With their superstar headed to the hospital the Mavericks were not looking too hot against their in-state rival, the Houston Rockets, Friday night.
At the 9:28 mark of the 2nd quarter, the toast of Dallas, Dirk Nowitzki was driving the lane and took a hard foul from Carl Landry; hard enough that it left one of his teeth in Dirk’s elbow (luckily it was just a laceration which should not cause the superstar to miss anytime).
Conventional thought would have you believe that the Mavericks would be sunk without the best player the franchise has ever seen. For a good part of the game it sure looked that way, too. However, when it came right down to it the team rallied and managed to push the Rockets into an overtime game.
While they did not come out on the right side of the game eventually losing 108-116, there was plenty of good that came out of the game. Often times it appears as if the team is destined to go the way that Dirk goes; if he has a good night they win and if he is off they lose. Friday night was one of the most well rounded efforts the team has turned in all season. Five players scored in double figures, three of them coming off the bench. Kidd came within a basket of a triple-double. Shawn Marion was a rebound short of a double-double and Erik Dampier a point short.
Even though the scoreboard was not in the team’s favor at night’s end the Mavericks should be pleased with the end result; coming back from losing your leader and overcoming a ten point deficit in the fourth quarter is noting to be ashamed of. It’s a small consolation, but a consolation none the less.
However, the lack of composure towards the end of the game is not. Anyone that has ever played sorts is aware that referees will sometimes make bad calls and always against your team. Regardless, you have to play through them and not let them affect your game.
The Mavericks are lucky; they can always count on Cuban to lose his composure and should not feel the need themselves. Cuban has made his intentions known that he will be protesting several calls which he felt were a misapplication of the rules. Good luck with that one Mark.
At the end of the day the Mavericks still sit on top of their division, now just 3 games in front of those same Rockets and 3 ½ in front of their other in-state rival San Antonio.