Well, no one ever said it'd be easy, but the Dallas Mavericks are 8-4.
Dallas somehow climbed back from a 15-point first quarter deficit, trailed by as many as 18 and almost let Jae Crowder kick them in the collective nuts, but the Mavericks escaped Boston with a 106-102 win over the Celtics on Tuesday night.
It is Nov. 18 and this is real life. The Mavericks keep finding ways to win games they shouldn't, but are also playing next-to-horrible basketball through most of that stretch.
So, here's what we learned. Because we seem to learn a new thing each day with this team.
Dirk Nowitzki is still in God mode
We seem to be amazed as all can be when it comes to Dirk, but once again, he goes full God mode and willed the Mavericks in the clutch.
Dirk scored a game-high 23 points to go along with seven rebounds. He was literally the only Maverick who could make a basket after the first 24 minutes. Wes Matthews and Deron Williams combined to shoot 1-of-10 in the first half (more on those two in a bit). He made nine of his 14 shots and had a plus-minus of +18.
He's now scored 20 points or more in three of his last four games. Just when it was safe to throw the dirt in the grave, he does this.
You nor I have any idea how long Dirk can keep this up, but hey, watching Dirk make shots like this will never get old.
The Mavs hate free throws
Weird to say, right? Usually, the Mavericks are one of the league's best at shooting free throws. But, here we are, talking about how Dallas went 25-of-35 from the free throw line, and two misses from Raymond Felton with under 20 seconds to go make things very tricky towards the end of the game.
Fortunately for the Mavs -- and more importantly for Felton -- he came away with a clutch steal from Boston guard Isaiah Thomas to seal the game.
But this has been a glaring issues through the first 12 games. Chandler Parsons missed all four of his free throws. Felton went 1-of-4. Those are guys that are usually shooting better from the charity stripe. It's good to have guys like Deron Williams, who's now 30-for freaking-30 from the line. Wes Matthews was 7-for-7. Dirk hit all four.
If you have multiple guys shooting perfect from the line, you'll take an off night like this especially if it results in a win. But still, better results are expected from guys who are supposed to make them.
Wes Matthews and Deron Williams come up clutch
As noted above, it was about as abysmal of a first half as it could've been for the Mavericks' backcourt. But when time came for them to carry Dallas offensively, they stepped up in a big way.
Williams finished with 16 points on 5-of-11 shooting, and also had six assists. Matthews shot an ugly 4-of-12, but finished with 18 points and three 3-pointers. But what was more impressive were the plays that Matthews and Williams made in the fourth quarter.
Williams scored 11 points in the fourth quarter and made all three of his shot attempts. Matthews also scored 10 points in the final frame, and made a crucial steal with 2:15 to go and scored at the other end to give Dallas a 100-94 lead.
It's going to benefit the Mavericks going forward having guys who can make shots in the clutch that aren't named Dirk Nowitzki. If the starting backcourt can score 21 of Dallas' 36 points, that's more than great. That's damn near stupendous and will bring more smiles to children than one could ever imagine.
This team is 8-4. Eight wins and only four freaking losses. What a time to be alive.