Rick Carlisle cracks open the basketball dictionary (via Earl K. Sneed): “The definition of a franchise player is one who wants the responsibility for winning or losing…[Nowitzki] wants the ball in his hands when the game is being decided and the only thing he’s thinking about when he gets the ball is finding a way to win the game…That’s why Dirk is going to be one of the all-time greatest.”
Brett Hainline of Queen City Hoops runs his own numbers, and Mavs fans might not want to look at the net efficiency of Dallas’ bench. A rough return for Q-Ross, and a tough outing for Tim Thomas and Drew Gooden. Brett also notes that last night’s game was a rarity: the Mavericks won the game despite having a negative net efficiency. (Note: you’ll notice that according to the numbers I included in the recap, that was not the case. The four factors numbers I typically use are based on estimated possessions, whereas Brett’s numbers are based on actual, empirical possessions.)
Old friend of the Mavs DeSagana Diop is still a Bobcat, although you probably wouldn’t know it from last night’s DNP-CD. Tyson Chandler’s the obvious starter and Nazr Mohammed has been playing well of late, but Larry Brown can’t find a minute or two for a defensive center like Diop? When asked, ‘Gana was just as confused (via Eddie Sefko): “I wish I had an answer…I don’t know [why I'm not playing more], but all I can do is keep working hard.”
David Arnott of Rufus on Fire on Dirk’s game-winner, or more specifically, Boris Diaw’s defense of it: “[Diaw] did play the best defense possible on Dirk Nowitzki at the end of OT. Maybe Hakeem Olajuwon blocks that shot. Maybe.”
Sometimes, when you’re so incredibly frustrated that your team dropped a winnable game to a superior opponent, you write something like this: “I’m not going to recount it here in detail but the officiating was worse than brutal tonight. You could sense as much as the Bobcats headed into the 4th quarter up by eight, 70-62. The Mavs were struggling, yes, but Mark Cuban was at his manipulative best by trotting out The The Protectors of Freedoms and Liberties on the sidelines complete with Gary ‘Lt. Dan’ Sinise leading the charge. What official in his right mind is gonna let this many war veterans go home unhappy with a loss to the Charlotte-freakin’-Bobcats? Thus we had several magical off-the-ball fouls on the ‘Cats to get them into the penalty early in the quarter and combined with the team’s sloppy handling of the ball (18 turnovers to 13), allowed the Mavericks to come back and tie the game, send it into overtime and let Dirk go to work.” How insidious!