Snips and clips from the Maverick camp, plus:
- "Nic Batum," by Casey Holdahl
- Cavalcade of Crap Statistics
- Haiku Game Review
- Fried Rice
- Blazers/Maverick Recap
- Popcorn Machine + TBJ
posted by Henderson-Sports to Mavs Moneyball gameday open thread
7:50 pm: Please Mavs.....we need this tonight....it's therapy...
7:52 pm: Straight up battle tonight...Mavs showed toughness and heart to gut this one out
7:53 pm: 2-3 w/o Dirk at all....Butler for 2.5 and Marion for 1.....It will be nice to welcome the big man back on Thursday though....
by LJ Rotter, Mavs Moneyball (SBN)
Deep breaths, folks. That was a close one. The Mavericks have shown some real grit in the face of adversity, coming away with two wins with a depleted roster. The Trail Blazers are better than their record might indicate, and the Mavericks were able to hang in with their impressive rebounding, with both teams bringing in 46. * * *
The heroes of the game for the Mavericks were Terry, DeShawn Stevenson, who scored 18 points with four 3-pointers and a perfect 4-4 from the free throw line, and Tyson Chandler, who registered a double/double (14/13). Jose Barea quietly snuck in 10 points of his own, and was actually +6 on the floor. Also stepping up in Caron Butler's absence was Shawn Marion, who nearly had a double/double with 8 points and 9 rebounds. * * *
by Rob Mahoney, The Two Man Game (TrueHoop)
The Mavericks and their fans are no strangers to torment. Between the collapse/shenanigans of the 2006 Finals and the epic 2007 upset at the hands of the world-beating (or at least Maverick-beating) Warriors, this team has endured plenty. Still, Maverick nation is about to confront a startlingly new brand of disappointment: the letdown of mid-season injury.
For most of this decade, the Mavs have lived in a bubble, immune to the dings, strains, and breaks that befall so many other NBA franchises. They have no Greg Oden or Yao Ming, no Tracy McGrady or even Grant Hill. They've had Dirk Nowitzki, a picture of health throughout his NBA career, Jason Terry, an iron man in his own right, and a pretty ridiculous run of luck even among "injury-prone" players. The closest thing Dallas has encountered to a catastrophic injury was Josh Howard's bum ankle, but even that ailment occurred after Howard had regressed and begun to drift out of favor. * * *
Now take all of Caron's progress and toss it. It's of little import now. I haven't the faintest clue if Butler has any future in Dallas whatsoever, but he's certainly without one for this season. His next few months are effectively blank, filled with rehab and rest, "just trying to stay positive," and "supporting [his] teammates." It's not fair, but it never is. The only difference between today and yesterday is that on this particular day - this once in a decade day, apparently - it's the Mavs facing the business end of the fates' pointy stick. It had to happen sometime, so take relief in the notion that it could certainly be worse; what if it were Butler returning sometime this week and Nowitzki out for the long haul? * * *
posted by cmavswin to RealGM Mavericks message board
84-81 win by Dallas.
Nice defense by the Mavs to end the game and look no Barea on the court while this happened!
by Eddie Sefko, Dallas Morning News
* * *
LaMarcus Aldridge, having another huge night as he always seems to these days, hit one of two free throws. That opened the door for DeShawn Stevenson's 3-pointer that made it 82-78 with 51.5 left. Playing some of their best defense of the game, the Mavericks got burned when Wesley Matthews banked in a 3-pointer to make it a one-point game.
Once again, Terry worked the pick and roll and canned an 18 footer with 12.7 ticks remaining. The Blazers had one chance to tie, almost threw the ball away twice, then settled for an Aldridge 3-pointer that was right on line, but just too long from the right wing. * * *
by Jeff Caplan, Dallas Mavericks Report-ESPN Dallas/Ft. Worth
t wasn't pretty. In fact, it was downright ugly. But hey, the banged-up Mavericks aren't playing for a BCS ranking.
The Mavs are simply trying to survive as long as leading scorer Dirk Nowitzki remains tethered to the bench in a suit. Nowitzki missed his fifth consecutive game with a right knee strain and to make matters much worse, the Mavs found out earlier Tuesday that Caron Butler is expected to miss the rest of the season after he had surgery to repair a ruptured patellar tendon in his right knee.
