How It Happened: Okay…on the count of three say it with me. 1….2….3….Woosah! Woosah! I think that’s how we were all feeling after the double overtime thriller the Mavs put us through tonight. It was like getting your hopes up and then getting kicked in the gut…only to get your hopes up again and repeat the process.
The Mavericks were facing the Blazers for the first time since their 1st Round Playoff thriller last year, in which the Mavs took in 6 games. Only this time, Lamarcus Aldridge now had the All-Star stamp of approval, and he certainly played like it.
Dallas got off to a hot start leading by as many as 18 points against a team that at the moment looked very uninspired and eager to get out of town as fast as possible. The only problem was the Mavs never put them away when they could have. Over the last couple games, they have really had a hard time with the turnovers. Tonight was no different, as they had a game high 23 turnovers. The worst part about it was it really didn’t have a whole lot to do with the Portland defense.
“Right now, we have to do better with the turnovers. Right now, we are doing some things that are just uncharacteristically weird out there,” Carlisle said.
The Mavericks outplayed Portland in nearly every other stat possible, which really caused that sick feeling that MAVS Nation was dealing with all game.
Mavs Points Assists Rebounds
Dirk Nowitzki 17.1 1.9 6.0
Chandler Parsons 15.7 2.4 4.9
Tyson Chandler 10.0 1.2 11.5
Monta Ellis 19.1 4.2 2.4
Rajon Rondo 9.2 6.4 4.7
The turnovers and some poor shooting by Dirk Nowitzki in the 2nd Half caused this to turn into one heck of a nail biting roller coaster ride. Dirk couldn’t knock down the final shot at the end of regulation or the 1st overtime. Nowitzki did however put the game away for good when he hit a jumper from the free throw line, which was heavily contested by Aldridge.
“You can’t give me two looks. I should have made the first one, really, at the end of regulation going right, great stepback, great look,” Nowitzki confessed. “To me, it was right on line and I thought actually it was going in, but that’s basketball. Sometimes you get the bounce, sometimes you don’t. It was a little long and bounced out. The second one wasn’t that great of a look. I took probably one or two dribbles too much, ended up on the baseline and that was a tough look there. … I finally got one.”
The one player that can definitely not be overlooked is the guy who was sitting on the bench for quite some time. Carlisle had said that there would be a minutes restriction for Jason Kidd while he was getting re-acclamated on the court. That led to Delonte West coming out for the 2nd overtime period. He quickly knocked down 3 jumpers and gave the Mavs a much needed jumpstart. He easily had the freshest legs out there, as both teams were finishing up back to back games.
“The guy stays ready and he’s a money player,” Carlisle said of West. “He’s had that reputation ever since he’s been in the league. We had been battling pretty good but we needed a lift. J-Kidd was at his minutes ceiling for tonight. He was the guy. The first play of overtime we draw up a play and he winds up with the shot that got us going. He did good things defensively and he was big at both ends.”
Play of the Game: After Haywood got a tip-in off a Marion missed layup, the Mavs led 95-93. Then after the Blazers failed to respond, Nowitzki did what he couldn’t do at the end of the 4th quarter and in the first overtime. Standing at the top of the key, he worked himself in typical Dirk fashion into a nice contested jumper over Aldridge, giving the Mavs a 97-93 lead with only 16.5 left in the game.
Player of the Game: Easily has to go to Delonte West, coming in to replace Kidd in the 2nd overtime period. He came in, was aggressive, and gave the Mavs a much needed pair of fresh legs.
What’s On Tap: The Mavs will have an off day tomorrow, and then will get back to work Monday as they will get a chance for revenge against Blake Griffin, Chris Paul, and the rest of Lob City. Caron Butler will be presented his championship ring before the game.
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