New Orleans Hornets 114, Dallas Mavericks 107

Posted by Rob Mahoney on November 5, 2009 under Recaps | 10 Comments to Read

Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images.

Box ScorePlay-By-PlayShot ChartGameFlow

TeamPaceOff. Eff.eFG%FT/FGORB%TOr
New Orleans117.554.315.233.313.4

There is no comparison between that which is lost by not succeeding and that lost by not trying.
-Francis Bacon

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.

  • Tony2Nice

    What in the good fuck kinda game was that, Marion? Painful.

  • Crawford

    This was a really weak post. You are too good to feel like you have to rush to put something up. Is it ESPN pressure? We, your readers, are ok if you need to take a break (on a back to back!), if it means you keeping up the quality and freshness. This wasn’t worth reading.

    You still most definitely are da man.

    • Rob Mahoney

      @Crawford: I hear you. I waffled back and forth on whether to post anything at all, then decided a little something was better than nothing at all, even if it’s just a place for you guys to organize your comments on the game. Duly noted, though, and thanks.

  • Joe

    I’m just gonna say it: I would not be averse to trading for Allen Iverson and starting him. Would Drew Gooden be enough to get it done? With Howard out for how long and Marion not looking great here in the early going, I would love to get Dirk some help on the offensive end.

    Honestly, I don’t know why everyone is afraid of AI, especially after his reasonable success in Denver. Consider that the so-called ‘resurgence’ of the Nuggets with Chauncey Billups also coincided with the return of Nene and Chris Anderson for a full season and that that team only won 4 more games than the previous year with AI and without the aforementioned big men, plus the fall-out surrounding Michael Curry in Detroit, and I think AI’s fall from grace is a little over-dramatized. Granted, he’s being a baby about coming off the bench now, but I think AI still has the talent and ability to start in this league and wouldn’t mind seeing him do so for this team, especially considering how poorly literally everyone on the roster is shooting.

    • Rob Mahoney

      @Joe: You’re nuts. First off, it’s a bit early to start going into panic trade mode. Maybe Gooden isn’t enough to get it done, but I think the Mavs have looked pretty strong here in the early going, despite their inept offense.

      The reason everyone is afraid of Iverson is because he is, quite literally, a team killer. In his earlier days, in the right system, he could anchor an offense. Not a particularly effective or efficient offense, but anchor an offense nonetheless. Those days are gone, and what you’re left with (or, for the moment, what Memphis is left with) is an aging point guard that often chooses not to run the offense, or an aging shooting guard that can’t defend 2s and can’t really operate without the ball in his hands. Compound those traits with the fact that he sets a locker room afire in a matter of months, and that’s a headache that this Dallas team just doesn’t need. He’s got talent, that much is obvious. But there are reasons why 29 teams passed up on him this summer, and those same reasons should keep the Mavs for targeting him now.

      I’m not much of a Chauncey fan, but come on! He was a huge part of Denver’s elevation from merely a playoff team to a legit contender for the Western Conference title. Kind of a big deal.

  • Boogie

    One reason we lost tonight… Dirk can’t score on West. Matter of fact, Dirk is scared of west. Matter of fact, our very own Dirk shat in his shorts at the mere sight of West. Rewind the tivo and see for yourselves.

  • Kevin

    boogie, Dirk did 26.8/12/4 in the 08 series against New Orleans

  • Joe

    @Rob: In the 2 years Iverson spent in Denver, not only did he prove he can coexist with another star by sharing the spotlight with Carmelo, Denver also finished 8th and 11th in offense in both those years, as well as 11th and 10th in defense. I find it hard to believe that Iverson can’t do the things you said considering his success in Denver, which effectively put to bed those concerns about him as a team player, at least from my perspective. I had the same criticisms of him that you mention back when he was still with the Sixers, but I became a believer once I saw him thrive in Denver.

    I think it’s fair to throw the season in Detroit out the window, don’t you? Although I had my concerns, it’s become clear that Curry was the issue, especially after Rip Hamilton, one of the ‘good guys’ of the NBA, actually backed AI and said Curry was the problem last season.

    So what would bringing Iverson to the Mavs mean? I can think of much more good things than bad. Suddenly, Barea becomes a good trade asset, the offensive is more evenly spread amongst many capable hands, increased exposure to the team, and a little more flexibility in the frontcourt (i.e. we never have to see JET playing point guard. Love him, but he’s not a good point). Possible bad things: difficulty sharing minutes, only one ball to go around, possible size matchup issues (although we already suffer from that between Terry and Barea trying to get minutes next to Kidd). I think the good outweighs the bad, especially since it’s only for 1 year and since this team isn’t going to the Finals as-is anyway.

    This post is becoming a marathon, but I want to mention how I think the rotation would shake out:

    PG – Kidd (33 min)
    SG – Iverson (32 min)
    SF – Howard (32 min)
    PF – Nowitzki (36 min)
    C – Dampier (27 min)
    6th – Terry (30 min)
    7th – Marion (30 min)
    8th – Humphries (10 min)
    9th – Ross (10 min)

    That’s a solid 9-man rotation, no? I like Marion coming off the bench a lot more than him starting, also. I don’t know, that roster works for me. I like it a lot better than the current state of affairs, which features JJ Barea getting way too many minutes and our 4 main players getting over 35 minutes a game apiece. Old men do not need to be playing that many minutes.

  • boogie

    @kevin, but how much of that 26 was west on him??

  • Football Frontpage

    Amazing game. In spite of the fact that it came down to a loss, that kind of game has got to make Mav’s fans hopeful for this season. They’re contenders