So, Dallas will take the 84-81 victory and move on to Thursday's home game against the Oklahoma City Thunder and hope Nowitzki is ready to go. * * *
What it means: The Mavs could barely make up any ground on the San Antonio Spurs during their stretch of 12 consecutive wins and 17 of 18, so it comes as a bit of a surprise that they made up a full game Tuesday night with Nowitzki and Butler out of the lineup. But that's what happened as the Spurs lost at New York, 128-115, to pull Dallas to within three games in the standings. * * *
by Bryan Gutierrez, Mavs Moneyball (SBN)
Dallas Mavericks Coach Rick Carlisle preached before the game against the Portland Trail Blazers that the his team needed to mesh together as the injuries piled up. "You've got to pick up the slack as a group," Coach Rick Carlisle said. "Right now, the challenge for us is to get better defensively. That's gonna help trigger a lot of good things for us. And that's gonna be the biggest part of being successful with where we're at at this moment." Defense and Unity were critical to stay in the game, but Jason Terry's explosion in the fourth quarter capped off the game as the Mavericks defeated the Portland Trail Blazers, 84-81. * * *
Neither team really took control of the game as there were 11 lead changes in the game, the game was tied 10 times and neither team managed to create a double digit lead. The 81 points allowed against Portland tied a season low for points allowed, they did so as they hosted the Utah Jazz on December 3rd. "The one thing we can do as a team is get better defensively," Carlisle said. "Other than the first few minutes of the game, I thought we really battled. We played a really gritty type of game, and that's what we're going to have to do." * * *
by Eddie Sefko, Dallas Morning News
Without arguably their two best players, the Mavericks have to learn different ways to win. * * *
Stevenson typified the night, mixing in drives to the basket with his patented 3-pointers as defenders start pressing up on him since they don't have to worry about Nowitzki or Butler.
"When Dirk's out there, I get wide-open threes," said Stevenson, who had 18 points and has scored 39 in the two games since Butler was injured. "Without him, my man's always right there, so the drive is open."
Said Carlisle of Stevenson: "Our guys love him. Right now, he stands for everything we have to be about." * * *
by Alex Sanderson, Mavs Hoops (Rant Sports)
No matter what kind of adversity Dallas has had to face this season, they've generally had an answer. Tuesday night's home game against Portland was no different, as the Mavericks were missing two of their top three scorers, but nonetheless came away with their 26th victory of the year.
As they have been doing all year long, the Mavericks defense came up big as the Blazers shot just 41.8 percent from the field and Dallas got just enough offense (mostly from Jason Terry down the stretch) to get the 84-81 win. Dallas is now 26-8, with many of those wins coming in close games down the stretch. * * *
The Bottom Line:
1. It's great to win without Dirk. We've seen the other sort of result a couple times.
2. Blazers played a nice game and aren't as bad as their record might indicate.
3. Nice to pick up a game on the Spurs tonight. That's a start.
I was watching Casey Holdahl's show on Trail Blazer TV the other day — Just Casey Episode 17. I don't know if you've ever seen him do his solo schtick before, but it's really pretty good. If I were to describe it, I'd say it's a Blazer-centric chain-of-consciousness monologue involving recent game action, newsy news from the internets, and answers to questions from viewers. It's a full-featured basketball blog in audio-visual form, in other words.
One of the questions sent Casey's way by a viewer seemed a simple one: "What do you think of Nic Batum?" The answer that followed was so earnest, interesting, and original that I dropped Casey a line and asked him if I might be able to transcribe it for publication here. Casey very graciously agreed to my request and I thank him for that. What follows is a version somewhat edited for print.
Those of you interested in checking out Casey's full show, please do — just click on one of the links above.
I love Nic. He's my favorite player on the team, by far. He's a great guy, super-intelligent — I wish I could do a better job of telling the story about him.
Nicolas is an incredibly intelligent person who expresses himself in a second language in a way that has a certain poetry to it. He thinks of things beyond their superficial level. It's not that other guys are superficial, Nicolas just has a thoughtfulness to him. If you ask Nic a question — pregame, postgame, locker room, on the bus, doesn't matter — Nicolas is going to be straight with you.
