Thursday, November 6, 2008

The Sun Is Shining Bright Over Mavsville

"The dark clouds have broken over Mavsville. Oh, and the sun is shining!"
That is what play-by-play broadcaster Mark Followill enthusiastically said as the first half ended Tuesday night with the Mavericks up by 18 points on the road against the most hated basketball team in DFW, the San Antonio Spurs. Dallas never looked back, as they maintained a decent lead throughout the game.

Just a couple of days ago, we here at DallasDedicated shared our disappointment with you in the way the sports franchises around here are playing. Maybe the Mavs read this site, because what I saw Tuesday night was something I haven't seen from the Mavs since early last season. The Mavs looked great, elite, unstoppable, even championship-worthy... is that enough superlatives?

Dallas came out firing on all cylinders (53 percent), getting hands in the faces of jumpshooting Spurs (SA shot under 42 percent), and making sure that they were not out-rebounded (Mavs won the boards battle 45-34, first time this season). But, more importantly, the Mavs kept up the intensity in the final quarter. When the Spurs cut the lead to 8 and the crowd got back in the game, the Mavs made sure they got to the basket. The biggest problem thus far has been the Mavs' 4th quarter play. Monday night against Cleveland showed us all how bad things can get for this basketball team when the shots are not falling and the Mavs are refusing to get to the basket. On Tuesday night, this was not the case. Despite only getting to the free throw line 5 times (I see the NBA still loves those Spurs), Dallas made sure to get to the basket and keep the fast break alive despite San Antonio's efforts to slow the game down.

Jason Terry has been, to put it nicely, struggling. The starting shooting guards have been struggling also, and Rick Carlisle couldn't seem to find the right mix of starters yet. Carlisle went with Jet at the starting 2 guard spot Tuesday night, and that may be his decision for the rest of the season. Jason Terry is a very streaky shooter, and when he comes off the bench, it seems like he can't get into the kind of rhythm that works for him. Tuesday night this was not a problem, as Terry started and had 29 points on 62 percent shooting. Not only was he on fire throughout the game, but he also had 6 assists and 3 boards. While Dirk overshadowed his scoring by putting up 30 of his own, Terry was by far the player of the game. If Terry is indeed given the starting spot permanently, this offense will cause many problems for opposing teams.

This season won't be so frustrating after all if the Mavs can develop some consistency game after game. The next test will be Friday night in Denver, where the Mavs get the pleasure of getting to be part of the Chauncey Billups debut.


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