The Dallas Mavericks traveled to Berlin and amidst all the *ahem* hoopla of Dirk’s homecoming, he enjoyed a hero’s welcome in Berlin shortly before the Mavs played a tight game with Alba Berlin, pulling out an 89-84 victory.
Chris Kaman, who has played for the German national team with Dirk in the past, led the way with 14 points and 6 rebounds plus 2 blocks despite straining his back earlier in the pre-season. Darren Collison also had 14 points and 9 assists plus 2 steals in his debut as the Mavericks new point guard replacing the departed Jason Kidd.
Dallas had a very balanced attack which has been missing in big D for much of the Dirk Nowitzki era. Without a great night from Dirk himself, four other Mavs scored in double figures led by great all-around efforts from Kaman and Collison. Vince Carter also had 14 points and Shawn Marion had a double-double while playing his usual stellar defense. The great hope for the team this year lies in a solid year for Nowitzki combined with others playing up to their potential. This scenario provides more scoring options that most NBA teams can easily defend and particularly with Vince Carter and Delonte West in the game, the five on the floor could arguably be the best shooting team in the NBA. This game provided just the kind of balance Dallas needs to have and a hit of growing chemistry been the new and old and young and old.
Dallas committed 26 turnovers and didn’t look ready for NBA-level competition. Hmm….maybe I should have saved that for the ugly.
Dirk didn’t have a great game himself and had a little soreness in his knew, although he said that is too be expected early in the season. Overall the sentiment seems to be that the team looked as if they were still suffering from jet lag until late in the second half.
Three Mavericks who have had injury problems in recent years are Chris Kaman, Brandan Wright and Roddy Beaubois and so far Kaman and Wright have already suffered minor ones and are on the mend. Beaubois went down during the game with an ankle sprain of unknown severity as of yet, a disappointing start to the season for a player who has so much potential but has struggled with foot problems every year. This injury situation and how it progresses may have serious implications on Roddy’s future not only with the Mavericks but in the NBA.
Mavs Moneyball at SB Nation has a nice rundown of all the individual players’ contributions to this opening game.
The Mavericks have already arrived in Barcelona for their next game this Tuesday. The live broadcast will be on NBA TV with a tape delay on KTXA in the Metroplex area. Check local listings with your cable provider.