I think that part of this has to do with the fact that the European guys, the international guys in general, didn't grow up with basketball being important to the people that were around them. Basketball, even though it is growing in popularity in other parts of the world, is nowhere near as popular elsewhere as it is here in the States.
You've got guys now growing up in the United States where people know who they are when they are Sophomores in high school. They're playing AAU tournaments, they've got guys in their ear all the time, coaches are telling them how great they are all the time, so on and so forth — so they get pumped up a lot, I guess. You could argue about whether that's good or bad — good for basketball and bad for players, good for players and bad for basketball — what have you, that's a conversation for another time.
But the international players, that's not the case for them. They're toiling in relative anonymity when it comes to their own countries, so they don't have that filter that comes along with having been idolized for a large portion of their life. I feel like they're a little bit more honest, a little bit more straightforward.
Part of that with Nicolas is the language thing as well. Nicolas's English is fantastic, but you have to speak and express yourself in a more straightforward fashion when you're speaking a language that's not your native tongue. People who have spoken English their entire life know how to talk around things or kind of speak in code. Many of the Internationals aren't able to do that because they don't have command of enough of the nuances of the language.
Whatever the reason, I love it, it's great. That's why the International guys are some of my favorite guys to work with because they're so honest, they're really thoughtful about how they answer questions — with Nicolas being at the top of that list. Every time you talk to Nic he always gives you something good.
Besides the fact that I like him and I really like his game, I hope that he'll continue to improve so that I'll have more and more reason to write about Nicolas because he's my favorite player, my favorite guy to talk to, all around great dude. And he likes pets, which I think is fantastic — so kudos to you, Nic.
* * *
So you want some more factoids and statoids, do ya? Suit yourself...
- The last block in the career of defensive specialist Dikembe Mutombo came against Sergio Rodriguez of the Portland Trail Blazers.
- Brandon Roy has shot 82% jumpers this season, a slightly lower rate than Rudy Fernandez (88%) but a significantly higher rate than Wesley Matthews (69%).
- Through January 2nd, LaMarcus Aldridge had played 80% of the total game minutes played by the Blazers this year.
- Through the January 2 game against Houston, LaMarcus Aldridge and Wesley Matthews have averaged precisely the same number of points scored per 36 minutes — 18.3.
- The arena used by the Utah Jazz is named for a company that specializes in nuclear waste disposal.
- Brandon Roy's last scored play for the Trail Blazers this season prior to being shut down indefinitely was an assist on a Nic Batum 3-pointer with 24 seconds remaining in the December 15 loss at Dallas.
- Paul Allen is not the richest owner in the NBA. Mikhail Prokhorov, the Russian metals magnate who owns the New Jersey Nets, is said by Fortune magazine to be worth $13.4 Billion, topping The Octopus and his $12.7 Billion. Next biggest bucks in the bank vault of the basketball bourgeoisie are those of Philip Anschutz, one-third owner of the Lakers, who is worth $7 Billion.
- Over the course of his entire NBA career, Andre Miller has averaged one made 3-point shot each 237 minutes he is on the floor. In other words, if he played every minute of every game, Dre would hit one shot from downtown every five games.
- During the 2009-10 NBA Playoffs, Andre Miller shot better from beyond the 3 point arc (42.9%) than he did from inside it (40.5%).
- Even though he officially is recognized for having maintained a prodigious consecutive games streak of 632, Andre Miller actually only saw action in 80 games during the 2006-07 season due to an in-season trade from Denver to Philadelphia.
- Nic Batum's father, Henry, was a professional basketball player in France who died at the free throw line of an aneurysm. Henry Batum was a 6'7" forward who played as a pro for 10 seasons.
- According to 82Games.com, Small Forwards score more points per game against Portland than do Shooting Guards.
- During the Jailblazer era, the team bought the domain name johncanzano.com for unspecified purposes, Canzano being one of the more outspoken critics of the organization at the time.
- Paul Allen's 414-foot ship, The Octopus, is the largest privately owned yacht in the world. It has a crew of 60, cost $200 Million to build, and requires $20 Million per year to maintain.
