Photo from AP Photo/H. Rumph Jr via ESPN.
“Learn everything you can, anytime you can, from anyone you can – there will always come a time when you will be grateful you did.”
OK, I’ve got good news and I’ve got bad news. Good news: the Mavs pulled out a win despite Dirk having 24 points on 23 shots (30%) and surrendering 4 turnovers. Bad news: the Mavs almost inconceivably blew a 12 point lead in just two minutes of playing time. Inconceivable! An Andre Iguodala layup tied the game at 93-all before Dirk said “Good afternoon, sirs,” tipped his hat, and went on his merry way. But no recap of this game would be proper without mention of Jason Kidd, who kept the Mavs afloat before pummeling Philly with three after three (6-8 from distance on the night). Oh, and yawn, Jason Terry had another 20 point game.
There were three “new” guys on the court for the Mavs in the MLK Day nooner: the newly acquired Matt Carroll and Ryan Hollins, as well as a face that may seem foreign to many Mavs fans these days, Josh Howard. The wrist sprain apparently wasn’t enough to count him out of this one, and it’s good to have him back. Now Josh, about that shot selection…
The surprise of the game (other than nearly getting punked by the Sixers in the final two minutes) was definitely Ryan Hollins. He logged almost 20 minutes in his Mavs debut to the tune of a measley four points, one rebound, and one block, but he gave Dallas a very different look against a quick, fast-breaking Sixer team. Standard protocol for the Mavs against a running team: survive for a few minutes with Damp trotting up and down the floor before inevitably relenting to serious playing time for Brandon Bass or James Singleton. Small ball is so awesome! Unless, y’know, you happen to enjoy watching your team rebound, an area in which the Small Ball Mavs are routinely suckerpunched. But the primary reason why Hollins got himself some serious PT is because he’s athletic enough to run with the Elton Brand-less 76ers, but still a legit seven footer. That’s a tasty new look that could end up paying serious dividends if Hollins can become a bit more acquainted with his teammates and hit the glass with a good box-out and a scowl on his mug. Still, color me impressed with his athleticism and immediate chemistry with Kidd. Matt Carroll, on the other hand, barely had a chance to hit the floor, and didn’t get to attempt a single shot. In due time, friends.
The Gold Star of the Night goes to a prodigious stat line, a game-winner, or even the cliched “difference maker.”
Dirk Nowitzki – 24 points, 6 rebounds, 1 steal, 10-10 FTs, 1 game-winning jumper after shaking Reggie Evans. All in a day’s work.