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4 things we learned as the Mavs lose to the Jazz in OT, 107-112

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Gutsy basketball ft ... well loss I guess

NBA: Utah Jazz at Dallas Mavericks Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Please be okay J.J. Please.

Other than that really disappointing moment in the last minute, this was so unexpectedly uplifting—and then all the refs ignored a Rick Carlisle timeout and the game went to overtime. Sorta downhill after that.

Still, ugly basketball can be a lot of fun sometimes, especially when you just really need an escape from real life. And this didn’t end up be as ugly as it seemed like it might be after a quarter. (chanting “not talking about the refs not talking about the refs not talking about the refs not talking about the refs.”)

Okay let’s do this.

These Mavs are gritty as hell

Look, you’re not going to catch me saying that these Dallas Mavericks are a good basketball team. But they’re nothing to sneeze at anymore. I’m starting to think these guys can hang with most other teams in the NBA. They sure as hell hung with the Jazz tonight.

Dallas stayed within 5 points of Utah pretty much the entire game. The Jazz are a tough team, and it was a lot of fun seeing the Mavs play this feisty, kinda ugly game. By the time we got to the end of the fourth, I was actually pretty sure Dallas was going to win. I’m really frustrated that completely imploded in the most frustrating way ever, but still, kudos to the team for this game. Hard fought, impressive effort. Not their fault the .... oh yeah, I’m not talking about the refs. Moving on.

Ow ow my heart, it hurts

Dirk had a baaaad night, and I don’t like it. Even with his well-deserved near-max contract, the big German couldn’t buy a bucket tonight. There was one horrible cringe-worthy point early in the fourth when Dirk missed a point blank layup, got the rebound, missed the layup again, rebounded again, and missed the layup again. I nearly cried.

8.3 percent field goal percentage. Is that...... bad?

Dirk has been playing increasingly well since coming back from injury, and I’m not worried about one cold shooting performance. And our beloved hero had 10 rebounds, so he wasn’t a complete liability out there tonight. Put this one behind you, dear sir.

That bench tho

Devin Harris. Jose Juan Barea. Dwight Powell. Dorian Finney-Smith.

Heroes, the lot of ‘em. These boys kicked some ass tonight. Devin got the party started when he finished the first quarter off by single-handedly reeling off an 8-0 run. Barea and Powell joined in on the fun in the second half, followed shortly by the increasingly common solid play by DFS.

Everyone saw that Barea-Anderson alley oop right? Go look it up if you missed, that ish was dope.

I’m maybe most impressed by how well-rounded this performance was. Bad nights, relatively speaking, by the Mavs’ two stars didn’t stop Dallas from being in this the entire time. 7 players in double figures. Team effort. Love it.

Big picture

As someone who is on the record as #teamtank for the remainder of the season, I guess this is a good outcome. HOWEVER—this is the problem with that philosophy. I know that the best thing, long term, is for Dallas to get a great draft pick. But dammit if it didn’t hurt to see an impressive win slip through the Mavs’ fingers. I was rooting so hard for my guys to win this. They worked so hard, and most of this game was just so entertaining.

Our Mavs deserved a win tonight. Big picture, a win isn’t what the organization needs. But in my deep blue MFFL heart, I can’t help but want to see our team succeed, in each moment, game, and season. This season is weird and hard. Sorta fits the times I suppose.

But for everyone like me shouting that the Mavs need to lose lose lose, just remember tonight. Remember shouting for Dwight Powell’s late game heroics.

And now we’re on to the next one. Have a great weekend folks!