All sorts of things went right for the Dallas Mavericks tonight. For one, Jason Terry shot lights out. For another, Brendan Haywood found his game. The Mavericks only committed 10 turnovers, a season low. And hey, even Brian Cardinal was able to make a legitimate contribution (5 points, 2 rebounds). JJ Barea wasn't terrible, in fact he almost logged a double/double (10 points, 7 assists, 5 rebounds). And those were just our bench guys! The starters were just as if not more impressive.
Shawn Marion got the start tonight in place of the injured Caron Butler, and made a solid contribution with 20 points and 7 rebounds, and of course his defense was incredibly solid. DeShawn Stevenson, also getting the start so that Terry could come off the bench, had 11 points, and went 3 for 5 from beyond the arc. Carlisle referred to him as "a real pro" and I agree. Our big men had a nice tandem night tonight. Haywood and Tyson Chandler combined for 17 points and 16 rebounds in 44 minutes.
Dirk was, well, Dirk. He was able to sit for a large chunk of the 4th quarter, and scored 12 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in just 29 minutes. Take into consideration, if you will, the fact that he went out of the game with a sprained ankle with three minutes left in the 2nd quarter. He was able to return, I would assume thanks to his fine German engineering.
Jason Kidd had just two three pointers, but logged 12 assists, just one shy of the 11,000 mark for his career. Next game, love, next game. The real hero of the game, however, was the OTHER Jason. Jason Eugene Terry had 25 points in 31 minutes, and hit three from long. He also had three steals. He has been impressive to start the season.
I do have one complaint, and that is that our formerly stellar free throw shooting percentage seems to have gone by the wayside. 5 of 11? ARE YOU SERIOUS? We used to be the top FT team in the league. I will place the blame squarely on Haywood's shoulders, as he went 0 for 5 tonight. That is unacceptable, sir.
Some quick hits:
*The third quarter was awesome. There were pick and rolls, screen and rolls, and lobs to the rim for Chandler who hit some resounding dunks. It just looked like fluid basketball, with really nice passing and ball movement.
*Dallas' defense was able to prevent the Grizzlies, normally a good fast break team, from getting many points off of turnovers. Combined with the season-low 10 TOs from Dallas, I'd say that was some great ball protection.
* All 12 Mavericks saw playing time tonight, and half of them scored in double digits.
Dallas plays Philadelphia Friday at 8:30 in Dallas.