“Progress comes from the intelligent use of experience.”
Man, that’s a low-scoring game. It could have a little something to do with the fact that I missed the second half of the game because I had a little intramural game of my own to attend. We lost, and I am totally pissed. But that’s a story for another day.
All I have to go on are my notes from the first half, mostly because I feel a little dirty about going through the AP recap and forming my assumptions on those terms. So here are some of my thoughts from last night’s affair:
- Josh Howard did not score well in the first half. He was something like 1-7 in the 1st quarter, but he did a good job of balancing his shoot-first mentality by rounding out the box score (4 assists and 3 rebounds in the first). It’s these types of quarters that can make Josh a valuable player even when he’s not scoring, and that just might be what the Mavs need. I’d rather he facilitate the flow of the offense rather than trying to be Plan B, and if he does that he just might find it even easier to get involved points-wise.
- I get the feeling that when Brandon Bass sees Ryan Anderson guarding him, he salivates…no homo.
- It’s about sending a message – Harris dominated Kidd in the first match-up, and this time around he wasn’t having nunnuvit. He hit three three-pointers early, all while exemplifying “letting the offense come to him.”
- For what it’s worth, I thought Antoine Wright played good defense on Vince Carter in the early going. He finished the first quarter with 10 points on 5-7 shooting, but most of those were “good D, better O” moments: crazy spin moves, fadeaways, and contested attempts. Judging by his final FG% (he finished the night at 33.3%), I’m guessing it caught up to him.
- Oddly enough, Devin Harris and Josh Howard ended up guarding each other a lot in the first quarter. Huh.
- I’ve made note of this before, but apparently no one listens to me: zones against the Mavs do not work. The team wants to shoot jump shots and Dirk wants to operate out of the high post. So stop it, Nets, you’re just embarassing yourselves.
- Dirk went nuts in the second, making up for his first quarter disappearance with 16 points. Notably, four of Dirk’s points came off of uncharacteristic drives to the front of the rim. Dirk doesn’t have the quickest feet in the world, and he isn’t a powerful finisher. So when I say that on two separate possessions Dirk punished New Jersey’s zone with hard cuts to the basket that resulted in easy buckets, you need to understand just how rare that is. Not to mention his one-man dribble-drive on the break to close out the first half for the Mavs (it resulted in free throws, but whatever). It’s not something I’d anticipate seeing on a regular basis, but watching Dirk score in ways that don’t involve fifteen feet between him and the basket, a hand in his face, and all sorts of bodily contortions was a welcome surprise.
So what did I miss out on? From the looks of things, a three-point barrage and a balanced Maverick attack are what did the Nets in. Was Josh’s second half as good as the box score makes it look? How was Kidd’s second half defense on Harris? Fill in the blanks for me, guys.