*Ed. note: these thoughts and reflections were collected right after this game, so forgive any references that seem dated.
Do you remember where you were and how you felt when the Mavericks beat Chicago in that crazy double overtime contest?
Holy crap, what a game.
The Dallas Mavericks went into the United Center against, arguably, the best team in the Eastern Conference, and pulled out a big-time double overtime win over the Chicago Bulls, 132-129.
Words can't describe what was witnessed. There's absolutely no way we can. But we're going to try. Monta Ellis took 35 shots, but he went from being the goat to the hero in a matter of 20 minutes. Dirk Nowitzki had an off night until overtime, and Chandler Parsons had a strong first half but was completely ignored in the second half.
But the Mavericks won, and are now 14-5 as they close this road trip Wednesday in Milwaukee.
This is a special edition of our roundtable, just because this absurd contest needs to be talked about. I'll give my two cents with Bailey Rogers and Josh Bowe on this one.
Initial thoughts on this absurd basketball contest we just witnessed. If you can even think of thoughts. If thoughts are even possible right now.
Josh: WOOOHOLYSHITHOWDIDTHATHAPPEN is how those initial thoughts went, I think. Can't remember a more emotional, roller-coaster type game in the regular season from the Mavs -- everything went against them in the fourth, and they managed to send it to OT. Most went right for them in the OT and they somehow gave it away. That was just crazy ass basketball. I dunno what else to say or what else to call it. It was fun though.
Bailey: Monta. I know he won the game and stuff, but I hope he never has another game like this ever. I am beyond thrilled with the win. That was fun, frustrating, crazy, stressful, and ultimately joyous. But still... Mavs would've won in regulation without Monta's unusual insistence on taking the worst shots ever for a period there in the 4th. Other thoughts: I really REALLY hope there's nothing seriously wrong with Dirk's back. Jameer is the worst, and JJ should get a lot more of his minutes. I still have no idea what to think about Parsons. And Tyson Chandler is the glue that holds this team together.
Danny: All I can say is I spent the end of the first overtime, and most of the second overtime, just laughing at the pure comedy that was happening. I've never seen a game where so much bad turned into so much good and a basketball product was created. This was one hell of a win against one of the best teams in the NBA, but I don't think we really needed all that drama. It was nice, but it made me laugh too much. That was amazing.
Tonight was the first time where we got too much, too much Monta. But he came up huge when Dallas needed him, with those three free throws and the game-winning 3-pointer. But he took 35 shots. What side of the fence are you on with this Monta performance?
Danny: I was eating dinner during the third quarter and said to myself, "Monta is about to have one of those games where he goes off and will lead Dallas to victory." Then he missed a couple shots in the third, then missed a lot in the fourth and I started to seriously question if we were living in an alternate reality. Monta was the hero. I'm more so on that side with him. But if there ever comes a time where Monta shoots 35 times and records a grand total of ONE assist ever again, God help us all.
Bailey: I think I already tipped my hand on this answer, but I'll try to add onto what I already said about Monta. Any game where Monta has only one assist is a bad game for Monta. And he was incredibly selfish with his shot-taking for most of the 4th. It was nothing less than insulting to his teammates, and I have no idea what got into him to cause him to play like that. For all the rumors and handwringing about his reputation when the Mavs first signed him, the Monta that we've seen in the past year and a quarter has been a good teammate. He was NOT a good teammate tonight. He ended up mostly making up for it, but I'm still left with a bad taste in my mouth after his antics in this game.
Josh: It was bad, bad, bad, bad Monta. When the lead (and seemingly the game) started to slip away in the fourth, Monta hijacked the offense with a handful of pitiful jumpers down the stretch, despite Dirk starting to heat up as the Bulls inexplicably switched a smaller defender onto him in the middle of the floor. Yet, he had the balls to pull the game out in the end, when the Mavs offense completely bogged down on that final possession. Good for Monta for sticking that game-winner but let's never do that again.
Run DMC combined for 84 points, but had to shoot 73 times (holy crap). But Devin Harris came through with six 3-pointers, Barea had 13 points. What does that say about the depth of this team? Not much tonight, but enough production to get the job done.
Bailey: To be fair, almost half those shot attempts were from Monta. I think this team has some great depth, and honestly I would've liked to have seen more of it. I felt like with Dirk struggling, it would have been good to see a bit more Wright and Aminu than we did. I really think it is inexcusable that Jameer had nearly twice as many minutes as Barea. But seriously, Devin was so good. I have no idea why he can't be a consistently good three-point shooter, but he was so incredible tonight.
Josh: Considering Tyson Chandler and Brandan Wright combined for two made field goals, that offensive explosion from Barea and Harris was all the more valuable. The Bulls just packed the paint when Wright and Chandler rolled to the rim and Harris and Barea deserve 5 gold stars for fully taking advantage of the extra space, finishing at the rim and beyond the arc on open attempts.
Danny: This was one of the rare times where Dirk, Monta and Parsons have all scored a significant number of points, and each one of them shot the ball absolutely terribly. What a performance by Devin Harris, and I know Rick Carlisle loves to keep bringing him off the bench. But just one time, I want to see what he can do with the starting unit. Jameer Nelson will continue to lose minutes because of the play of Harris and J.J. Barea. This will also be a rare time where Brandan Wright will struggle. But it's absurd how much depth is on this roster. Absolutely absurd.
As crazy as this game was, Dallas has to somehow put this on the backburner before playing Milwaukee tomorrow. But regardless of how tomorrow goes, has this road trip changed your perception on this team from about two weeks ago?
Josh: That somehow the Mavs can win even when their offense isn't at its league-leading best. That's been my worry since day one -- that the Mavs would only be able to beat good teams with their offense is full gear. Well they've beat three now, all on the road, all with sub-optimal offensive games. It's even crazier when you consider the Mavs were in this game with Dirk at one point 3-of-14 from the floor. Not even the 2011 Mavs could survive Dirk shooting that poorly. The scoring depth on this team is nothing like we've ever seen before in the Dirk era perhaps since the Nash and Finley were in town.
Bailey: I don't think this game changed my perspective on the team much at all. This team has a fantastic offense that bizarrely sometimes can't hit a shot to save it's life, and a terrible defense that surprisingly comes up with stops in big moments every once in a while. It is nice to see Dallas grind out a win against a quality opponent, especially with all the weird stuff that happened... but no, this game hasn't changed my perspective on the team. To be fair, I think my perspective may have changed after the Raptors game, and this game simply backed up my thoughts following the Toronto win.
Danny: People want to discredit the Eastern Conference, and rightfully so. But it can't be ignored that Dallas has now beaten Washington, Toronto and Chicago, all on the road. To get wins against the Raptors and Bulls on the road during this trip is about as impressive as what San Antonio did on the road against Golden State and the Clippers. If the Mavericks can close this road trip with a win against a Milwaukee team that's on the rise, then consider it a huge success.