No Game Is an Island: The Finish Line Is Just Around the Bend

Posted by Rob Mahoney on March 15, 2009 under Previews | 11 Comments to Read

The Dallas Mavericks visit the Los Angeles Lakers
2:30 CST

Abbreviated preview today, but let’s get this party started.

A win over the Lakers today wins the road trip.  Period.  Otherwise, we’ll be explaining away how the Mavs turned a 2-0 start into a 2-2 finish, especially when one game on the schedule seemed like a gimmie.

For the first time all season, there’s a real brightline.  There’s no “well if x happens and y happens, then it’s still a moral victory.”  The Mavs need to win today, or else their efforts in Phoenix and Portland have been invalidated.  The Mavs don’t have the luxury of treading water against the West’s best; they need to make up some serious ground in terms of their victories against playoff teams, if not for seeding’s sake then for their own self-confidence and competence.

Two wins over two playoff-ish teams is great.  Sweet.  Cool.  But with a win over the Lakers, this road trip could become a starting block for the Mavs’ mini-season.  Not to mention a reference point if the Mavs and Lakers happen to meet in the first round of the playoffs.

I guess what I’m saying is, if you couldn’t tell, today’s game is kind of important.

  • wacc_attack

    this blows (halftime now)

    ABC hates us, those bastards. van gundy is ripping us a new one. at least they like Dirk

  • wacc_attack

    oh JET!!!! you a sick filthy bastard, JET!! mama there goes that man! (after 3rd…)

  • Larry David

    Yes, Jet was sick this afternoon, and Singleton was great too. If only Dirk and the others could be more assertive. And is it me, or does Dirk seem ridiculously reluctant to shoot the three ball. What happened to the pick and pop 3? His game is so one-dimensional that if his routine pump, fade, jumper isn’t falling for him, then he practically removes himself from the game. Come on 06-07 MVP!

    The whole defensive switcheroo thing was confusing too. We lost way too many important boards today.

    I hate to admit it but I think Jeff Van Gundy is right. Mavs just aren’t quite deep enough, and we’re exactly where we should be.

  • Kevin

    Why did Kidd try running the half court offense the last 6 minutes of the game? We should either run a Jet/Dirk pick and roll/pop or isolate Dirk at the top of the key. Carlisle botched this one as much as anyone.

  • Victor

    I just wanna say that a couple days ago, our over-enthusiasm about the Mavs two road victories against western playoff contenders was premature and would lead to God punishing us with losses to the Warriors and the Lakers.


    How ’bout JET and Singleton though? Man. Is it just me, or does the frontcourt of Dirk, Bass, and Singleton actually play that little together? This game was the first time I could actually recall the three of them being on the court at the same time. (If that’s the case, I think it needs to be fixed–that frontcourt could do things to benches. Nasty, barely legal things.) It seemed pretty effective when I was watching it, but it might just have been the fact that the Lakers were turning it off defensively.

  • wacc_attack

    my bad victor. that was actually me running around the court in los angeles last night the last 6:50 of the game not getting the ball to JET, a man who single-handedly led our comeback, turning the rock over, and missing layups adult males who get paid 21MM/season should either make or get taken out back and slaughtered like cattle. like, totally my bad, lol fml.

    please, those two wins are still quality wins on the road. golden state loss is inexcusable, no doubt. but that team got wicked hot, making every shot they took. dont try to tell me phoenix is a superior defensive team…but look at the box score of their game vs. warriors last night. close game morphed into a blowout the instant GS started throwing up bricks; otherwise they would have taken PHX to the shed as well. that and JJ is a complete ballhog and his “baller”-to-”i think im a baller and will try to take over the game and attempt 4 consecutive layups in the face of a man who blocked my previous 4 attempts when instead i should pass the ball to Mr. Nowitzki who shot 50%+” is about 0.00001 at times. nonetheless, inexcusable loss. loss for which there is no excuse.

    and LA game? well f*** my life. we were never in that game, and i 100% would like to retract my previous comments about how close we play the lakers. if not for LA lulling itself into a false sense of security and JET pretending he is JET in my NBA 2009 game, that would have been a 98-82 scoreline. or something like that. sucks we lost, but lets not kid ourselves – that would have been a total steal.

  • David

    The real bummer is GS. We knew we would probably lost against L.A. It was nice making that come back in the 3rd and going up in the 4th… but the real bummer is the GS series. Especially after getting wins against PHX and Portland. We REALLY need to get out of the 8thy spot!!

  • Victor

    Hey. I’m not trying to detract everything from the Phoenix and Portland wins. Those were quality wins. My whole point was that they weren’t wins that should’ve made us think we could’ve ended this weekend as the 6th or 7th seed. I don’t blame JJ for taking those shots. When J-Ho and Terry are in, he goes out of his way to not drive as much. And his assist-per-minute numbers can be really nice. (Even lately, he’s been putting up low scoring outputs with 5 and 5.)
    I just think he’s a little overeager sometimes. Give him a year or so to develop, and I think that’ll disappear in time.

    My only fault with the Lakers loss is the last 6 or so minutes. The two man game with Dirk and…KIDD? WHAT? The ball definitely should’ve been going through Terry and Dirk. Maybe the Lakers defense was tougher than I thought, but it seemed to me that the two of them weren’t even wanting to go inside the three point line. Remember that sequence with Kobe going terminator on JET? Man. That was scary as a Mavs fan. I thought JET was gonna do something stupid and end up on YouTube again.

  • wacc_attack

    I dont blame JJ for taking shots when they’re warranted. JJ and Wright are pretty much the only ones who will attack the basket on a consistent basis, and his hoops can give us a real energy boost (like the PHX game). But come on, son. Turriaf punked your a** for 3 blocks, you know he’s lookin to pad that stat sheet. Don’t try to prove you’re the big man on campus and drive at him again. If you’re driving into 3 dudes in the paint, guess what? Someone is wide-ass open. Pass that ball up. Work smarter, not harder.

    Could not agree more with the JET-Dirtay combo. Why was that not enforced the last 7 minutes to break some LA hearts? JET was droppin money balls left and right, you know they’d keep a man on him super tight. Dirk was off all night, but when left wide open he’s gonna sink that jumper all night. Who knows what the deal was. What’s troubling is that yet again Dirk didn’t call for the ball as much as he had to. Think back to how many times Kobe had the ball in his hands down the stretch vs. Dirk….

  • Charles

    From what I remember during those last minutes…JET was shutdown by Kobe. It wasn’t for lack of trying from the Mavs, Jet touched the ball plenty of times, they just closed in on him after that 3rd quarter outburst.

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