Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
Overall Grade: A
Forget about Juan Manuel Marquez and Manny Pacquiao. Derek Fisher was ready to rumble with heavyweight champions Wladimir and Vitali Klitschko Saturday night.
The Mavs 38-year-old point guard got into several altercations in the second quarter. The first three of them were with Timberwolves backup center Greg Stiemsma, who measures 6'11'' and weighs roughly 260 pounds.
At 6'1'' and 210 pounds, Fisher more than held his own. Initially, Stiemsma drew a blocking foul against Fish that got the bad blood boiling.
Stiemsma followed that up with a hard pick that saw D-Fish hit the hardwood. Undaunted, Fisher went right back at Stiemsma, driving to the hoop and drawing another hard foul.
Fisher canned both free throws as Minnesota coach Rick Adelman removed Stiemsma from the game.
T'Wolves rookie guard Alexey Shved tried to pick up the slack by tripping Fisher after he stole a pass. Derek dusted himself off after that foul and decided to become the aggressor again.
Fisher backed down former Mav J.J. Barea and almost nailed him with a couple of elbows. Crafty as he is, D-Fish didn't connect and stayed in the game. Carlisle smartly called Fisher to the bench after this wild flurry of action that spanned only a couple of minutes of game-time.
Derek scored nine points in the fourth quarter and 20 for the game, his highest scoring output in four seasons. After trailing by 15 points, the Mavs took a 98-96 lead with 2:50 left on Fisher's 4-point play.
Ricky Rubio, playing his first game of the season for Minnesota, drew Fisher's sixth foul a minute later. Rubio hit both free throws to tie the game 100-100, and regulation ended with a no-decision after both teams scored two more points apiece.
Fisher almost graded out with an A-Plus, finishing with 20 points while missing only three shots all night. However, his disqualification and the ensuing Mavericks loss allows him "only" an A on our scale.