Dirk and the Mavs Hand the Grizzlies the Win and Tiebreaker

7 04 2012

One thing can be considered consistent after Saturday. The Mavericks can’t find a way to become consistent.

The Memphis Grizzlies took down the Dallas Mavericks, 94-89, in a game with a lot riding on it.

With the Grizzlies holding on to a one-game lead before the game, this battle had heavy implications since this third game between the Southwest Division opponents would decide who had the tiebreaker once the playoffs arrive.

The Mavs showed little knowledge of this information at the beginning and end of this wire-to-wire loss.

Memphis jumped out to a huge advantage after the first quarter through quality shooting and strong defense, leading 29-10. The Grizzlies stiffled the Mavs offense and no one in dark blue tried to fix this problem.

Lamar Odom had only four minutes of play, and they all came in the first quarter when he had a single rebound and a ridiculous lay-up attempt that had no chance of going in. It is getting to the point where it is painful to watch the man play basketball. Expect Carlisle to use Odom sparingly like he did Saturday since the playoffs are three weeks away.

This point forward, Dallas played catch-up and did so in an effective manner. Midway through the third quarter, the deficit had shrunk all the way to one, 63-62. Shawn Marion and Brandan Wright provided imperative energy during this run.

Then came more of the bad. Really bad.

After Dirk strung together four straight points to put them behind only five, it seemed as though Dirk was planning to be the Mavs closer once again. This didn’t happen. Rangers closer Joe Nathan probably had a better showing Saturday night than the Big German.

After two defensive rebounds, Nowitzki did not have the ball stolen two times in a row; he threw the ball away two times in a row. Even though the Grizzlies did not score off these turnovers, they drained the clock from 1:49 all the way down to 21 seconds before Dirk knocked down two free throws.

If the Mavs had gotten these two points with just a little more time left on the clock, they wouldn’t have been forced to send their opponent to the line, where Randolph made both of his free throws.

Ending the game in a fitting manner, Delonte West had his inbounds pass stolen by Marc Gasol, concluding the Mavs failed attempt at a comeback.

The Grizzlies have a tighter grip on the No. 5 seed, and the defending NBA champions sit at the No. 8 seed. You heard that correctly – the No. 8 seed.

To say the Mavs shot themselves in the foot Saturday is putting it nicely. The Mavs had multiple opportunities to take command of this game. They just decided to not give it all they had tonight. Yes, coming back from a 20-point deficit is a difficult mountain to climb, but when the peak is in sight, an extra push can get a team over the hump.

The Mavs did not have this extra push.

Even though it is usually best to forget tough losses and move on, Coach Carlisle should make his team watch this game’s tape. This group needs to realize that this defeat could have easily had a different outcome with one or two more of the right plays.

Dallas will luckily get two days off before they face the Sacramento Kings Tuesday in Dallas. If the Mavs come up short to this opponent that has no reason of beating the defending NBA champions, the Mavs will be in serious trouble going into the playoffs.

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2 responses

8 04 2012
The News of Sports

Wow, that game might have just cost the Mavs their chance at getting to the playoffs and repeating as NBA champions. I just don’t see them going far this year.

8 04 2012
thestupidcommenters

Big game, and a big loss. That tiebreaker could prove huge and cost the Mavs a playoff spot.

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