- If Paul Allen spent 4 full weeks a year on his boat, salaries and maintenance alone would work out to costing him $500 per minute of his presence. If you want to add in pro-rated capital costs, assuming 20 years of four week summers on the waves, that would bump up that figure to $750 per minute. Well, you know what PA's buddy J.P. Morgan used to say about the price of yachts: "If you have to ask, you probably can't afford it."
- A Google search for the words GREG + ODEN + PENIS returns 22,300 results.
- January 26 marks the one year anniversary of PeckerGate. Presumably Greg has grown from the experience.
- Kevin Pritchard's ostentatious tri-level 5 bedroom Lake Oswego mansion is listed on the market for $3.6 Million. How much was The Octopus paying that guy again? Wesley Matthews is said to be currently renting the digs.
- Australian good humor man Patty Mills is widely regarded as the creator of the now famous "three goggles."
- Patty Mills' father is a Torres Strait Islander and his mother is an Aborigine from the Ynunga people of South Australia. I'm not an ethnologist and I don't play one on TV, but I believe that makes him caucasian.
- Patty Mills played 5 games for Idaho in the D-League last season, where he averaged 26.2 points per game.
- Shaquille Oneal and his teammate Glen "Big Baby" Davis attended the same university. That doesn't really have anything to do with the Blazers, but I still think it's sort of interesting.
- Portland has had only 1 overtime game this season. They lost to the Thunder on November 4.
- According to my math, beloved Blazer broadcaster Mike Rice will be 70 years old sometime in 2011.
- Speaking of birthdays, Paul Allen will be 58 years old on January 21.
- If the Miami Heat face the San Antonio Spurs in the 2010-11 NBA Finals, Sean Marks can say, quite truthfully, that he has played for both teams.
- Patty Mills' 2010-11 Blazer contract, worth $937,195, is still not guaranteed. Next year he's a free agent.
- If Joel Przybilla gets traded this year, he makes an extra $1.1 Million according to terms of his contract.
- We all know that the Blazers are hamstrung salary-wise by the big money extensions they signed with Brandon Roy and LMA, but did you know that Marcus C amby makes more money this year than Aldridge?
- The (thoroughly worthless) rookie Luke Babbitt will make about $250,000 more than third year budding star Nic Batum this season. Yes, the rookie contract scale does have certain problems...
Time for a little video so that you don't get an ice cream headache from gobbling down too many irrelevant snippets too fast... It's time for a little hamster dance for this hamsterdance column of mine...
Was that video a piece of great art or one of the most insipid things you've ever seen? One of those two, for sure...
Okay, has your ice cream brain recovered? Then have at these...
- Former Blazer and Houston Rockets Head Coach Rick Adelman is old enough to be current Blazer boss Nate McMillan's dad.
- The Blazers may run some cheesy promotions from time to time, but they have never had a promotion like the New Jersey Nets did last March, which offered free tax preparation service to those buying a ticket for a game with the Magic.
- Harry Glickman, founder of the Blazers basketball club, bought the Portland franchise from the league for just $3.8 Million in 1970.
- This season, Paul Allen will pay more than $3.8 Million in salary to 7 different Blazers players. A dollar just doesn't go quite as far as it used to.
- If the Blazers don't renounce their rights in the meantime, by the 2015-16 season the team will face nearly $8.5 Million in salary cap holds on Petteri Koponen, Victor Claver, and Joel Freeland — even if none of the three guys ever plays a single minute for the team.
- The first ever Portland Trail Blazer preseason game was played in Longview, Washington.
- According to his Facebook page, Blazer broadcaster Bill Schonely coined the phrase "Rip City" on February 18, 1971.
- Second year man Wesley Matthews (Marty Blazer 2.0) is actually a couple months older than Martell Webster (Marty Blazer 1.0).
- So far this season, Martell Webster (just recovered from injury) is outscoring Wesley Matthews on a per 36 minute basis, 18.4 to 18.3.
- Marcus Camby was raised in Hartford, Connecticut.
- Both Marcus Camby and LaMarcus Aldridge are #2 overall picks in their respective drafts.
