Well, that was stressful.
In a game where they shot 4-30 on threes, the Mavs defeated the Knicks 109-102 in an overtime thriller. Dirk led the way with 30 points, while Tyson Chandler had an impressive 17 points and 25 rebounds, which is an NBA-season high.
In the first half the Mavs picked up right where they left off in the Pacers game. Their play was stagnant, uninspired, and generally a chore to watch. Someone might want to inform the Mavs that 3-pointers are worth more than twos, because they struggled mightily to close out on shooters.
The Knicks were without Carmelo Anthony, but Calderon ran their offense fairly well considering the talent. He had 21 points on serve 3-pointers with 10 (!) rebounds. You are dearly missed, sir.
The Knicks had a beautiful passing sequence in the first quarter that involved a slick Quincy Acy bounce pass into Dalembert who then hit Shumpert on a back cut. The triangle is a beautfiul thing when it works.
Once again, JJ Barea injected life into the Mavs with his poking and prodding in the lane. He pushed the pace for the Mavs, which got Aminu and Parsons some looks in transition. However, the offense stagnated again when Carlisle went to the Tyson-Wright lineup. This lineup demands the Mavs shoot the three well, but they just aren't doing that right now. Carlisle might have to tuck this lineup away until the shooting returns.
Early in the third quarter, Monta picked up his fourth foul and wouldn't return until the fourth. Monta's absence left an opportunity for someone else to pick up the offensive playmaking burden. Parsons tried to pick up this burden, but the results were a mixed bag. We've hashed out the Parsons issue at length here, so I won't go into it much. However, Parsons jumper clearly needs some tweaking. He constantly fades on his shot and his release point differs nearly every time.
Heading into the fourth, only Dirk and Tyson had played well. Tyson gave the Knicks one hell of a revenge game. He created numerous extra possessions with his patented tap out and dunked the ball with an extra bit of ferocity. It was clear from the beginning of the game: Tyson was a lion and the Knicks were a wounded antelope.
Down the stretch, the German began to take over, because frankly, nothing else worked. Dirk had 11 points in the fourth while the Mavs and Knicks were exchanging leads. Dirk's post ups have been down this season, but Dirk had several post ups in the fourth where he undressed Quincy Acy.
Dirk became quite upset in the fourth with his teammates for failing to take advantages of looks he generated for them. Specifically, Dirk set up Brandan Wright for a dunk, but he hesitated and then Dalembert altered his shot.
It looked like the Mavs would win in regulation, but then JR Smith hit a stepback jumper to tie it with less than a second to go.
In overtime, Chandler Parsons made a significant impact with his effort. He created two extra possessions by diving on the floor for a loose ball, and getting a sneaky steal from behind. It was the first time in a while where Parsons had an impact on the game when he wasn't shooting well.
Of course, Dirk closed the game with a vintage jumper over a small guard to put the Mavs up by four with 40 seconds to play.
This win puts the Mavs at 11-5 and they face a tough Toronto Raptors team on Friday night.
The apocalypse may be near, Brandan Wright shot under 50% from the field tonight.
Dirk channeled his inner Romo by hitting Tyson on a long pass in the second quarter.
Parsons had a gorgeous bounce pass to Crowder in transition for an and-1.
Jae Crowder put JR Smith on roller skates in the third. He is now Jae Crossover.