Thermodynamics: Week 18

Posted by Travis Wimberly on March 1, 2013 under Commentary, Recaps | Read the First Comment

Ice

Thermodynamics (n.) – the science concerned with the relations between heat and mechanical energy

It wasn’t the worst week of the Mavs’ season, but it was arguably the most excruciating. It started off with a solid win in New Orleans, then slid rapidly from frustrating (against LA) to inexcusable (against Milwaukee) to downright comical (against Memphis).

Let’s hit all those points in a bit more detail as we wrap up the best and worst of the week.

Week 18 (@Hornets, Lakers, Bucks, @Grizzlies)

FIRE

1) Elton Brand

Brand’s production this week was impressive across the board. He scored well and efficiently, averaging almost 13 points per game on 22-of-40 (55%) cumulative shooting. He pulled down almost nine rebounds per game (despite averaging just 25 minutes and conceding many of his boards to Dirk, discussed next), including an impressive 14-rebound performance against the Bucks. He also defended the post well for most of the week, matching up at various points against Dwight Howard, Larry Sanders, Drew Gooden, and Marc Gasol. Brand didn’t exactly shut any of those guys down (although Howard did have a pretty pitiful game in Dallas), but he worked very hard to make things difficult for them. That segues nicely into the most impressive thing about Brand this week: his effort. Brand played exceptionally hard the vast majority of the time he was on the court. Nowhere was that effort more apparent than against Milwaukee, where Brand repeatedly beat multiple Bucks players (with position, no less) to loose balls and free rebounds. He was a disruptive force in the middle, which is something the Mavs have sorely lacked for most of the year. Sure, Brand’s in a contract year, but the pride with which he plays is palpable. At the right price, I personally would welcome him back next year.

Read more of this article »

Thermodynamics: Week 17

Posted by Travis Wimberly on February 22, 2013 under Commentary, Recaps | Be the First to Comment

Fire Ice

Thermodynamics (n.) – the science concerned with the relations between heat and mechanical energy

Welcome to Thermodynamics: Post All-Star Weekend Edition. What does that mean? It means the Mavs had only one game this week, which renders pretty meaningless a weekly hot-cold column like this one (yeah, okay, this column is always meaningless; I see you, wise guy).

Instead of making this a hot-cold column exclusively about the Mavs-Magic game, let’s also expand into some of the fun off-court shenanigans going on in the world of ball.

Week 17 (Mavs v. Magic, All-Star game, trade deadline)

FIRE

1) Vinsanity

Vince Carter’s run at the end of the third quarter against Orlando last night caused one of the most intense and sudden momentum shifts you’ll ever see in an NBA game.  The Mavs had been lethargic for the entire frame, were already down six points, and looked like they might be on the path toward a home blowout loss. Then OJ Mayo makes a huge hustle play to block a JJ Redick layup, and Carter scored on an alley-oop dunk four seconds later.

Four seconds. That’s all it took. From that point on, the Mavs dominated the game. Carter hit two more threes to end the quarter, and that was pretty much all she wrote. The Mavs dominated the fourth (complete with a totally gratuitous spinning-dance-move-assist-into-celebratory-arm-gesture pass from Carter to Marion), and the Magic walked off the court with a 15-point loss.

Carter also left his mark this week on an event where he wasn’t even present. During Saturday night’s dunk contest at All-Star Weekend, eventual champion Terrence Ross donned Carter’s old Toronto Raptors jersey and threw down a beautiful windmill dunk.  Given that the Mavs had no players participating in All-Star festivities for the first time in two decades, it was a nice treat to see a current Mav represented in some capacity (actually, it was two Mavs — Dahntay Jones, live and in the flesh, assisted with one of Jeremy Evans’ dunks as well). And hey, old man Carter can still ball a bit.

Read more of this article »