Game Notes: Mavericks-Lakers
Fight night Los Angeles!
by Ben Collins
Everything you ever thought you knew about the Dallas Mavericks is right.
They got hit in the mouth last night. Literally, actually, truly, a few times. Right in the god damn grill, in the kisser. The one guy who has prescribed himself to fight back—to say big, fightin’ words—did that. Jason Terry shoved Steve Blake into the stands, then got restrained, got ejected. You know the drill. One of the other teams’ players, Matt Barnes, shoved an assistant coach into the stands—the ultimate indiscretion. (Plus, it totally ruined Terry Stotts’ suit!)
The Mavericks got hit in the mouth last night, and then the Mavericks said, “Well, okay.” Then they shuffled their feet and lost to the Lakers by 28 points, 110-82.
It was embarrassing. Everything you ever thought you knew about the Dallas Mavericks is right.
Jason Terry fought back, all right, but he fought back in ways that could never help the team, and he knew it. It was like bumping knees with someone at a KFC only to have your fellow knee-bumper immediately whip out and taunt you with a grenade launcher. That guy just wanted to show you that he had a grenade launcher.
Truth is, Jason Terry’s been talking shit for months now. Jason Terry wanted to show you he could still fight and talk because he can’t be a second option anymore.
And yep, there was that small trickshot champion who won a contest and wound up on an NBA team, and he played really hard after that fight, but he can’t hit those shots consistently and stay in front of his man.
Now we’re just namecalling. JJ Barea played valiantly. He was eminently hardworking and respectable. But that’s it, and that’s not enough.
Dirk Nowitzki has no help. Dirk Nowitzki has no help, and I think he’s starting to realize it. He said he thought they were in it early in the second half, that they were only down three at halftime. So a couple of reporters asked him where the offense went in the third quarter.
“A couple of shots didn’t fall,” he said.
What happens in playoff time when the shots don’t fall?
“We’ve gotta get those shots to fall,” he said.
That’s not an answer.
We could blame Rick Carlisle. We could say, “Where’s the beef?” or “Ou est la bouef?” for that dynamic French two-guard he’s failed to develop, or whatever ‘Where’s the beef?’ is in German for that Hall-of-Famer he’s supposedly failed.
But even if this team had a third quarter offense and a contingency plan, it still wouldn’t have a second scorer. Without some personnel help, it would get beaten by a team called the Lakers in the second round of the playoffs every year, even if he drew up his plays on a couple of divine tablets.
Here’s his last chance to develop the French guy that we’re talking about, Rodrigue Beaubois, or find another option. Looks like Terry has grenade launched himself straight out of a few upcoming games. Carlisle sounds like he’s finally ready for a change, even though his words say the exact opposite.
“I still have a strong belief in our guys,” he said, and if you wrote it down, it’d have little dots under it.
I. Still. Have. A Strong. Beliefinourguys. That’s how you’d write it down, like you’re trying really hard to tell your body, “No, no, just tell a lie. Just tell a lie so everybody can hear it. We’ll deal with what we just said later, brain.”
And if you said it out loud, which he did, it would sound like he’s saying this sentence: “I still have a strong belief in our guys because why would you?”
- “Teenage Wasteland” is still cute and all, Lakers, but the Clippers have been using Ice Cube’s “I Rep That West” as intro music all year. I swear to God I can lift up a cruiseship when that song comes on. Just something to chew on.
- Once again, Lakers fans, the singing along with the Black Eyed Peas shit directly before tipoff needs to be cut out.
- Kobe’s got Beaubois one-on-one and proceeds to eat him alive. 4-2, Lakers.
- Kobe over Roddy again, like he’s cheap pâte. 7-6, Mavericks.
- Back-to-back threes from a wide open Kidd. 10-8, Mavs.
- Roddy just flies past Fisher on a break he created when no one was looking. 14-12.
- Kidd delivers a laser to Chandler, who had no physical choice but to put the ball in the hoop for an alleyoop. It looked like an accident. 16-12, Dallas.
- Dirk J from the elbow extended. 18-17, Mavs lead. Both teams are 8-14 respectively. Crazy pace going into the first timeout.
- Peja enters. I watched him miss exactly one shot in 10 minutes of shootaround before the game. It’s like watching someone play pop-a-shot. As long as that someone is legendary at pop-a-shot.
- Bynum is way too long and perseverant for any center on the Mavericks to contain. Well, he wouldn’t be too long for Brendan Haywood, if Brendan Haywood wasn’t a taxidermied dead person found amongst driftwood that the team reanimates with strings from the ceiling for fifteen minutes a game. So, since that’s out of the equation, Brendan Haywood isn’t long enough. Bynum gets a tough bucket draped in Chandler and Marion. 24-22, Lakers.
- Interesting stat: In the last Mavs-Lakers game in March (a Lakers win), Bynum was 4-for-6 against Chandler and 4-for-5 against Haywood. So, yep, he dominated.
- Peja Stojakovic takes weird shots.
- 28-26, Lakers at the end of one. Anybody’s game. I feel like it’s going to come down to a Kobe-Dirk shootout.
- What up Brendan Haywood? Your reanimated doll body is on a poster now, thanks to Matt Barnes. He skies baseline for a throwdown. 32-28.
