Nov. 9, 2012; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks small forward Carmelo Anthony (7) hits a jump shot against the Dallas Mavericks during the second half at Madison Square Garden. Knicks won 104-94. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE
The Dallas Mavericks rode into the Big Apple on the heels of a three game winning streak and stayed close to the undefeated New York Knicks beyond halftime but someone flipped a switch midway through the 3rd quarter and the shots stopped falling. The Mavs ended up on the wrong side of a 104-94 loss. The Knicks are not only undefeated but they have won all 4 games by 10 points or more and all against over .500 teams.
After shooting reasonably well in the first half and leading by two at the break, the Mavericks lost their shot midway through the third quarter while New York continued to find the range. In addition, the Mavs returned to the worst habit of the preseason, turning the ball over 20 times. Combine that with a subpar shooting night and there was no way the Mavs could keep up. The loss snapped a 3-game winning streak.
Carmelo Anthony continued to be Superman East as he put up 31 points, 7 rebounds and 2 blocks while Josh Smith added 22 points. Former Mavs Tyson Chandler put in 11 points and 9 rebounds while Jason Kidd had 6 points and 3 assists in just over 15 minutes on the floor.
Dallas was led by O. J. Mayo with 22 points, Vince Carter with 15 and Chris Kaman, who had another nearly-perfect night with 14 points on 6-of-7 shooting.
Chris Kaman came off the bench again and continued doing what he’s done most of the season, put the ball in the basket. Kaman was 6-of-7 from the field for 14 points to go with 7 rebounds.
Brandan Wright also kept his fg percentage high, shooting 4-of-7 for 11 points and 4 rebounds.
Though they didn’t shoot well, O. J. Mayo and Vince Carter were aggressive, scoring 23 points and 15, respectively.
The Mavs were actually NOT outrebounded; in fact they won the battle of the boards 50-43. Kaman, Elton Brand, Mayo and Troy Murphy (who has yet to find his shot) all grabbed 7 boards and Carter had 6, so it was a team effort and a good one.
The Mavericks shot 87% from the line.
As stated earlier, Mayo and Carter scored but didn’t shoot well. It was good that they stayed aggressive but on an ideal night more shots will fall. Mayo did stay hot from beyond the arch, hitting 5-of-10 from downtown but overall 7-of-18.
There were other isolated good stats, such as Darren Collison’s 8 assists and Troy Murphy’s 7 rebounds but neither of them could put the ball in the basket.
The turnover bug hit again and really bit O. J. Mayo who committed 8 on his own. Darren Collison also had 4 and the team 20 overall. It’s hard to win games with that many.
Overall the Mavs shot poorly other than Kaman and Wright but Collison couldn’t find the range at all, going 1-for-8. He did dish out 8 dimes but also had the 4 turnovers.
Melo played a lot of minutes and the Knicks kept going back to him because he pretty much had his way. The Mavs are going to need to find other ways to defend him other than relying entirely on Shawn Marion. That may mean Elton Brand or Dahntay Jones and Jones wasn’t bad but it was a stark difference without Marion in the game. Melo has under a 40% fg percentage when playing Marion since Trix joined the Mavs and hasn’t had any kind of stat line like the one last night.
I mentioned the Mavericks shot 87% from the line. Unfortunately they also shot 15 fewer free throws that the Knicks.
Finally, Tyson Chandler is really getting his revenge on Mark Cuban. Like many of us, he feels the team could have won another championship. Instead, Cubes let him go and he won defensive player of the year and pretty much turned the Knicks around. His stat line was very Chandleresque but that never reflects the emotion he plays with and the positive leadership he provides, not to mention thunderous dunks and the reactions after.
I’ve said it many times and it isn’t the only cliché’ that applies to the Champs disassembly, but TC is a great example of a bird in hand. I’d take him and his passable offense, outstanding D and what he gives to a team over maybe being able to land the somewhat better but overly dramatic and flaky D12. But that’s me.
The Mavericks didn’t play terribly overall and there were bright spots. It was a simple matter of shooting very poorly for the latter part of the game and way too many turnovers plus not enough trips to the line. While the Knicks have won 4 straight over .500 teams by 10 points or more, the Mavericks four wins are ALL against sub-.500 teams and they also lost to one. It remains to be seen if they can have a good game against a better team.
The Mavericks have a chance to make it 17 in a row against the Charlotte Bobcats and hopefully, not a difficult contest. The game is Saturday night in Charlotte, the second back-to-back of this short road trip. Preview coming up on The Smoking Cuban.