- Brandon Roy and Andre Miller were both 4 year players in college. Over that time, both hit just over 51% of their shots from the field, but Dre played well over 40% more collegiate minutes than Brandon did.
- Andre Miller was the NBA Assists leader for the 2001-02 season.
- Miller is currently #17 for Assists in the NBA, all time, and is #3 among active players.
- Bill Schonely almost became the radio voice of the expansion Seattle SuperSonics in 1967. He was offered the job but a main sponsor preferred Bob Blackburn so the Schonz was shunted aside. Money talks.
- Former Blazer Travis Outlaw, drafted in 2003, has played more years in the NBA than he has total number of playoff games.
- Ben Golliver's favorite Blazer, Sean Marks, was a four year player at the University of California. During his Senior year, Marks saw action in about 26 minutes a game, averaging 9.8 points and 7.6 boards.
- Sean Marks was once traded for Marcus Camby. It goes like this: the New York Knicks drafted Marks in the 2nd Round in 1998 and sent him the next day, together with Charles Oakley and cash, to Toronto in exchange for Camby.
- //// REDACTED. SEE COMMENTS SECTION BELOW, COMMENT BY AK1984. ////
- Assuming that Paul Allen continues to CTC for Sean Marks for the rest of the season, and assuming he retires at the end of the year — both realistic possibilities — Marks will retire having made $9.5 Million over the course of his NBA career. It is good to be tall.
- As anybody paying the least bit of attention is aware, I'm not a big fan of John Hollinger's mallarkificent pseudo-stat PER. Garbage In, Garbage Out. For example, in each of two seasons, 2005-06 and 2007-08, journeyman Sean Marks had a PER over 15, the league average for his position. Remember that tidbit next time you get ready to tout a PER number as if it means something.
- I don't like to pick on Marks — he is what he is and will give ya what he can and he has made a career of it. Good for him. My whipping boy is 1st Round draft pick Luke Babbitt, for whom some idiot or group of idiots in the Blazer organization wasted Marty Webster. Fecophiliacs will now be happy to learn that Babbitt is at last shooting somewhat better from the free throw line (28.6%) than he is from the field (28.0%). These numbers are up appreciably since when we last visited (25% and 25%, respectively). Putting things in perspective, Babbitt on the line is now approximately as good as Travis Outlaw chucking bricks for money from 30 feet.
With that snarky mental image, I leave you...
* * *
Nowitzki is hurt
Blazers will not cry for you
There are no more tears
Here's some more wackiness from the twisted tongue of goofy Uncle Mike...
Ricey's definitive word on Rick Carlisle...
"I don't like his haircut, but he's really coaching well."
Blazers jump out to a little lead and the Dallas coach has seen enough...
"Rick Carlisle, already, with that funny haircut, wants a time out."
Kidd misses an easy open jumper from the elbow...
"Jason off the dribble not nearly as good as he was when he was young, 30 years ago."
MB sums it up succinctly...
"Just like a Big 12 football game, Coach Rice — a lot of dust, not a lot of scoring."
Blazers 81 at Mavericks 84.
January 4, 2011.
Blazers' record is now 18-17, the Mavs are 26-8.
Let's go with the Full Prattle tonight...
0. Dirk is out. Hurray for that. Nate: "It can be very dangerous when a team does not have their key guys — at least when Dirk is out there you know where the ball is going to go." Given the choice between the MVP and, oh, let's say anyone on Mark Cuban's payroll, I'd rather it go somewhere other than the Large German Man, thank you very much. It's really cold out tonight, so it's soup and french bread for eats, the good old Pollutionmatic woodstove cranked up. Noice. Blazers playing their 20th road game of the year tonight — there are just 22 to go. With Jason Terry and Shawn Marion moving to the starting five, the Dallas bench is really "goofed up," Mike Rice tells us. This would be true. Subway giving away free Trail Blazers tote bags. I wonder if the bottom suddenly falls out of them when one least expects it... I see that Dallas is jumping on the infantile team mascot bandwagon with a blue pony character. Yeesh. Adam Bjaranson says "I like the Blazers chances tonight, yes I do." Me, too.
