“There is no comparison between that which is lost by not succeeding and that lost by not trying.”
I’m torn. On one hand, there is no more painful way to lose a game than at the free throw line. They are theoretically gimme points that a player must simply reach out and take, and yet they seemed anything but as four crucial free throws clanged off the rim during the last minute of the fourth quarter. But then on the other hand, it’s hard to discount the Mavs’ effort. They were right there. Dirk Nowitzki, Shawn Marion, and Jason Kidd had pretty bad games offensively, and the Mavs were right there, with the ball in their hands and the game in the balance. It may not mean all that much when considering the final score, but that’s something.
I know moral victories don’t mean much for squads that fancy themselves to be in the championship hunt, but this one comes close. I know that sounds odd for a game that was choked away via missed free throws, but it still rings true. The Mavs were tired and Dirk-less, they were coming off a draining win against Utah and they still had to find a way to guard Chris Paul. I’m not all that surprised that they lost, or that they fought valiantly only to fall short.
I’ll keep this brief: Jason Terry (35 points, 12-18 FG, 4-8 3FG, 3 assists) is the reason why the Mavs were even in the game last night, and his arrival (when paired with Dirk’s outburst the night prior) should inspire confidence in the Mavs’ offense once again. That ship will inevitably turn around, and one can only hope that a return to offensive prominence doesn’t coincide with a disinterest in defense or a disregard for the attacking mentality that has brought the Mavs three wins thus far.
I’ll keep this brief, so let’s shift into single sentence/semi-cryptic mode. Chris Paul rocks my, yours, and just about everyone else’s socks. Dirk’s numbers were lower than they should be because New Orleans, unlike Utah, actually threw some double teams his way. Jason Kidd can shoot again, but he shouldn’t attempt a layup for the rest of the year. Shawn Marion looked like a guy who hasn’t played basketball in months, and must have gotten a hand transplant from Kwame Brown. I am in the process of creating a homemade medal for Erick Dampier, who kept the Mavs afloat with his offensive rebounding and put-backs. Rodrigue Beaubois can play a little basketball if given the opportunity. Peja Stokajovic hit one field goal in the entire game, and it was a game-tying three that sent the game into overtime. Four missed free throws, one tough loss, and let’s move on.