clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Mavericks basketball is back and that’s great

New, comments

It was a weird off-season, followed by a depressing preseason and heart-breaking opener. Even still, the Mavs are back and that’s reason enough to be happy.

NBA: Dallas Mavericks at Indiana Pacers Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

It felt good when Harrison Barnes splashed that game-tying three. Damn good.

It felt like a miserable summer of questionable free agent decisions was worth it. It felt like Mavs fandom taking all those Ls on Twitter all summer was worth it.

It felt good when a prized free agent stepped up in the clutch. It felt good that he brushed off a preseason of horrific box scores.

It felt like relief and joy. It felt like the weight of summer Mavs basketball dread wasn’t just lifted off our shoulders, but skyrocketed into space and planted into the sun.

Mavericks basketball is back. Thank goodness.

They lost, sure. It wasn’t a great finish after Barnes canned the tying triple. The Mavs limped into overtime with nothing left in the tank after clawing their way back the entire game.

Don’t get me wrong, things were bad. The starting lineup didn’t quell any preseason fears, Dirk Nowitzki and Andrew Bogut didn’t mesh well, and Rick Carlisle went with an all-offense lineup featuring J.J. Barea and a “shake keys and hope the Pacers turn and look” strategy to try to steal some possessions on defense.

Indiana shot 50.5 percent from the field and 52.6 percent from three against what I figured would be a great Mavericks defense. A defense expected to carry a limp offense.

For one night, all that almost didn’t matter. That was fun, like watching the Mavericks is supposed to be. Dirk continues to amaze me even though I’ve spent more time watching his basketball career than with my family. That face-up jumper to tie the game late in the fourth quarter made me want to run through a brick wall.

Deron Williams didn’t totally shut up my fears about his paint-averse game, but he decided to become a flamethrower off the ball, canning threes off screens like Steph Curry. Speaking of Steph, Seth Curry was pretty fun too, and he balled his ass off on defense, getting his hands in the passing lanes and getting tons of deflections. And of course he nailed a deep triple coming off a screen like his brother.

Barea continued to be the secret MVP of the team after he carried them to the playoffs last year. Justin Anderson is 22-years-old and a regular in the rotation. For Rick Carlisle. For the Dallas Mavericks. What a time to be alive.

It was a loss, but about as encouraging a loss you can get. Things can be sorted, and the Mavs that looked like a lifeless slog during the preseason almost stole a road game against a good team. Bogut won’t have to match up with a center who shoots threes every night, Salah Mejri will see the floor and Wesley Matthews gulp will start making shots.

There’s a lot of season left. I’m just happy that for one night, the Mavericks made me forget a summer of Harrison Barnes Twitter jokes. Real, actual basketball is back, and it feels so good.