Minnesota Timberwolves 117, Dallas Mavericks 108

Posted by Rob Mahoney on February 6, 2010 under Recaps | 2 Comments to Read

Photo by Garrett W. Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images.

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“If you don’t create change, change will create you
-Unknown

On December 28th, 2009, I opened a recap with the notion that everything had changed. The Mavs had just posted an impressive victory against the Denver Nuggets, and were showing significant progress from the ’08-’09 season. Weaknesses were turning into strengths, and the Mavs looked poised to make some serious post-season noise.

A little over a month later, everything has changed…again. The defense — once a relative weakness and then a strength — is again troublesome. The late-game execution — once average and then somewhat celestial — is all over the map. The positional versatility — once nonexistent and then one of the Mavs’ greatest strengths — has created more questions than answers. A loss to the 12-38 Timberwolves definitely qualifies as a watershed moment for the slumping Mavs, and one way or another, things are destined to change yet again. That change could come naturally (an unmotivated team suddenly uses the abject failure of last night’s loss as its muse) or through a trade, but it’s a-comin’. The Mavs will be better; there’s too much talent, too many veterans, and too good of a coaching staff to assume otherwise.

But let’s not for a single minute obscure just how bad of a loss this was. The Mavs didn’t lose by 10, much less 50, but they completely buckled in the final minutes of the fourth quarter and allowed one of the worst teams in the league to unleash a 13-2 run at the least opportune time imaginable. There wear near-makes and mental mistakes, but this is a situation where there is absolutely no excuse for what the Mavericks did or rather, what they failed to do. If the Mavs lose to a six-man Warriors team early in the season, that can be forgiven in the name of long-term improvement and written off as an anomaly. But when you drop a game to an even lesser team in February? “That’s not what championship teams do.” That’s not what playoff teams do. That’s probably not even what the 11th seed in the West this year would do.

There were plenty of individual positives in this game (most of which belong to Minnesota), but I’ll spare you. The sooner we can forget about a loss like this, the better.

  • preet

    the only good thing i could take from this game was roddy gettin 21 points. im glad he didnt get hurt in that nasty fall the other game, and im glad he is workin into the rotation now. in my eyes he could do what rodney stuckey did for the pistons 2 years ago in the playoffs.

    the only other thing to be thankful for is that the spurs have gone through a nasty form slump at the same time as us… they are still breathing down our neck, but they could easily have overtaken us this past week.

  • Cynthia

    In the last few losses the MAVS have seemed like they don’t give a rats ass or that they’re bored or both. I don’t even recognize this team. The MAVS body language in the Minnesota game tells all….even as I was watching the game I knew we weren’t going to win. And it seemed like they didn’t even care. We can point blame all over the place, but what is most surprising to me is Dirks play of late. I would bet money that anyone he’s guarding gets a big rush knowing Dirk is on them because quite frankly that player is going to get anything they want. Yeh I know Dirk has never been the best defender in the league, but at least he tried. Lately I don’t see any effort from Dirk on the defensive end. Of course, there’s not much from anyone else either including our (arguably) best defender Jason Kidd. (No one has forgotten point guards Miller and Ellis going off for 52 and 46 respectively have we??) And as we all know…no D equals no W. I love Dirk and the MAVS but it’s pretty damn bad to watch your favorite team, a team that has 50+wins in the last 10 seasons and not even expect them to win a game against a bottom dweller such as the Timberwolves.