“It’s hard to sell something that nobody can see.”
Again, forgive me for the lack of a proper recap, but this will likely be the protocol for most of the preseason. Without proper access to the games and much to digest even if I made it through that broadcasting threshold, this just seems the most fitting way to wrap up each contest. Again, feel free to contribute your own thoughts in the comments.
- Box score notables: Dirk Nowitzki (30 points, 9-21 FG, 11-13 FT, 10 rebounds), Caron Butler (22 points on 13 shots, five rebounds, 10 FTAs), Ian Mahinmi (nine rebounds, including 4 OREBs, in 12 minutes).
- Watch this.
- Tim MacMahon, ESPN Dallas: “[Caron]Butler played the entire fourth quarter of the Mavs’ 88-83 win over the Bulls, scoring 14 of his 22 points in the final frame. Most of Butler’s damage came against James Johnson, a former Bulls first-round pick who hasn’t exactly blossomed. Butler lit it up for 11 points during a 13-2 run that gave the Mavs control of the game for good. Butler’s fourth-quarter scoring flurry was a mixture of jumpers and free throws. He was 4-of-6 from the floor and 5-of-6 from the line in the fourth.”
- Matt McHale, By the Horns: “What worries me are negative trends. After getting outrebounded 42-37 by the Bucks on Tuesday, the Bulls were again crushed on the boards last night. Dallas held a 54-34 rebounding edge and finished with 25 second-chance points. Can Carlos Boozer pull down one-handed rebounds? Have we ruled that out? Because that eight-week absence is starting to feel really long. Said [Tom] Thibodeau: ‘We’re small. So we have to gang rebound. If we can’t do that, we won’t be successful. We can’t leak out. We have guys taking off early trying to get on the break. They need to get in the fight first.’”
- Caron Butler: “It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish it. And we did a great job of keeping our poise there and staying with what we do best: executing our offense, controlling the paint, rebounding the ball, getting out of the transitions and making things happen. Over the course of the game we did a great job of that. We out-rebounded them as a whole, and we just stayed with it.”
- Tim MacMahon, ESPN Dallas: “[Dirk] Nowitzki dropped 20 in the first half, which he finished with a 3-pointer from the left corner to give the Mavs a 45-44 lead over the Bulls. The perennial All-Star power forward has been in attack mode all night. He’s 6-of-14 from the floor and 7-of-9 from the free throw line. He’s missed a few wide-open jumpers that usually go down, but he’s hard to stop when he’s this aggressive. Other than Nowitzki, it hasn’t been a pretty night for the Mavs’ offense. The rest of the Mavs are misfiring at a 33-percent clip.”
- Rick Carlisle: “We got in a hole [early], but we fought back and at least we had a manageable situation. We played better as the game went on against a tough opponent, tough minded, physical and very defensive oriented…just difficult to guard, because they put it on the floor and they shoot it. We certainly could have played better in spots, but in terms of the physical nature of the game it was a lot like in many ways an Eastern Conference playoff game…those games are good to get in the preseason.”