Vince Carter was forced to defend center Marc Gasol down the stretch Friday night, in a matchup that can best be described as "The Odd Couple."
Let's carry the sitcom's theme a bit further. The Dallas Mavericks' back-to-back losses to the Miami Heat and Memphis Grizzlies bordered on the "ridiculous," about the only word that Oscar Madison and Felix Unger could figure out together when they appeared on the game show "Password."
Please note that quotation marks in this article will signify famous Odd Couple references.
Thursday night's loss to the Miami Heat was "regrettably pathetic." The Mavs trailed by as many as 36 points before losing 110-95. Fans at the American Airlines Center reviewed their team's performance as "stale, flat and unprofitable."
The Mavs rally at Memphis Friday night was much more forceful, containing lots of "verve and panache."
With Brandan Wright, Shawn Marion and Carter splitting time at center, the Mavs managed to cut a 17-point deficit down to three in the fourth quarter. However, Dallas must "serve penance" again after losing 92-82. And, yes, they were hoping Zach Randolph would have checked into the "Fat Farm" instead of devouring 13 rebounds.
"And speaking of cold-cuts," O.J. Mayo was held to 10 points in his return to Memphis. Mayo shot just 3-of-11 from the field, his second sub-par game in as many nights. But as Oscar Madison once said, "my friend was mugged!"
Mayo, who scored eight points on 3-of-14 shooting against Miami, was mugged by numerous defenders once again. It brought back memories of Oscar and Felix having their New York City apartment robbed several times in one season.
At least in Memphis, there was no "Three Stooges" moment like there was against the Heat. LeBron James and Mavs rookie Jae Crowder almost gauged eachother's eyes out on one play. Ironically, they both led their respective teams in scoring.
Crowder's 15-point effort Thursday was the Mavs' highest output in the two losses. Marion led the Mavs Friday with 14 points. For the odds on all that happening, you would have to consult one of Oscar's bookies. Just dial up "Harry" or "52nd Street Irwin."
Dominique Jones has given the Mavs some hope at point guard lately, filling in for the injured Derek Fisher and ineffective Darren Collison.
"DoJo" registered 13 points and seven assists in an "admirable" performance at Memphis. But too many of the Mavs' wingmen are "moonlighting" at power forward and center these days.
Next stop for the Mavs is San Antonio on Sunday night. We would like to leave "personalities out of it," but Dallas will have to show a "killer instinct" earlier in the contest to avoid a three-game losing streak.
If all of this is giving you an ulcer, just use Oscar's recipe for recovery. Throw your roommate out of the apartment and eat "nine tacos, even if you would have been happy with six."