Thursday night was a homecoming for Jason Kidd as the Mavericks traveled to Oakland and Oracle Arena (Which I cleverly named “Horror-acle Arena” after the 2007 playoffs debacle.). Mavs needed this game in order to maintain the 6 seed in the western conference. Kidd and Delonte West were starting just their second game together since late January.
Before we get started I must say that as much as I hated the Warriors in 2007, I feel much less hatred since they changed the uniforms and court design. It’s a very clean look and throwback design. Not to mention that they no longer have Matt Barnes and Baron Davis but let’s not get into that.
I’d like to have an idea of what happened in the game for the first 8 minutes, but the ESPN Bowl (Heat/Bulls game) went to over time. Although it was a great game, I was stuck looking at Lebron’s weird Amish beard thing. Bulls won by the way as the Heat managed to score no points in the entire 5 minute over time.
TNT finally tuned in the Mavs game with 3 minutes left in the first quarter and we were all welcomed by the angelic voice of Reggie Miller. I immediately noticed that the Mavs were playing with a high sense of urgency. The defense was stout and an opponent was finally shooting under 40% for the first quarter. The Mavs also ended the 1st with ZERO turnovers which is progress. And did my eyes deceive me?? Dirk with a buzzer beater to end the quarter and Dallas lead 27-20. It was nice to see the good guys with a buzzer beater for once this year.
Second quarter was the Brandan Wright and Roddy B show. Wright was a monster in the quarter with key blocks and dunks with a splash of jump shots. If he’s going to be at the power forward position going into the playoffs in absence of the Kardashian, he’ll need to hit jump shots more often. His rebounds are crucial as well because it allows the Mavs to be more confident in shooting outside jump shots. If Dirk and JET know that Wright is there to suck up rebounds, they’ll be less hesitant to shoot. Roddy B was also on fire as he was back in his second favorite arena, the Oracle. After all, this is the same place that he scored his career high 40 points in 2010. In a span of 30 seconds Roddy had a sweet reverse lay up; and then a steal followed by an assist to Marion. He was also the recipient of a flawless alley oop pass from Jason Kidd that was not replayed for some weird reason. But I’m sure you’ll catch it on Top 10. (Actually, I just saw it and it was #10. Right behind a routine play by Jose Reyes of the Marlins……yawn)
Mavs lead 63-49.
– Only 2 Reggie Miller references to “J.J Berrerra”
– Jason Kidd with 1 assist to Marc Jackson.
The second half started off strong as The National Baller Service issued a “Triple Double Watch” for Jason Kidd. Meaning that conditions were favorable for a Triple Double to occur (You weather buffs might appreciate that one). Kidd was active with key steals and assists. But this quarter also showed some complacency in the Mavs as they got too comfortable with their 18 point lead. Mavericks started shooting and missing consecutive 3’s that were answered by Golden State points. The rookie Klay Thompson scored 13 points in the quarter with a lot of that coming from clutch 3 pointers. Most of which were wide open shots as Dallas became lazy on perimeter defense. GoldenStatecut the Dallaslead to 10 points at the end of the 3rd and it looked to be another big lead squandered.
The 4th quarter started right where Golden State left off as they went on a 12-2 run that was lead by little Nate Robinson. The Mavericks 18 point lead was cut down to just 3 and at this point I took a walk to the kitchen to keep my blood pressure at a reasonable level. But just in time, the Bat Signal was lit up and pointed toward the sky and our guy showed up to save the day. Dirk (27 points) stopped the bleeding with 9 minutes left in the game as he drained a jumper. That was followed by a big Jason Terry 3 pointer and the Mavs regained an 8 point lead. Warrior’s shots were quickly matched by bigger Mavericks shots as Dallas won their 33rd game of the season.
Mavs prevail! 112-103
It was a key win but a concern moving forward is the fact that the Mavericks didn’t pull away from a lesser team and give themselves a chance to rest the starters. Rather than sit Dirk, Kidd, and Terry for the final 4 to 5 minutes, the Mavs had to play all their role players to fight off the pesky Warriors. This is potentially problematic being that the Mavericks have to play in Portland tonight and fresher legs would’ve been nice.
But there’s also plenty to be excited about. Brandan Wright is playing great right now and ended the night with 16 points, 9 rebounds, and a lot of high energy plays. Roddy B (11 points) also showed up big tonight and mixed up slashing to the rim with timely jump shots and 3’s. He’s becoming a consistent player that can take a team by surprise come playoff time.
About that Jason Kidd Triple Double. He ended up ONE POINT shy. But the most interesting part of his pursuit of the triple double is that he had the perfect chance to pull it off when he had a wide open lay-up opportunity with 1 minute left to play. But being the ultimate team player that he is; he brought the ball back to the top of the key and ran time off the clock. Kidd finished with 9 points, 10 assists, and 12 rebounds. My question is what would Russell Westbrook have done?? I think we know the answer to that.
You can follow Tony on Twitter @TCinDALLAS
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