Dallas Mavericks Submit a Masterpiece of a Quarter

Alex McVeighSenior Analyst IDecember 4, 2009

NEW ORLEANS - NOVEMBER 04:  Dirk Nowitzki #41  and Shawn Marion #0 of the Dallas Mavericks celebrates during the game against the New Orleans Hornets at New Orleans Arena on November 4, 2009 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

I'll admit it. I thought the Mavericks were going to drop it last night to the New Jersey Nets. I had a whole article written that I was going to publish yesterday about how the Mavs had no choice but to beat the Nets and make history, otherwise all the success of this young season were for naught.

Here's an excerpt:

But tonight, as the Mavericks attempt to make the New Jersey Nets start with the worst record in NBA history, it's all on the line.

And I mean it. Everything.

The hot start. The rumblings in the Western Conference hierarchy. The deep, dark dreams every Mavs fan has of a healthy Josh Howard, Erick Dampier and Shawn Marion leading the Mavericks to a stunning upset in the Western Conference Finals over the Lakers, and an even more stunning victory over the Magic or Celtics in the Finals.

It will be all gone if the Mavs don't make history tonight and send the Nets to the worst start in the history of the NBA.

Notice anything (besides the wonderful flowing prose and perfect grasp of the English language, of course)?

Yep, I had it all played out in my mind. The Mavs were going to blow this one, and it would just be another in a long line of disappointments of this franchise of late.

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But alas, I didn't have to wander into incoming traffic, collapse in the shower while sobbing, or any of my other melodramatic stuff that I claim to do when my teams lose.

Because the Mavericks pulled one out. They did more than pull one out. They beat the Nets pretty bad.

After the first quarter, the game was anyone's. It was tied 28-28. Both teams went on some runs, the Nets were moving the ball well and forcing turnovers, and the Mavs were shooting well and contesting shots.

Then the Mavericks unleashed one of the finest quarters of professional basketball this world has ever seen. For realsies.

49 points. 89.5% shooting on 17-19. 10-10 from the charity stripe. Yowzas.

I know what you're saying. "It was only against the Nets, get over it."

Well, guess who only played the Nets and didn't drop that many or shoot that well? The Magic, Nuggets (though they dropped 44 in a quarter), and Celtics all failed to do so in the Izod Center.

The Magic, Nuggets, Trailblazers, and Lakers failed to do so on their own home court.

The Mavericks did it on the road, and by doing so, they proved just how unstoppable this team can be when the offense is clicking.

And here's the thing—they didn't do it in 12 minutes, they did it in less. The first minute featured a bucket by Tim Thomas, one by Devin Harris, a Dirk turnover, and a bucket by Bobby Simmons.

Even with eight and a half minutes to go, it was a two-point game. So how did the Mavericks average about five point a minute for the next eight minutes?

The Mavs spread the floor (Tim Thomas hit a three), worked on defense (Kidd rebound, fast break and Kidd lay-up), then pounded it inside to Dampier.

And while the Nets have a terrible record, they're strong down low with Josh Boone and Brook Lopez, but Dampier was able to come out strong for the game.

By using such a multi-faceted attack, the Nets weren't able to cheat on defense, and so the Mavericks were able to exploit the match-ups they were given.

The used Marion and Damp down low, Dirk, Terry and Kidd on the perimeter.

Now obviously the Mavs aren't going to shoot 89.5 percent any more this season. But they're using their weapons, and that's always a good thing.

Marion's low post game has been a revelation, and it helps the Mavericks use Dirk around the floor without sacrificing a rebounding edge.

Kidd's hands are getting very busy of late, jamming the passing lanes, and taking advantage of sloppy play. Terry is getting in there defensively, too.

Overall, it was the best you could expect from the Mavericks. A good team should pound a weaker team, and the Mavericks performed about the best beat down you can give a team in that second quarter.

Did they get a little sloppy during garbage time? Sure, but they pulled the win out and that's what really matters.

As far as being a footnote on the New Jersey Nets wall of shame? Well, we'll call that a little sweet revenge.


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