How can I say this. The first quarter was... well, it was FUN. Keep in mind this is the first chance I've had to watch the Mavs play so far this year, so I'm comparing this to nothing. But seeing Jose Calderon, Dirk Nowitzki and Monta Ellis on the floor together made me kinda excited. The starting unit, together for the first time this season, focused on passing and dished nine assists on 14 made buckets. Calderon led all scorers with 11 points.
The second quarter had a bit of fumbling and bumbling from both teams, with steals and turnovers and Ellis and Samuel Dalembert diving to the ground in pursuit of loose balls. It didn't even feel super pre-seasony with all that attempted hustle. But despite the valiant attempts at defense, the Rockets managed six threes in the quarter and took over the lead, 55-51 heading into halftime.
The third quarter was full of Rockets offensive fouls. Seriously, I'm not sure what happened. They got spazzy. On top of that, they had eight turnovers, from which Dallas generated 10 points. But then riiight at the end of the period, Dirk fouled Omri Casspi pretty hard and got ejected on a flagrant two. In his defense, he rarely has control of his own body on the defensive end anyway. But he helped Casspi up afterwards and then jogged off the court so clearly he wasn't too miffed. Maybe he wanted to catch some Monday Night Football, who knows.
The final quarter felt like garbage time simply because of Dirk's absence. Also because a lineup existed that consisted of Gal Mekel, Jae Crowder, Wayne Ellington, Bernard James and Ricky Ledo. It may not surprise you that the Rockets were able to extend the lead quite a bit with those fellas in the game. But then, after a timeout and a return of the "white flag" lineup, as I have affectionately named them, it was scrubs v. scrubs in a bench-off of the ages. Ok, not the ages. But the Rockets have a legit NBA lineup deep into their bench, so Dallas showed some grit keeping up with them.
Really it wasn't all that thrilling as the game wound down, but I'm glad the young dudes got some burn. There were at least some things to take away from this evening. When the passing is on with this offense, it's really nice to watch. That being said, this team is going to have to outscore every single team they play because the defense isn't going to get it done. Ricky Ledo exists and he sometimes scores buckets. Dirk doesn't care for your preseason nonsense. Dalembert scored 13 points, second only to Calderon's 14. And hey, everyone who played, scored more than once. Offense!
Join us again when the Mavericks host the Hawks on Wednesday at 7:30pm CT.