The Difference: Dallas Mavericks 114, Oklahoma City Thunder 117

Posted by Kirk Henderson on January 19, 2013 under Recaps | 3 Comments to Read

Strike

Box Score — Play-by-Play — Shot Chart — Game Flow

You know the drill. The Difference is a reflection on the game that was, with one bullet for every point in the final margin.

  • Games this close are often decided by earlier events rather than just the final plays (giving up points to end every quarter but the 4th or giving up 18 offensive rebounds, to name two examples). However, the Mike James (10 points, three turnovers) contested three point shot at the top of the key with six seconds left was quite horrible. Obviously, that wasn’t the play Carlisle drew up, so why did James elect to take such a low percentage shot with six seconds left on the clock? Better yet, why did James get 22 minutes of playing time, including all of crunch time and over time? Darren Collison played an excellent game, contributing 15 points, four rebounds, six assists, and three great steals. Carlisle may point to the fact that James has better range than Collison, but at that late stage in the game, shouldn’t the Mavericks want their best distributor on the floor?
  • Kevin Durant (52 points, 21-for-21 at the FT line) is a breathtaking basketball player. Durant managed this season’s first 50+ point game while shooting a rather poor 13-for-31 from the field. His final shot over Shawn Marion, a runner from about 12 feet out, was defended perfectly, but Durant is so big and graceful Marion never had a chance. In many ways he’s simply an evolutionary Dirk Nowitzki (with a healthy dose of Tracy McGrady). His mid post play is terrifying because with his length and quickness he seems to always make the right decision.
  • The mental miscues are really exacerbated after close loss. The Mavericks forgetting to box out Russell Westbrook on the final shot attempt before the half. O.J Mayo missing a fast break lay in instead of waiting for the last shot, which lead to a Durant three to close out the third. Not fouling Serge Ibaka or Thabo Sefolosha instead of Durant when Ibaka got an offensive rebound with 18 seconds left in regulation. Mike James throwing the ball into the stands at the 2:26 mark of overtime. These are only the highlights. All of the mistakes added up and came back to haunt Dallas.

Kirk is a member of the Two Man Game family. Follow him on Twitter @KirkSeriousFace for ranting about Dallas basketball, TV, movies, video games, and his dog.