The Difference: Dallas Mavericks 103, Portland Trailblazers 98

Posted by Rob Mahoney on December 16, 2010 under Recaps | 5 Comments to Read

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You know the drill. The Difference is a quick-hitting (or in this case, day after) reflection on the game that was, with one bullet for every point in the final margin.

  • Dallas really made an effort to lose this game in the second half, but Dirk Nowitzki (21 points, 7-14 FG, five rebounds, three assists, three steals, two blocks, three turnovers) was having none of it. 12 fourth-quarter points for Dirk, including all four of the Mavs’ field goals in the game’s last two minutes. Nothing fancy, unless you still think a seven-footer shooting fading/leaning turnaround jumpers from all over the court is somehow unusual.
  • Just days after Andrew Bogut scored 21 points on 12 shots while grabbing 14 rebounds against the Mavs, LaMarcus Aldridge put up 35 points (14-26 FG) and notched 10 boards against Tyson Chandler, Dirk Nowitzki, and Brendan Haywood. Not to oversimplify things, but this seems to be a bit of a problem. Aldridge was quite impressive. He’s made a career out of thriving both inside and out, but Aldridge completed a variety of athletic plays that were remarkable even for a player with his talent and pedigree. Among them: this emphatic put-back (video courtesy of Ben Golliver of Blazersedge).
  • Nowitzki brought his usual heroics, but Caron Butler (23 points, 10-19 FG, seven rebounds, four assists) was surprisingly the Mavs’ most consistent scorer. Butler pump-faked away some possessions in his usual fashion, but for the most part, Caron drove and chose his shots wisely, working his way into a rhythm before outright carrying the Mavs in the third quarter. Dallas’ offense wasn’t exactly reliable, and Butler’s 11 points during a pretty volatile time were basketball godsend for the Mavs. I don’t know what got into Caron Butler, but this Caron should be no stranger to the AAC.
  • The Mavs still can’t hold onto a lead, but I always wonder if that should really merit legitimate concern. It sounds damning; after all, if good teams are marked by their high point differentials and the Mavs can’t seem to protect their sizable leads, it doesn’t exactly speak to high quality. That said — and I hope to say this without advocating some kind of “any win is a good win” evaluative framework — there’s still some merit to this kind of execution, even if it isn’t consistent throughout the game. It’s not a perfect win, but I’m not sure it’s worthy of an asterisk, either.
  • The first quarter was a pretty depressing basketball exhibition. On a national broadcast, the Mavs scored at a rate of just 80 points per 100 possessions (a mark which qualifies as mind-numbingly awful) in the game’s first 12 minutes, and the Blazers followed along by scoring at a rate of 75 points per 100 possessions (a mark which skips through the mind-numbing stage and goes straight for the excruciating pain). Portland registered an effective field goal percentage of 28%. The Mavs allowed the Blazers to grab 33.3% of their misses for offensive boards. Not exactly a worthy basketball showcase, but luckily they game took an upward turn over the final three quarters.
  • Kirk Henderson

    Upsides – No JJ Barea threes! Dirk looked dominant when he wanted to be. Kidd hit some key shots. Freethrows! Terry taking it to the hoop like he was a Hawk again.

    Downsides – Caron Butlers 19 shots, yuck. Brendan Haywood.

  • wacc_attack

    the best part is all the overwhelming attention Dirk's play in the 4th got on Daily Dime and Twitter after the game…how clutch he is droppin' daggers. little do they all know this is his game every. single. night. love it when he gets to shine on national TV and everyone sees just how truly great he is.

  • Bgalella

    Jason Terry has been great all season and the Mavericks needed this win to get back on track and prove to a national audience they are serious contenders.

  • Content Hungry Mavs Fan


  • Phil

    Hey whats up Rob? You posted for Hardwood Paroxysm on Monday, but didn't after those two important games (Suns / Heat)? Probably buying Christmas presents :)