Did you watch this game? Why?
If you did, you are a true fan and you should take a minute to congratulate yourself. Alternatively, you just don't have much going on in your life and probably need to get out more.
The Dallas Mavericks played the Oklahoma City Thunder Wednesday night in OKC and lost, 108-89. J.J. Barea led the team with 18 points, the sentence you generally associate with the second night of a back-to-back and a really ugly loss.
Say hello to the JV squad
Prior to gametime, it was announced that Deron Williams, Wesley Matthews, Chandler Parsons and Dirk Nowitzki would all be rested, following a heavy workload the previous night in an overtime loss to Cleveland. Then, just before tipoff, word surfaced that Zaza Pachulia would also be scratched with an injury. This led to the debut of the much anticipated Javale McGee, Charlie Villanueva, Jeremy Evans, Raymond Felton, J.J. Barea lineup. And by much anticipated I meanAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA.
Ejections make this game slightly less boring
For such an utterly forgettable game with an outcome essentially decided within the first ten minutes, there was some awfully testy behavior from both sides. In the second quarter, J.J. Barea and Russell Westbrook got tangled up, drawing technicals for each. Charlie Villanueva was ejected for coming to Barea's aid and apparently using some naughty language. Later, Barea and Westbrook again got a little too physical, with Westbrook notching his second technical of the night and thus also being ejected. If that wasn't enough, Steven Adams came close to getting a flagrant call(and, not that it matters, but I'm not sure how he didn't) after putting Javale McGee in a headlock and riding him to the floor.
Salah Mejri leaves his mark
With the starters all out, Charlie Villanueva ejected and Devin Harris injured early, you were half expecting Casey Smith and Rick Carlisle to put on uniforms and check in. With eight guys active for the second half, it was clear everyone was going to be put out there, and that included 29-year-old rookie Salah Mejri. Playing in his first game since November 11th, Mejri scored his first basket as an NBA player, and then kept scoring, registering 17 points(which nearly led the team) on 7-8 shooting and collecting 9 rebounds along the way. No matter what the score read it has to be difficult to come off the bench cold -- having not played in months -- and play well. Mejri did just that, and knowing Rick Carlisle's "be ready" mentality, it is highly possible that Mejri has earned himself some more looks down the line. With more back-to-backs on the schedule, Dallas will almost certainly be resting guys again. Mejri, who still looks very thin despite being over 7-feet, finished several contact dunks, against guys like Ibaka and Steven Adams. He is undoubtedly the silver lining for this game.
That's about all the good things you can expect to hear in a game where a team shoots 39% and loses by nearly 20. The Mavs take on the Bulls in Chicago on Friday and now that this game is over you can forget it ever happened. See ya Friday!