- More Bynum dunkage, this time over Dirk. 34-28, Lakers. Immediate Carlisle timeout, presumably to put in Brian Cardinal and his hidden shiv.
- JJ Barea gets an unnecessary bump after the whistle from Ron Artest. The initial wrapup is called, but not the Artest bump. This is fair. Then Barea gets up to stare down, well, anybody and Steve Blake is there. Barea maybe swears at him or something. The Joey Crawford completely loses his mind and almost ejects Barea, pointing and screaming at him like a kid in the class of a kindergarten teacher whose husband was just informed he’s being put on trial for tax fraud but she went to work anyway. Totally classless, borderline retarded, definitely juvenile behavior.
- Look, all I’m saying is that when that definitive piece of journalism comes out which shows all of the refs that have gambled on/rigged games (this will come out by 2020, trust me) and Joey Crawford isn’t on it, I’ll cut my hand off with the shattered glass from a bottle of Lamar Odom and Chloe Kardashian’s cologne.
- Hey, look, a couple of Peja threes and the Mavs are up 40-38.
- Just had to explain to the wonderful, Canadian Holly Mackenzie what waterboarding is. I guess they just don’t know what that means in Canada, which is really, really cute from this distance. We probably were talking about Joey Crawford.
- Dirk is fired up. He just posted Ron Artest, backed him down to the block/charge line, got hit then drained a turnaround floater. 43-42, Mavs, and the Mavs’ best player is officially in playoff mode. Ruh-ro.
- Huge Kobe steal to Artest for a wide open three. This opens up a ridiculous can of worms. Three straight Mavs turnovers from Lakers hands in the till. Pau gets a putback dunk from a missed Artest three. An Odom steal gets Gasol a turnaround J+1. Lakers lead 48-43 and look like the smarter, more physical team.
- Marion is ice cold around the rim. 2-of-6 today and three straight missed layups.
- The Lakers should post Bynum every single time against this team until Ian Mahinmi comes in and Ian Maheens him.
- Dirk hits a J and the Lakers lead 54-51 to end the half.
- Dirk gets a technical after the first possession of the second half. Tellin’ it like it is.
- Why is Rodrigue Beaubois scared of the Lakers?
- Kobe gets some MVP chants as he strolls to the line.
- Derek Fisher can’t stay in front of Rodrigue Beaubois. Too bad Rodrigue Beaubois can’t stay in front of Rodrigue Beaubois.
- Joey Crawford calls a technical on Derek Fisher because Derek Fisher complimented him on his lovely arms.
- That probably wasn’t the reason, but do we need reasons? No. Joey Crawford does not need reasons.
- Kobe walks up the floor and hits a very contested jumper with his heel on the three point line. Must be nice to have that as an actual play. 67-58, Lakers.
- The Mavericks need a third quarter offense that isn’t:
a) Hoping some jumpshots randomly drop, or
b) Hoping the break starts somehow, magically, when you’re not forcing any turnovers.
- Andrew Bynum is so good he just scored a basket with the side of his thumb. That’s really what happened. 69-60, Lakers.
- Kobe iso on Kidd. Elevates, draws contact, gets the foul call, then readjusts and hits the fadeaway. Does it matter that this is the only thing he can do anymore if he does it this well? 72-64, LA.
- The Mavs take out Dirk and will run. This might be the only way they can get back in the game. Immediate Marion bucket on the break. 74-66, LA.
- Lamar hits a corner three with a few seconds left. Bynum gets a block on the other end. 82-70, LA, and the Mavs are going to need to dig deep to even look like they’re contenders anymore in the fourth, let alone win this game.
- The Mavs start the fourth with a profoundly bad defensive lineup. Barea-Terry-Peja-Dirk-Haywood.
- Lamar hits a three immediately. 85-70.
- Offensive foul on Nowitzki immediately after that. This team is done.
- Lamar hits a contested three. 88-70. Timeout. Dirk looks over to the Lakers bench sort of menacingly, but also sort of to say, “Hey, can I have one of those scorers, please? Just one. That’s all I’m asking. That’s all I’ve been asking for a few years. Just one.”
- Lamar coast-to-coast. In the fourth so far: LO – 8, Mavs – 0.
- If the Mavericks don’t respond to this, they’ll never respond.
- Theo Ratliff has to shoot free throws because Steve Blake has been ejected. He misses both.
- Barea hits a layup immediately. 90-75.
- Peja hits a three. 90-78.
- Fightnight LA! Some guy getting forcibly removed after a fight in the 200-level.
- Now there’s some guy rushing the court, who gets decked by security.
- Barea bucket. Down to 11.
- Nezzzzermind. Kobe. Bucket. Foul. 95-80.
- Fans getting upset at a Dirk lovetap on Kobe on a break.
- Holy shit, I just realized this when he returned: All of this happened while Ron Artest was off the court. What a weird night.
- Dirk appeared to just yell at JJ Barea in frustration.
- Ron Artest just hit a layup with one hand, then kissed his biceps.
- If there’s not a locker room fight tonight, I’m going to be very surprised.
- Enter the scrubs at 4:55. This one’s over. The Mavericks are done.
- Another fight. Who fights with Brian Cardinal? That’s like, uh, fighting on the Internet. Which is like something else.
- Fan in the stands: “Way to control the game, Joey.” Seriously. Worst of all time.