1. It's gametime, girls and boys. Gimme a "Woot! Woot!"
Wesley opens with a trey and dons the Three Goggles. It's on. MB calls Jason Kidd "Jason Terry" twice in a row. Somebody didn't get a guard-spotting book for Christmas... Things flowed offensively, with the Blazers putting 10 points on the board in the first 2:45. Dallas responded with heavy doubling on LMA, forcing others to beat them. The Blazers hit 6 of the first 10 shots, pulling down a couple offensive rebounds in the process. Dallas blew three separate odd-man breaks, which was the entire early margin of the game. Mavs makes were all in the paint, causing much consternation among the Blazer announcers.
"Now remember, the Mavericks are 27th in the whole NBA in offensive rebounds," says Rice. Not for long, the way the Mavs were going. Camby hit a 15 footer on the baseline, a clear violation of my 10 foot rule. LMA got his first oop dunk at 3:26. Tyson Chandler with an oop dunk of his own shortly thereafter, sending it to the second TV time out. Mills pushes off on Barea up top and gets a whistle on JJ. The Blazers' 8 point lead vanished with JJ & Co. on the floor, Dallas putting on a 8-2 run. At 1:10 LMA sat down and Joel Przybilla made his appearance. Blazers couldn't hit a shot. Dallas got the benefit of two whistles on charge/block calls, tying up the game from the foul line with 30 seconds remaining. Dallas tried to hold but turned it over with 4.6 seconds showing. Rudy had a gorgeous opportunity to hit an uncontested trey at the horn on a set play, Patty dropping the ball to him, but he bricked, sadly. END OF THE 1ST QUARTER: PDX 24, DAL 24.
2. Rice continues to call a low-scoring game, in spite of the evidence before him. Cunningham picks up his 3rd personal foul in just 4 minutes of action, bringing in Przybilla — first time ever that Pryzzy and Camby were on the court together. Pryz turns the ball over badly in the paint, leading to a Maverick run out AND ONE, with the lightning-quick JJ finishing to extend the Dallas lead to 5. Przybilla leaves after yet another highly ineffective stint at 10:15. Why are all the replays of made Portland baskets on Blazer broadcasts? Most teams around the NBA aren't so bush league with their coverage... Patty with a sweet touch pass to Camby at the rim brings Portland back within 1. On the other end Brendan Haywood misses a 6 foot shot wildly. "There's the Haywood I loved with the Wizards!" opines Rice. Neither team can score and as the game went to the first TV break Rice's prediction of a low-scoring game began to look true.
Patty Mills is now a fully functional NBA PG, methinks. Score one for the Octopus. Also score one for LMA, who lamarcuses in his first attempts from the charity stripe. After early success from downtown, the Blazers missed 6 in a row from the arc (and counting), including of three types of looks: open, wide open, and extremely wide open. Camby grabbed his 10th board at the 6:00 mark. On the other end, Camby drained another long J for his 7th and 8th points of the evening, cutting the Mavs' lead to just two points. Carlisle called time.
An Andre lob to LMA was off the mark and he could not finish. The resulting scramble of passes and defensive rotations by the out-of-positon Blazers ended in an open Jason Kidd trey and a 5 point Dallas lead. Centers should not shoot long jumpers, no good can come of it. Blazer shooting remained terrible throughout the period. Fortunately, the Mavs were little better and the margin did not escalate despite Portland's 4-for-14 marksmenship. As the game broke for the 2nd scheduled TV commercial, Andre was headed to the line to shoot 2, the Mavs now being into penalty.
Andre lamarcused his shots, Dallas turned over, and Wesley was sent to the line, where he hit two. With 2 minutes remaining, the lead was just 2, but Nic Batum fell asleep on D and Marion went baseline on him. LMA got it back with a jumper. Inside of 30 seconds, Kidd got whistled for traveling and Nate called time to set something up. The set play was Camby to LMA for a jam, not a bad choice if I do say so myself. Dallas was fouled at the horn from beyond the arc, with Wesley savagely using his jaw on Deshawn Stevenson's elbow, the latter bonking his funny bone and rolling around on the floor saying not nice things about Wesley's mama. Kidd got T'd up on the play somehow — I'm not quite sure if he expected a five shot foul to be called or what... When the smoke cleared, Wesley predictably bricked the T, Stevenson drilled all 3 of his own chances, and it was time to watch Little Richard. HALFTIME SCORE: DAL 43, PDX 40. Portland was jobbed on the last play, sure, but given their crappy performance for the evening thus far, being down just 3 was something of a gift from the basketball gods, truth be told.
