You know the drill. The Difference is a reflection on the game that was, with one bullet for every point in the final margin.
- I appreciate a good Shawn Marion (10-17 FG, 25 points, 12 rebounds) game, always. This was one of those.
- The most relevant remaining Mavericks-related question is whether the team will finish the season bearded or beardless. Against a Sacramento Kings they should always beat when healthy, the Mavericks performed well enough to move towards that seemingly unreachable goal of .500.
- A decent performance against a rarely impressive Kings’ interior (or perimeter, for that matter) defense serves as a small comfort against the grim reality of the imminent draft lottery.
- This Mavericks’ win did not come about in the typical fashion – by perimeter excellence or an overwhelming Dirk Nowitzki (6-14 FG, 16 points, six rebounds) exultation.
- Instead, Dallas achieved the rare award of dominating the lane, generally through the excellence of a cutting Marion or a waiting Brandan Wright (9-14 FG, 20 points, six rebounds).
- Given what I’ve written in the past, I assume it’s quite clear that I enjoy Wright’s game. I think he will be one of the players the Mavericks may miss most if he leaves in the offseason, especially as Wright grows into himself as a player and post presence.
- His athleticism conjoins with a growing skill near the basket more and more all the time, and when that combination reaches his peak, I expect he’ll already have established himself as a reliable starting center in this league.
- Darren Collison (7 -10 FG, 18 points, 8 assists) also played with the fresh continuity and weaving motion that defines his better games, a feat made easier against the lax Kings’ defense but a feat still impressive nonetheless.
- When Collison darts with this alacrity, he personifies the sudden fun and spontaneity of the point guard position, and makes one wonder what could have been if that relaxed personification had appeared with more frequency over the course of a long season.