New season, same old Dallas Mavericks. Tuesday night a rowdy American Airlines Center crowd filled the arena and watched helplessly as the Washington Wizards performed magical tricks on the new-look Mavericks 102-91, helping them to start the new NBA season the way they ended the last, with a loss.
Andray Blatche (20 points, 7 rebounds, assist) Gilbert Arenas (29 points, 2 rebounds, 9 assists) and Randy Foye (19 points, 3 rebounds, 2 steals, assist)paced the rejuvenated Wizards playing for the first time with veteran head coach Phil Saunders leading the bench.
Meanwhile, the aging Mavericks not only looked like they had tired legs but played without any real flow or consistency on either side of the ball. Playing without the services of forward Josh Howard while he rehabs from off-season wrist and ankle surgery, the Mavericks relied too heavily on their only scoring threat Dirk Nowitzski (34 points, 9 rebounds, 2 blocks, assist) and got little to no help from newcomers Shawn Marion (16 points, 7 rebounds, 3 blocks) and former SMU stand-out Quinton Ross (2 points, no rebounds, no assists, 4 fouls)
In post game reports on NBA.com, Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle was disappointed by the team's poor home performance and stressed the need to improve defensively. "It's just disappointing," he said. "This is one of those nights where we're not shooting it well and you've got to hang in the game with your defense and we just weren't able to do it."
"We're a team that scores," Carlisle said. "When we score and we shoot well, everything else falls into place. The real challenge for us is to become a team that can be persistent enough on defense and hold ourselves in games when we're not shooting great."
That's not good news for Mavs fans and if this type of play continues it's gonna be one long season for those that have chosen to stick it out with the Mavs. Not me, not to this year. I'm all-in with the Lakers!