Halftime Entertainment: Little Richard "Rip It Up" (live version, 1972)
1956 studio version (audio only).
3. As the 3rd Quarter got underway, Dallas continued to play better defense than Portland and to work the ball into the paint for high percentage shots. That's the bottom line — the Mavs played playoff style basketball and the Blazers played Magic-style 3-point kickout ball. You miss those shots, you lose. There ya go.
There are LOTS of empty seats in the Dallas lower bowl tonight — their "consecutive sellouts streak" is even more phony than Portland's. "One of those nights when shots that look like they should go don't," notes Rice. MB correctly notes that Tyson Chandler is not allowing LMA deep catches. With LMA 10 feet further out than usual, the low game was weakened. Camby managed a putback jam to cut Portland's lead to 1. From there the teams battled back and forth a bit. Going to break, MB notes that "Portland is probably fortunate to be down one, they haven't played well yet."
Coming out of the first TV time out, during which Brandon Roy successfully sold as many as zero Ford trucks, Batum stepped to the line and took the lead for Portland, just inside of the halfway point of the period. A three in the key on Dallas was reversed with a phantom foul call on Nic Batum. Ugh. The refs ignored an over-the-back putback tip by Nic though, so the make up call was sort of made up for. Sort of. Both teams started to find the range and the score sat even as the game went to its second TV time out of the 3rd Quarter.
Out of the time out, Nic bricked a wide open 3 at the shot clock buzzer. No such luck on the other end, when Rudy doubleteamed down on Jason Kidd, leaving Stevenson wide open on the arc. Later Stevenson drove the lane and finished AND ONE for his 9th point of the quarter. Nic hurt something on the play and headed for the bench with MB predicting a turned ankle. It looked to me like it was probably a knee to the groin or something, but MB turned out to be right. Rudy fired a brick, leaving the Mavs with last shot, but Barea was short (hmmm, that seems repetitive) and Portland escaped the 4th down just 2. THIRD QUARTER SCORE: DAL 62, PDX 60. That means Portland won the quarter, I guess.
4. Portland had been playing the game from behind about 95% of the night, it seemed. Still, the Blazers were in it. LMA quickly tied it up with a long jumper. JJ got left alone in the corner for a trey, which is not smart. LMA was playing Old LMA style and missed a long jumper. Then Haywood hit in the paint and they were up 5 points again. Mills missed an open trey from the corner, that made Portland 2-for-11 from downtown, which will win you exactly zero games in this league.
Taking the ball down low, LMA went to the line on a Brian Cardinal foul and hit a pair, cutting the lead to 3. Following a Dallas miss, Patty got a do-over from the corner and hit this time, tying the game and sending it to the first TV timeout.
Out of the timeout, Brian Cardinal missed a trey, but Patty Mills was whistled for his 4th personal foul. Portland took the lead at 7:15 on a long LMA jumper, but Jason Terry got it back with a trey on the other end. The Blazers managed to fight back, however, and took a 3 point lead inside of 6:00 when Patty Mills drove the lane and finished, Barea-style. Portland shot 6-for-9 in the 4th Quarter, which powered a 13-5 run.
Out of a Dallas time out, the Blazers went zone. LMA kicked out of a double team to a wide open Wesley Matthews, who bricked it. Following a Dallas miss, LMA was fouled gathering an offensive rebound. Rick Carlisle was T'd up and Wesley Matthews missed a SECOND technical shot for the night. Ugh. LMA hit 2 and the lead was up to 5.
At 4:08 Dallas broke the zone and Chandler dunked it AND ONE. He obligingly missed the bonus point.
Both teams played hard. Both teams missed shots — it was a veritable Chinese fire drill on both ends. Dallas garnered offensive rebounds and got bonus chances, however, with the zaniness ending up with a wide, wide, wide open Jason Terry 3 to tie the game at 77. Things went to the last scheduled commercial of the game.
