“Quality is not an act, it is a habit.”
Better late than never, right?
Oh, I was talking about the Mavs getting a quality win. What are you talking about?
Right. Well, it is past six already and I accidentally closed the notepad window that was keeping my game notes cosy. The perils of modern technology.
I’ll keep this brief: the Mavs finally showed up. Another relatively pedestrian effort from Dirk was balanced by a swarming defense, aggressive play from Jason Kidd and Josh Howard, and superb bench play. The Mavs ruled the paint on both ends, and the combination of J.J. Barea, Brandon Bass, and James Singleton (all bench players, notably) grabbed as many rebounds as the entire Bucks squad. That, my friends, is awesome.
Charlie Villanueva’s first quarter explosion (18 points on ridiculous shooting) at Dirk’s expense was just about the only thing Milwaukee had going until a run early in the fourth quarter that trimmed the lead to 11. Credit to the Mavs for keeping their foot on the Bucks’ throat throughout, and to Brandon Bass and James Singleton for locking down on C-Nuv.
Josh Howard had a game to remember, for a variety of reasons. He shot 10-16 overall, including 4-6 from deep. He recorded 7 rebounds, 5 steals, and 3 blocks. However, Josh also turned the ball over four times, and two of his six misses were airballs. And they weren’t even close. Josh was clearly feeling it and that confidence opened up the rest of his game (if Josh continues to attack the basket and cut hard down the lane like he did last night, I would have to seriously re-evaluate this team’s potential), but how does a guy who is that dialed-in suddenly throw up two whiffs on perfectly makeable shots?
A quality win won on the glass and on the defensive end. Is it too much to ask to bring that kind of effort just 24 hours earlier?
Gerald Green Watch: 5 points on 1-2 shooting in 4 minutes of garbage time. He also ran like a gazelle to stop a free layup for Keith Bogans. Free Gerald Green! The gazelle with sublime dunks and three-point range!
All in all, as it happens oh so often in this league, the team with the better looking jerseys won.
GOLD STAR OF THE NIGHT: The Gold Star of the Night goes to Josh Howard, who really brought it, yo. I’ve already told you his stats, but the real prize came with Josh’s renewed efforts to get into the lane, and to completely abuse his defender in the post. He didn’t fade, he didn’t blink, and he made me fall asleep with a smile on my face.