You know the drill. The Difference is a reflection on the game that was, with one bullet for every point in the final margin.
- Luck matters a lot more than we’d like to admit in close games. After all, perhaps Dallas would not have been in this game late in the fourth without a desperation Darren Collison bank three, two missed free throws from Nic Batum, or a ridiculous high, arching pass from Shawn Marion which led to a Dirk Nowitzki three pointer. Of course, that the Mavericks let a 21 point lead evaporate in 13 minutes during the third and fourth quarters is baffling. As is the fact that they gave up 15 offensive rebounds. Then, there’s also the small-ball late game line up Carlisle has opted with in close games (Collison, O.J. Mayo, Vince Carter, Dirk, and Shawn Marion) that just does not work. This was the line up with 1:15 left in the fourth with the Mavs up 101-96. Turnovers (four in the final two minutes, three alone from Mayo) due to terrible recognition and an inability to stop Portland’s offense saw Portland score nine points in 71 seconds to tie the game with four seconds remaining. The ensuing offensive foul call on Mayo was just bad luck; a high speed play that was simply called incorrectly due to human error. But a team this far gone from the playoff hunt needs luck, and the Mavericks have lost far too many close games this season. We can’t write them off just yet, but that time may be drawing near.
- Chris Kaman is out indefinitely with a concussion. While we here at the Two Man Game wish him a speedy recovery, we’ve found out over the last few years that concussions can often be challenging to both diagnose and recover from. Over the last three weeks our parent blog, ESPN’s Truehoop, has published a series of articles about head injuries under the title “Working Bodies”. The first entry is an overview of head injuries and basketball, the second is Brian Scalabrine’s concussion tale, which prompted other players to share their concussion stories for the third entry. All are worth checking out.
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