The Mavericks aren’t tanking
And they never were.
Sometimes, bad basketball teams win games. Especially when the team(s) they are playing, are struggling mightily or dealing with injuries.
With both Joel Embiid and Jimmy Butler out, it felt like the Sixers still would have enough in Tobias Harris and Ben Simmons to bring them over the finish line.
But it was apparent very quickly that outside of those two, Philly didn’t have enough, which is really saying something considering their competition. Guys like James Ennis, Jonah Bolden, and Haywood Highsmith (who?), saw floor time tonight and that clearly meant good things for Dallas.
It was the Mavs third win in five games, and as this season winds to a close, it begs the question…What are their priorities? They have a built-in excuse to “tank” with Luka’s lingering thigh/knee injury.
It’s something to monitor this last week and a half.
My apologies, Salah
So for some time now, I have not been a believer in Salah Mejri being an NBA quality player. Not that I have any issues with the guy, it’s just I didn’t feel he met the baseline requirement of being on an NBA roster. And I’m going to contradict my initial takeaway, and say I still believe that. But at least for a night, Salah 100 percent belonged out there. In fact, he stood out.
He really has picked up his play as of late, perhaps enough to stick around for another season? Likely not. But the emergence of a somewhat functional three point shot and his always aggressive defensive style have made for some fun moments down the stretch.
“The only person that can stop Mejri is Carlisle,” Carlisle joked after Salah’s 16 point, 14 rebound, 3 assist showing.
Whether he is here or not next year isn’t that important. Let’s just try and enjoy the Salah experience for the few games we likely have left. It’s certainly been a fun four years with him.
Dirk’s looming retirement is getting real
From Mark Cuban’s long, impassioned reflection pregame about what might be Dirk’s last few game, to why the fans should stay in their seats afterwards, it finally feels like it’s here.
It has been looming all year, but when there are so many games on your schedule and all the Luka hysteria, it was easy to let it slip the mind, as some sort of unconscious repression.
But five games stand in between us and saying goodbye to our sports hero. Our idol. And in my specific case, the man who led me to what my passion is today; The game of basketball.
He doesn’t even know my name and he’s only seen my face around the arena a few times this season, but he’s made a massive impact on my life and the direction I’m headed.
I’m not going to know how to process it, how to channel what I’m feeling, any of it. I’m sure all the MFFL’s are right there with me. We all have our own strong attachments to Dirk.
It speaks to the not only the quality of basketball player he is, but the kind of person. And that’s why he deserves an epic sendoff, only fit for a legend.
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