I don't know how to feel about this game. I went in thinking I really really wouldn't mind losing, because I would prefer the Mavs play the Rockets in the first round of the playoffs than the Grizzlies or Clippers. But then the Mavs went and had pretty good 2nd and 3rd quarters, and I got all invested in seeing a win. In the end, we all mostly got what we wanted. The Mavs proved that a playoff matchup with the Rockets should be (1) really fun and (2) actually win-able.
This was a really oddly hot and cold game. The Mavs looked red hot at times and a tire fire at others. Especially on offense. While Dirk hit some nice shots early, things were a bit sluggish to start the game. Then the offense looked unstoppable for most of the middle of the game. Then things got sluggish again at the end, allowing a Houston team that had been losing for most of the game to take over late.
When the Mavs were on, everyone was making good pass, getting out in transition, and hitting good shots. When the Mavs were off, they were constantly committing dumb turnovers and giving up tons of offensive boards. The end of this game was pretty frustrating, even for someone who was pretty okay with a Dallas loss tonight. Despite being really competitive and looking in control for most of the game despite some really rough stretches, the Mavs just kind of got overwhelmed at the end.
I really think Dallas missed Chandler Parsons at the end of the game. He left about midway through the third, apparently with an obvious limp. No word yet on what his prognosis is, but he did not return. And as a result, it really looked like no one wanted to take over the game at the end, when Dallas desperately needed someone to answer Houston's shots. As the game came to a close, there really wasn't much question that the Rockets were going to win this. They took the lead and held on to finish off the Mavs 108-101.
Ultimately, this may be a good loss. Despite a frustrating end, it was a mostly fun, entertaining game. If this is the playoff matchup, it should be worth watching to say the least.
- Aminu is still awesome. He finished the game with 7 points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists, and 4 EFFING BLOCKS. 4 of his boards were on the offensive end. Love this dude.
- Something I do want to complain about is that it really seems like some nights Aminu is the only person who has ever heard of blocking out. Mavs gave up what felt like just an absurd number of offensive rebounds, and it really hurt in a close game like this. And so much of it was just lack of effort.
- Dirk quietly looked like he is gearing up to be playoff Dirk. 21 points on 7-11 shooting and 7 rebounds. I will never get tired of Dirk transition 3s.
- Speaking of Dirk transition 3s, Richard Jefferson was a bit of a spark plug after Chandler Parsons was ruled out. There was one sequence in particular when he hit an open 3 when Dallas really needed it, then immediately nabbed a steal and tossed an assist to Dirk for a gorgeous 3-pointer in transition.
- This has happened less since the Rondo trade, but it is clear that the Mavs are still capable of nights where they just seem to lose their heads for long stretches. The sloppiness was killer tonight. I can't count how many times someone tried to toss a pass before even looking to see if a teammates was there. Or threw a pass inaccurately. Or too hard. And the guys receiving the passes often weren't looking for them, or just couldn't handle them. 20 turnovers is too much. Can't win that way.
- Really hope Chandler Parsons is fine. Word is it is knee soreness. It's becoming more and more clear that this offense has a really tough time without Parsons.