Gooden is now the Mavericks record holder for most missed tip-ins.
  • 9:11, Love to see players diving for the ball when it’s on the floor.  It’s the ultimate hustle play other than diving out of bounds for a ball. 
  • 8:29, Dirk draws two quick fouls.  He has no points to show for it yet. 
  • 8:21, Broken ankles for Rip leads to an open layup for Terry.  The Mavericks have come out with a ton more energy in this quarter.  
  • 7:10, A three rattles out for Terry.  Bad ball rotation when he let go of the jump shot.  
  • 6:41, That was the best Nowitzki jumper I have seen all night.  Those two points give him a double-double for the night. 
  • 5:59, Nowitzki with a quick and powerful move to the basket for two more points.   No defensive pressure on the other end and the Mavericks give the two right back.   
  • Unfortunate that the refs aren’t going to go back and review that two pointer when the shot clock expired.  That just demonstrates why they should use replay more.  
  • Detroit is in the penalty the rest of the way.  Mavericks have come out with fire but they can’t seem to get over the hump. 
  • 4:34, Marion and Gooden have both been really active on the offensive glass.  Marion just cleaned up a Terry miss. 
  • 3:37, Dirk gets another jumper right at the elbow thanks to the Terry diversion.
  • 2:57, Okay, Dirk is on fire.  That’s his third made jumper in a row.  
  • 2:26, The Mavericks make it four straight made baskets with a Terry jumper.  The tide is turning.  
  • 1:55, Marion draws the foul as Prince does his best lineman impression. 
  • Marion gives the Mavericks the lead! 
  • Everything for Detroit is currently going off of the front of the Rim.  Chris Wilcox has even chucked up a couple of jumpers.  
  • :52.9, Welcome back to the game Barea, and thank you for fouling!  Enjoy going back to the bench for the fourth.  
  • :06.7, Jason Terry comes in and gives us the lead.  Quinton Ross comes in to contribute for six seconds. 
  • Ross proves to be no help at all as Detroit dunks.  Jason Kidd badly misses a three to step up the next quarters thrilling conclusion.
4th Quarter:
  • Surprise, Barea gets to stay on the floor for the fourth quarter.  
  • A steal starts the quarter and the Mavs capitalize.  Much better start for Drew Gooden tonight than the previous night (even with all the missed tip-ins). 
  • Drew Gooden is all over the place right now.  Dirk is doing lunges on the court and the Pistons are not interested in joining his exercise routine. 
  • 9:46, Barea drives and draws a defender leaving Howard open for the three. 
  • 9:15, Rip rips (I had to) down an offensive rebound on a missed free throw. 
  • Does wild gesticulating actually determine which team the ball will go to?  Obviously it must. 
  • 8:53, Barea verbally punishes himself for throwing away a bounce pass.  Jason Kidd still calls him “grasshopper”.
  • 8:27, Jason Terry’s jump shot has come off of life support in the second half. 
  • For the first time in NBA history a call is changed due to complaining.  Go Mavericks. 
  • The Mavericks narrowly avoid disaster when Drew Gooden draws the charge.  That play would have probably put the Pistons back on track.  
  • 5:57, Jason Kidd hits the three and then shows Barea how to throw a bounce pass.  Need to email that YouTube video to the little grasshopper.  
  • When does Jason Terry ever take a straight on three?  He probably should have passed out of that. 
  • 4:14, Josh Howard hits a tough jump shot on the give and go.  He gets a three to roll in on the very next play. 
  • On the defensive end the Mavericks are giving up a lot of open looks from three but Detroit can’t capitalize.  
  • 3:09, Terry throws in another jumper. 
  • Ben Gordon blows a possession for Detroit with a travel.  Jason Terry shows him how to score on the other end.  
  • I would love to see a “who can get closest to the rim without touching it” contest at the All-Star Game.  It would come down to Wallace and Shaq.  
  • :06.5 I don’t know how Stuckey gets that open even if he does get an excellent screen.  Minor defensive FAIL for the Mavericks but luckily there is no score.  
  • Dallas survives 98-93.  

Some Choice Statistics:

  • Howard hit his first three in the last six games during the fourth quarter.  He was previously 0 for 10. 
  • In ’80/’81 season the Mavericks only averaged 7,789 fans a game.  Today the Mavericks average 20,042. 
  • In the ‘93/’94 season the Mavericks finished with a dismal 13-69 record.  My how very far the team has come. 
  • Thanks for 10 great years, Mr. Cuban! 

Closing Thoughts:

It would be interesting to see if Dallas decides to rest Dirk for a game after this stretch of somewhat pedestrian games he has had.  Look for Dallas to watch a lot of film and figure out what has happened to their solid defense.