Momma taught us to share and I think the Dallas Mavericks listened, because they shared a part of the overall glory of a win tonight over the Sacramento Kings. Now a lot of people might think that since the Kings are not in the upper part of the Conference that you can just beat them with ease, that is not the case at all.
The Kings have some talented players and they showed some of that tonight as they were led by their star, DeMarcus Cousins who scored 25 points and had 18 rebounds and 6 steals to his stat sheet for the night. Along with him was Tyreke Evans who along with Marcus Thornton and Isiah Thomas each scored 16 points and rookie Jimmer Fredette added 13 of his own.
Dallas was led with co-leaders in Dirk and Roddy who each had 15 points, Delonte West and JET each had 13, Brendan Haywood had 11 and Shawn Marion recorded his 10 double-double of the season with 10 points and 14 rebounds, which included 8 on the offensive end. So as I said, they shared the wealth of scoring tonight and worked together as a team and pulled off a victory.
Now the story of the night was the release of Lamar Odom. Whew, thank goodness that is over with. In a mutual agreement, Odom will be listed as inactive for the remainder of the season and will be able to go anywhere else after the season is over and basically get paid to sit home and sulk some more. But as Mark Cuban said, maybe this will be an addition with the subtraction, which I relate as to, with the negative energy that he was bringing into the locker room and to the court, maybe with that gone, then Dallas can get that positive feeling back again.
Odom was originally signed to help back Dirk up and be able to give him some much-needed rest, but that hasn’t happened a lot this season, but now there are other guys on the bench who will be able to get on the court and the one tonight was Yi Jianlian who came out of a shell tonight and brought a spark to the game and they needed it. The funny thing is, in that in one-quarter of play of Yi, he got more cheers than Odom did the whole time he was here, not bad for a guy that is basically a nobody in amongst the trees of the Mavericks bench.
Dallas got off to a rocky start and before you knew it, the Kings had a 14-7 lead on the Mavs and Rick Carlisle had to call a couple of timeouts in order to get his player’s heads back into the game. Their lackluster play was very evident as they committed 7 of their 17 turnovers in the first quarter alone and Dirk didn’t appear to be able to hit the side of a barn and even though he had 15 points, he was 4 of 14 from the field tonight, but there were other guys that was able to get on the court and make up the difference, with Yi being one of them as well as Brendan Wright, he played both the 4 and the 5 spot and when he was on the court, he was wowing not only the crowd, but also his teammates on the bench and the court and that’s what they needed, a spark and Wright supplied them with that very thing.
Once Dallas settled down and got their heads in the game, they finally took the lead and took control of the game from their. It was a shining moment tonight when Dallas finally won the battle of the boards by grabbing 56 rebounds and 17 of them on the offensive end, compared to 40 from Sacramento, who had 8 offensive rebounds. The thing of it is, the more offensive rebounds you get, the more of a shot for second chance points you get and that is one of the keys to the game.
Also, once they settled down, they had more spring in their step, they worked the ball around the helm very well and as I stated, shared the wealth, and it showed as they had 24 assists tonight and that was led by the floor general, Jason Kidd. It was good to see him back in the lineup, because even though you might not see high numbers in some categories on the stat sheet for him on a night in, night out basis, there are other ways that Kidd contributes to the game and just his being in uniform starts is all for the Mavericks.
He has a way of setting the tone and the stage for the game and everyone listens to him and follows his lead, that why it saddens me to see him retire and hang his shoes up, but no matter what he does after the game, he will be successful at it and I hope that it’s in a coaching capacity of some sort and maybe even in Dallas.
With Dallas securing the win over the Kings tonight, that still leaves them in the #7 spot in the Western Conference, but now a half a game ahead of the Denver Nuggets and in the thick of things between the Houston Rockets and still nipping at the heels of the Memphis Grizzlies. They may have lost the tie breaker situation with the Grizzlies and game them home court advantage, but I still feel that they could take them in a series of 7 games and come out on top. The thing of it is, that Dallas can beat anyone on any given night if they put their minds to it, it’s just a matter of “do they want to”? We won’t know until after the next 8 games as to where Dallas will fall and unfortunately most of the remaining games that Dallas has are on the road and against playoff caliber teams, so they are going to have to give it their all, and I know they can.
Now Dallas will travel to Golden State to face the Warriors who earlier gave them a night to remember, but it was also on the last night of a back-to-back-to-back game scenario and it was also the last game of a 9 game in 12 night scenario and Dallas was physically and mentally exhausted and maybe, just maybe, things might be different this go around, we’ll just have to wait and see.
So now I will bid you a good night and say good luck and let’s go Mavs!