The good news is the Celtics had a similar record going into the All-Star break last year and ended up very close to getting past the Heat and making it to the NBA finals. Unfortunately that doesn’t make a mediocre – or sometimes truly awful game or series of games – look any better.
The wheels fell off again, not right away but eventually and it wasn’t pretty.
As O. J. Mayo goes this season, so do The Dallas Mavericks and unfortunately the pattern held Friday night. Mayo scored 10 points on 2-8 shooting and the team went 0-for-13 from three point land which as is often the case, were not Dallas’ only problems in Toronto. The Mavericks looked every bit of horrific in losing 95-74 to the Raptors, one of the worst teams in the league.
The Raptors shot a paltry 40.5% which was still better than the Mavericks (39.1%) and of course, Toronto hit 12-of-36 from three-point land while Dallas came up completely empty. The Raptors outrebounded the Mavericks who committed 17 turnovers as well. Essentially, the unholy Trinity was in full swing again.
The lead changed several times until midway through the second quarter when the Raptors began to build a lead they never relinquished. Chris Kaman had the hot had early but went cold as the game went on, although he still led the Mavericks with 15 points. Brandan Wright had 13 points while Shawn Marion had 12 to go with 13 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals.
Toronto not only came in with the second-worst record in the league but was playing without two starters, Andrea Bargnani and Kyle Lowry. Linas Kleiza and Terence Ross led Toronto, both from the bench. Kleiza had 20 points and Ross 18 and both added 5 rebounds.
It seems just another unfortunate note of significance that the Mavs failure to connect from downtown ended the longest consecutive streak in the NBA of a team hitting at least one 3-pointer.
The Mavericks fell below .500 again to 11-12 while the Raptors broke a 6-game losing streak and improved to 5-19. Full analysis coming up on The Smoking Cuban.