Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Mavericks 93, Bobcats 85

Okay, so we lost another one and dropped to 2-8, but look at it this way: at least afterward Avery Johnson didn’t call us a bunch of lattes afterward. We actually held it close, and we were even leading with about 5 minutes to go. Unfortunately, we got burned by 24 points and 14 rebounds from one of the best players in the game: Eric Dampier—no wait, I mean Dirk Nowitzki.

Maybe some people would be pleased that we gave a decent showing, but I wasn’t. I didn’t think these Mavs were all that good. True, they were without Josh Howard, but when we were tied up after the quarter, I was actually pretty pissed, feeling we should be ahead of these jokers. I’m not even sure what it was exactly; the turnovers were there but no worse than usual (15), the foul-line shooting was actually pretty good (75%), and we even out-shot them from the floor (46% to 39%). Still, there was something lethargic about everyone’s play, some stupid passes, and some stupid three-point attempts (1-11—where did this inflated sense of our long-distance shooting come from?).

Gerald Wallace played 41 minutes, put up 21, 5, and 6, and looked a little better, but he still hasn’t strung together any of those signature sequences where he completely takes over. Adam Morrison shot about what Adam Everett hits in a three-game series (3-14), BK pulled up lame chasing around Devin Harris, and a blazer-and-tie-wearing Matt Carroll was on the bench with an injury DNP and looking eerily like one of my old substitute teachers. Primoz played and didn’t have any points, although he did have a few fouls. Okafor had another huge effort (22 points, 13 rebounds, and 8 blocks for a new new franchise record), but I’m wondering if his performances are starting to have that detrimental “Teen Wolf” effect that Bill Simmons always mentions, where one guy is so awesome (in the case of his team it’s Paul Pierce) that everyone else loses interest.

Even our announcing seemed half-assed. One of Adrian Branch’s AB“C”s was to “make shots,” and another was to “make free throws.” Jesus, what’s your next helpful tip, “score more than the other team”? Matt Devlin, meanwhile, was clearly sick of having to shill those cheap alternative blue jerseys. About every five minutes, they make the poor guy remind viewers that if they act now, they can buy season tickets and get a cheap replica jersey with the deal. The whole thing makes no sense. One, if you’re rich enough to buy season tickets, you’re rich enough to get a real jersey. Two, no kid who is old enough to know the difference would be caught dead in one of those cheap-o replicas. I remember going to a Yankees game once when they were giving away free plastic helmets, and I indignantly refused—and I was about seven at the time. Who’s doing the marketing for these people? Matt seemed to be rebelling in his own way by holding the things up and talking about what a “great value” they were before wadding them up and stuffing them under his desk.

I will give props to Stephanie though. She actually earns her money as a sideline reporter by eavesdropping on the other team’s huddles and then immediately reporting their plans to us at home. Now that’s doing something productive. Suzie Koebler on ESPN could learn a lot from our gal.

And I lost count of the number of fouls Dirk drew from his annoying pump-fake. Memo to opposing teams: Dirk always, always pump-fakes—quit falling for it!! If he were all alone on a breakaway, he’d pump-fake before the jam. When he parks his car, he pump-fakes before feeding the meter. When he’s at his house, he probably pump-fakes before sticking a Hot Pocket in the microwave. It was maddening to watch everyone bite on his fakes, go leaping to block, inevitably land on top of him, and then watch him shoot two from the line. Once when he did it near our bench, I think even Coach Bickerstaff went for the block.

I’m frankly surprised Avery is putting up with his own team’s sub-par effort. Every time they showed him on the sidelines, I kept expecting to see AJ visibly boiling over. And I’m sure he (like me) would be just fine if he never saw Eric Dampier play again. Sure, Dampier had 15 rebounds, but look at this guy! With his size, he should be doing a ton more, starting with going more than 2-9 from the foul line. But forget about that, I watched Adam Morrison rebound over him; I saw Brevin Knight rebound over him. I can see why Dirk called Dampier out a few years back in the playoffs, because he’s soft and clearly doesn’t practice very hard. Ah, forget it—he so mopey and pitiful out there, it’s not even worth beefing with him; it’s like when Eminem goes after Christina Aguilera. But I could seriously spend the rest of my life happily not watching him, similar to how I feel about the game of soccer.

At least there’s Kingdom Come to look forward to tomorrow—now watch, that’ll probably suck too…

1 comment:

Asa said...

best blog yet! ... wait... ever.