The Dallas Mavericks fell in overtime to the OKC Thunder, 117-114. Kevin Durant had a career high 52, on 13-31 shooting, Westbrook put in 36, and Vince Carter had his high as a Maverick, a 29 point effort. In what would have been, had the Mavericks come out on top, the shot of the year, OJ Mayo hit an unbelievable three to tie the game with 2.3 seconds left and send it into overtime. But, there was no DeMarcus Cousins to punch Vince in the face, this time, and the Mavericks fell in OT for the ninth time this season, and the second time to OKC.
It was a good game. That's what we can say. It was weirdly excruciating for a good game, in that it was a flurry of Durant free throws and poor Vince Carter shot decisions that sometimes worked to perfection, and none of Mayo, Collison. They did get it to Dirk at the end, many times, something a lot of us have been hoping for, but Dirk still isn't there. He hit some big ones, but missed a big three in regulation, a big free throw in OT.
And so, the Mavs once again hung on against a good team, once again had a good chance, once again do not have their offensive execution locked and loaded and therefore, once again, fell short. It wasn't really anything that did it. They played well. They hung in, despite 88 points from Durant and Westbrook, despite being out o-boarded by 7, despite 16 turnovers. They hung in with only Vince Carter scoring over 20.
I don't know how they hung in, but they hung in. It just doesn't matter. It's another loss. The Mavericks, by the way, only lose in heartbreaking fashion to the Thunder, so I suppose we should have known better.
Rick Carlisle's thing with Mike James will go down as the dumbest, weirdest obsession Carlisle has ever had. Rick is already a hall of fame coach, but the hall of fame should proactively send him a letter telling him he has exactly 24 hours to stop closing games with James or he will be banned for life. It is literally his worst idea ever and I don't have to know anything about his private life.
Somebody has to back up Collison. Why not Mike James? Was 4-7 tonight, 2-5 from three. If Rick thinks it's over for Roddy, let it be over for Roddy. But James closing games over Collison? Are you kidding me? Collison's not a great passer, but James wasn't even better in his prime. Collison has averaged 5.2 assists for his career, and he has room to improve. James has averaged 3.5 and he has room, possibly, to molt.
Tonight, Collison was 5-8 for 15 points with 6 assists and 1 turnover. James had two assists and three turnovers. The only point of "veteran" play is if the veteran is actually wise. James hit a huge three, after a hugely damaging turnover. He then took a 30-foot three-pointer, with time left on the clock, a defender in his face, only down two, and missed badly. The extreme stupidity of his hero ball, in this case, should be submitted to a doctor for proof of Carlisle's temporary insanity. All Mike James related decisions should be removed from in front of him, for his health. The Mavs should hire a Mike James co-coordinator.
Also, Rick's small-ball lineup is now 0-57. I don't know how the hell the Mavs kept it so close, with everything, and that's all Rick. But he does have a brain slug which loves Mike James and not getting rebounds.You can't even really blame James. He's on a 10-day contract. He's playing for his life. Of course he plays hero ball.
Don't put him in that *(*#@ing position.
So it goes. In the long run, it's not that big of a deal. The Mavs aren't going to win them all, Thunder are the best team in the league, Mavs have a friendly schedule coming up and this should give them some fire. Would love to see Dirk and Mayo figure out how to play together. Would love to see Dirk put it together. Would love to see Mike James fired immediately but, then again, rage aside, he might as well back up Collison as anyone else.
We'll see you Sunday.