DALLAS, TX- It was Rajon Rondo Day at the American Airlines Center as the Dallas Mavericks played host to the San Antonio Spurs at the American Airlines Center in the highly anticipated debut of newly acquired point guard Rajon Rondo. The Spurs played tonight’s game without the services of Tim Duncan (rest), Manu Ginobili (rest), Kawhi Leonard (hand) and Tony Parker (hamstring) who were all out in what was the second night of a back-to-back for the Spurs, after a triple overtime loss to the Portland Trailblazers.
In the first half, the Mavs were unable to feed on the energy of the excitement of Rondo’s debut. The offense worked slowly through their offensive sets, almost as if they were in morning shoot around. Rondo, brought energy and tenacity on both ends of the floor, finishing the first half with 0 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists while being forced into 3 turnovers. Monta Ellis again played the role of sparkplug holding everything together for the Mavs offensively, finishing the first half with 18 points as the Mavs went into halftime trailing 47-42.
Carlisle on Monta: He was the best player on the court today.
— DallasSportsFanatic (@Dallas_Fanatic) December 21, 2014
The Mavs continued to scratch and clawed their way back into position in the third quarter, closing the deficit to 2 points by the end of the third quarter. Then, in the fourth quarter, Monta Ellis took over scoring 11 of his 38 points in the final four minutes of the game, going 15 of 23 (65.2 percent) from the floor including 5 of 6 (83.3 percent) from the three-point line leading the Mavs to a 99-93 victory.
While it’s clear the new addition of Rondo to this system will take some time, the Mavericks still have the ability to feed off of the crowd and get into an uptempo type style of basketball. It’s easy when you have “Monta Have It All” Ellis getting into that mode in the closing minutes of ball games.
Up Next: The Mavericks will spend the rest of their weekend at home, and prepare for the Atlanta Hawks (19-7), who took down the Rockets earlier tonight. The Hawks have won 12 out of their last 13, and are one of the hottest teams in basketball right now.
Photo Credit: InTheMomentPics