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Suns 98 - Mavericks 90: Post Game Recap

I don't think I dislike preseason...but maybe I do. We're three games in and I'm already ready for the regular season to start. I suppose I should be happy that there is any basketball at all on, but we've got to bear through 5 more of these beatings before its basketball time. Honestly, it'd be a lot more fun if Roddy was playing...and for that reason alone, I hereby support every preseason game, because I really want there to be enough time for him to be back when the season starts.

So while Roddy sat in his hyperbaric chamber (if that's what he needs, you better have made it happen Cubes), how did the rest of the team do actually playing on the court?

  • Dirk and Terry were impressive. They didn't miss a shot the entire game, no turnovers, and not a single player scored on them. And I hate to say this, Dirk, but you need a hair cut. I actually didn't mind the long hair/headband look he had going this year, but this year its even longer, and I just can't dig it, though I do dig Dirk.
  • So...the game was outdoors. That may be kind of cool to play at, or to watch from the stands, but I forgot while I was watching the game until they'd show that camera angle from the blimp or whatever.
  • Caron Butler looked terrible, in my opinion. He made some jumpers late, but early on, he made no effort to change anything even after missing his first four j's of the game. He also had trouble finishing a couple times, even after all the talk this offseason about him improving in that category. Honestly, he needs to realize he's not going to dunk over Robin Lopez, double-clutch and put up a reverse. That's a specific example, but in general, I think he has a "power" finishing game, and he's not a "power" player anymore. That's just me thinking, but in my opinion it makes sense.
  • There was one shot Butler took which I liked. He received the ball in the post, turned to face his defender, then swished the short 8 foot jump shot home. Very Dirk-like, I must say. Anyway, let's hope we can just chalk up his other misses to a bad shooting night and maybe the wind (about the only time he can use that excuse).
  • Chandler got the start, but I doubt that will carry into the regular season, at least not on opening day. Haywood came in and wasn't bad, either, with a statline of 6 points, 5 boards and a block in 20 minutes.
  • JJ Barea got the start, and the little man scored 13 on 5-9 shooting, including 2-3 from deep. Its easy to complain about his defense, but let's not forget that he's an excellent offensive option when his jumper is also going in at a high rate.
  • What about Dojo? Well, so far, he's proven he can play solid defense, run in transition, and is a good cutter in the lane. That's about all he's doing, though. To me, it looks like he doesn't have the speed to get into the lane and penetrate, and when he does, he can't finish. In fact, the thing I've been the most disappointed about is his lack of finishing. He can't get anything to go in so far. His jumper is not ready for the NBA, either. I'm not saying he's going to be a bust, but he's nowhere near ready for any meaningful minutes right now.
  • Brian Cardinal once again got minutes before Novak, which may be a sign that the coaches have a preference. However, Cardinal was once again not able to knock shots down, whereas Novak hit a couple of mid range jumpers and drew a foul on another. I think the general consensus among some Mavs fans is that these two are battling for a spot, but I'm not sure there is an actual spot for one of them set aside. If neither of them earn the spot, I don't think the Mavericks will take either.
  • Dee Brown, early on, I thought looked good, draining a three that was disallowed by an illegal three and slicing down the lane but getting the ball slapped out at the last second. But then he missed some shots, turned the ball over, and just wasn't good. He needed be great to make this team, and he wasn't.
  • DeShawn Stevenson dezombified himself, hitting 3/4 from deep. Boy, if he could get his stroke back, that'd be a huge help. I have my doubts, but we'll see. He also showed he was still Stevenson by pulling up for a contested jumper a step inside the three point line on a fast break with 20 seconds on the play clock. He air mailed it badly.
  • Ian Mahinmi and Alexis Ajinca. They each had an early, bad miss on a jumper, but then proceeded to play very well in my opinion. Ajinca hit a jumper, Mahinmi got several baskets in close (including a nice jump hook), one off of a nice bounce pass from Ajinca. More interestingly, Ajinca was playing the 4, running a high/low with Mahinmi. I wonder if he might be able to get some minutes at the backup PF this season if he stays with the team, especially if Novak or Cardinal don't make the team. I'll have more on Ajinca in an article I've been writing about him for about a week now. I should finally post it today or at the latest, tomorrow.

Thank you scrubs, for making it a slightly interesting game late, and NBA regular season? Hurry back.