You guys, I have some good news and some bad news. The good news is, Brandan Wright is back, and was able to carry a Dirk and Rick-less Mavs team to victory the other night. This can only mean good things for the team going forward. The bad news is, it didn't happen in enough time to offset two gut-wrenching losses.
Let's go to this week's numbers...
- Boy is it nice to have Brandan Wright back. The Mavs' ranking falling down this week should surprise no one, though I actually think it fell a little too far. It might have fallen further had BWright not been able to shoulder some very important minutes in the Mavs' victory over the Bucks after Dirk and Carlisle both had to take a sick day.
- The losses to the Kings and Warriors were interesting to me. I can't think the loss to the Warriors hurt them all that much. The Dubs are a good team, and they played the way good teams do. Our own Kirk Henderson pointed out on Twitter that night, the Mavs won that same game against the Blazers. They match up well against these teams, and that's important. On the other hand, while the Kings are certainly a young and improving team, no reason for the Mavs to lose that one.
- What the heck, Suns? Is this a real thing? I don't know if I buy it yet. Then again, I thought the same about the Trail Blazers earlier this season. There may be more contenders out West that the Mavs have to deal with than we expected, and that is not what they need.
- The Celtics are sneaking up there, week by week. If they can pull off a trade, man, I don't know....
- The Lakers are doing about what I thought they would do. Kobe is back, and that's great. Steve Blake is out, and that's not. They have a lot of adjustments to make with constantly coming and going personnel, and that's only going to hurt them for a while. I don't envy any team having to adjust that much. (/waves to the 2012-13 Mavs.)
- Almost there 76ers! You can do it!
As odd as it sounds, the Mavs appear to favor using Monta Ellis to take the big shot at the end of games rather than Dirk Nowitzki.
Sickening week for the Mavs. The Golden State collapse was their third road L by two points or fewer, following up earlier crushers suffered at Denver and Atlanta, before Dirk Nowitzki and Rick Carlisle were waylaid by twin illnesses that made the Cowboys' latest unraveling seem pleasant.
Jose Calderon, the solution to, and cause of, all their season's problems.
With Monta Ellis leading the team in time of possession, according to NBA.com, Jose Calderon has seen his playmaking numbers decline. Calderon's assist rate is only 22 percent, down from 39.8 percent last season in Toronto and Detroit, and his average of 4.5 assists is well off his career mark of seven. But Calderon is still making an impact as a shooter, recording career highs of 46.9 percent from long range and 2.7 three-pointers per game.