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Looking Defensive

Dirk didn’t appreciate the forearm that Grant Hill delivered to him in the fourth quarter. Nowitzki and Hill briefly jawed at each other, double technicals were handed out, the game went on.

The game was won by the Dallas.

I’m reluctant to say Dallas Mavericks due to for one night, I saw a different team. I saw a team physical on both ends of the court. Use of some well-times zones, physical man-to-man defense, owning the paint with blocked shots and boxing out, Dallas provided a fun team to watch.

The American Airlines Center crowd cheered and screamed. They rose to their feet, and gave standing ovations. Yet the feeling I felt was “let’s not get too excited too quickly.”

Caron Butler and Brendan Haywood showed glimpse of what the Mavericks were so excited about. Butler provides match up problems with his ability to play both the 2 and 3 positions. Butler can post up a smaller guard or take a taller guy away from the basket and shoot open jump shots.

Haywood was a question mark, but was forced into the lineup due to Dampier’s injury. He played fearless and physical. He blocked shots and grabbed rebounds. He took up space in the lane.

Amare Stoudemire scored 30 points, blocked 3 shots, and grabbed 14 rebounds. Quite possibly putting his skills on display for a contending team to pull the trigger and trade for Stoudemire. Yet Stoudemire was unable to beat this team by himself.

That wasn’t always the case.

Caron Butler was smiling and playful. The official unveiling was over; he is now able to get familiar with the Mavericks offense and schemes. “Jersey feels comfortable” he said with a big grin on his face.

Mavericks won a big game against a team in the midst of the playoff push. Kobe Bryant was adamant that this trade was huge for the Mavericks and put them in the championship picture.

Last night at the AA Center, the Mavericks looked like a Finals team.

Looks can be deceiving though.

Tags: American Airlines Butler Dallas Dirk Nowitzki Haywood Mavericks Phoenix Suns

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