At 1:35 Jason Terry went over LMA for a 2 point Dallas lead. Dallas played tough defense, but the Mavs finally went into penalties, sending LMA to the line on a foul on an entry pass. LMA....... BRICKED the first shot and ended up lamarcusing for the trip, leaving the Blazers down 1 point, 79-78.
On the other end JET Terry drove the lane effectively before kicking the ball out to an open Deshawn Stevenson at the arc. Stevenson drained the trey with 51.5 seconds remaining, turning this into a 2 possession game, Dallas 82 to Portland's 78. Coach Nate called time out.
The Blazers were unable to get penetration against the tenacious Dallas D, ending with Wesley throwing up a prayer three ball and miraculously banking it in rom the top of arc. Matthews drew contact on the play, but the game being in Dallas, nothing was called.
Dallas ran clock before, with just 12.7 remaining, Terry got open on the elbow and drained another open jumper. It was 84-81 Mavs and Nate called time out again.
Out of the break, Dallas got into the passing lane and tipped a pass into the Blazers backcourt. Rudy recovered the ball but couldn't locate a wide open Patty Mills in the corner in the forecourt quickly enough and Dallas got a hand on his late pass. The deflection was side out to Portland, but just 3.7 seconds remained. Down three points, Nate was forced to use his last time out to set something up.
LMA had the last shot, throwing up a long jumper from downtown with a hand in his face for the tie. He bricked the shot badly, long off the backboard, and the Mavs escaped with the win. FINAL SCORE: DINGED UP DALLAS MAVERICKS 84, BINGED UP PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS 81. Camby had 20 rebounds for the game, but Portland ended up with one loss, which was the stat that matters.
Want a do-over on those two missed technicals, anyone?
Nate: "They made big shots, we missed big shots; they got big boards, we gave up big boards."
Let's t ake at this thang graphically, shall we?
Here's the LINK for the Popcorn Machine graphs and a few kernels that I observe. Be sure you don't break your teeth, root canals are a bitch:
A. It felt like Portland was playing from behind all night. Actually, they won the 1st Quarter before going on a give-back campaign, were chasing the maves in the 2nd and 3rd, and the teams battled in the 4th.
B. The Mavs without Dirk and the Blazers without Roy are pretty evenly matched, it would seem. No lead was bigger than the 8 points that Portland was up in the 1st Quarter.
C. LMA was a macho man with 11 of the Blazers' 21 points in the 4th Quarter. His problem always has been disappearing in the 4th, but last night that's when he was at his best — which is a good sign moving forward.
D. A late Dallas 10-1 run sealed it, which was Dallas starters (starring Jason Terry) against Blazer starters (with a little bit of Patty Mills).
E. It was a "good loss" for Portland last night. Dallas certainly did not look like an NBA Championship contender. I think there are 4 teams in the East that could beat any team in the West in a 7 game series at this point: Miami, Chicago, Orlando, and Boston. Watch out for the Bulls.
F. It FELT like Patty Mills was really, really good last night, but he was team low in Plus/Minus at Minus-7. Not sure what that means, if anything, it wasn't like J.J. Barea and his 10 points went off on the Blazers...
Finally, let's gather round for another installment of THE GREATEST THING IN THE WORLD, eh?
The Basketball Jones is a NBA blog and video/audio podcast, written and recorded five times a week by J.E. Skeets, Tas Melas, Jason Doyle and Matt Osten. Assume that there will be a couple Not Suitable For Work words used in any given episode.
Cavalcade of Crap Statistics Sources:
Irina Alexander, "Yacht Update! Paul Allen Spends $384K a Week on His; Other Billionaires Selling Theirs Off," Style, Jan. 7, 2009.
Ezra Ace Caraeff, "The Origins of the Three Goggles," Portland Mercury, Dec. 21, 2010.
Kerry Eggers, "Batum Tests Well," Portland Tribune, Oct. 30, 2009.
Tom Van Riper, "The NBA's Billionaires," Forbes, Dec. 20, 2010.
Deidre Woollard, "Kevin Pritchard's Lake Oswego Home, Estate of the Day," Luxist.com, July 23, 2010.
Photo Credits: Nic Batum: Rick Bowmer, Associated Press.