You know the drill. The Difference is a reflection on the game that was, with one bullet for every point in the final margin.
- At the risk of being unoriginal, I simply had to pass this on from Tim MacMahon of ESPN Dallas: The last time the Dalllas Mavericks lost 9 of 10, Cuban purchased the team with 2 games left in that run of futility. In other words, it’s been over 13 years.
- The Carlisle line ups are starting to get puzzling. Chris Kaman (14 points, nine rebounds) had a nice first half, but was ineffectual at best in the second. Elton Brand (11 points, eight rebounds in only 20 minutes) had eight points and three rebounds in the third quarter alone. So why Kaman was in during crunch time is baffling. Even Dirk has questioned why Carlisle insists on playing he and Kaman together, as neither is a decent one on one defender. I assume real time data is available to the Dallas coaching staff, and for the third straight game, Dallas missed a close out chance by playing the wrong guys at the wrong time.
- The Utah announcers made an interesting series of points tonight regarding Dirk’s (20 points, five assists) play as of late. Specifically that he’s not dribbling much within the offense. If you remove the fourth quarter last ditch effort from the equation, you can probably count the number of dribbles he took in the game on one hand. Part of this is by design, as Dirk is ridiculously effective without the dribble, either by shooting on the catch or reversing the ball quickly to an open man. Then again, Jazz announcer (and former player) Matt Harpring also said that Dirk is ineffectual off the dribble which is like insisting the sky is purple.
- The downside of this tonight seemed to be a misguided attempt to force feed Kaman the ball. Kaman has been a solid addition, all things considered, but he shouldn’t be the first option for Dallas. His points have to come within the flow of the offense and the Utah coaches even took a crack at him during a half time interview saying that when the ball enters to him, it rarely comes back out. That’s not a good thing.
- Elton Brand is alive! After shooting 37% in November, Brand has been shooting the ball very well, over 50% in fact going on a month and a week. Tonight he shot a very efficient 5-for-7 from the floor. Why he’s averaging just 22 minutes is a bit of a mystery.
- Gordon Hayward (27 points, six rebounds, five assists) is a brilliant basketball player. His block of a Roddy layup at the rim in the fourth was a masterpiece of fast break defense. How the Jazz are only a single game above .500 is a bit of a conundrum. That a guy like Hayward comes off the bench shows just how many viable options the Jazz have to go with on a given night. Alec Burks (13 points, 8-of-9 FTs) is another young name to keep an eye on.
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.