Normally these recaps feature a few key things we learned from the game. This was a weird and frustrating game, so I thought I would go for something a little different. I just. This game. I can't. So in lieu of things we learned today, I'm going to give you some incredulous questions that I have coming out of this game.
Did a 4 point guard lineup actually work for a hot second?
Yeah, kinda. That just happened. Rick Carlisle saw his team struggling against the Denver Nuggets, but somehow pulling out a 2-point lead after 3 quarters. So of course, he decided to do something insane. "Hey, why not play all my point guards at the same time, along with my slow, aging franchise superstar at center?"
And of course, that lineup rebounded better than any other Mavs lineup all night. Because Rick Carlisle is a sorcerer who defies all logic.
What's going on with the three-point shot?
Dallas and Denver combined to go 0-10 from range in the first quarter. Mike Miller hit the first 3-pointer of the game with just over 6 minutes left in the 2nd quarter. A couple of minutes later, J.J. Barea hit Dallas's first 3.
Dallas shot 20% from 3 in the 1st quarter. Then they remember that the corners can be a fun play to shoot from. The party got started really early in the 3rd quarter, when Dirk "the corner is my least favorite place on the court" Nowitzki nailed an open 3-pointer from the corner. Which was the second most surprising thing to happen today (RIP Dubs). From there, the entire team rushed to the corners to hit all the open 3-point shots, with Wes Matthews in particular taking advantage.
Then of course, the long-range shot again deserted the Mavs as they underwent their usual end of the game attempt to go to overtime. Like clockwork, Dallas blew a good lead and all of its momentum, primarily by missing 3-point shots. Then DWill happened (yay!). And then overtime happened (boo!).
Is Deron Williams the most clutch player ever?
For most of the night, Deron Williams looked lackadaisical at best. Then when Dallas gave up its lead midway through the fourth quarter, DWill flipped a switch and suddenly became Steph Curry. Deron Williams scored the final 13 points of the fourth quarter for Dallas. He scored 17 points total in regulation. Yes, you read that correctly.
I honestly have no idea what is up with this guy. He nailed two just nasty contested long 3-pointers. He dribbled Kenneth Faried into a black hole on his way to a gorgeous runner. On the Mavs' last score of the game, he avoided a foul somehow to throw down an easy dunk. In NBA Jam parlance, DERON WILLIAMS WAS ON FIRE. (Boom shakalaka).
Now yes, Chandler Parsons ruined it. That turnover that led to overtime was just inexcusably awful. But that shouldn't detract from DWill's dominance in the back half of the 4th quarter. Even if he did promptly disappear in the overtime.
Is Dirk actually immortal?
The only good thing to come out of this game was that we got to witness (probably) one of the last few 30+ point games of Dirk's career. Dirk was FEELING IT from range today. I may or may not have jumped up and shouting some profanity when Dirk hit the 3 in overtime to score his 28th, 29th, and 30th points.
Dirk is an ageless wonder. I love him so much. I hate that he has to suffer through games like this.
Why are the Marvs?
Dallas played like hot garbage for much of this game, then turned it on in the fourth, then found a way to blow it. Which is just so so typical for this team lately. I don't know which was worse, the Parsons turnover to end the 4th or the Felton foul to end the overtime. There just feels like there is something existentially wrong with this team.
I feel kinda like pulling my hair out. This game feels fitting for the stretch we've suffered through since before the all-star break. From Rick Carlisle's lineup choices to Wes Matthews's complete absence on the defensive end to Parsons having one of his worst games of the season to countless bonehead errors.... the list goes on and on. This team has a lot of smart, competent, talented veterans who should be able to work together to be better than the sum of their parts. They did it earlier this season. And yet....
I just don't know you guys. This is beyond frustrating. But there were some good takeaways. Dirk had 30. David Lee had 18 points, 12 rebounds, and 4 blocks. But Parsons was bad. Other than a few minutes right at the end, Deron was mediocre. Wes isn't playing like anything resembling a max player. Too many weird lineups. And on and on and on. Something needs fixing on this team, and I'm not quite sure what it is.
But this can't keep happening. And I'm pretty sure Rick Carlisle knows it. I just have no idea what he's going to do about it.