The Utah Jazz got a chance to see some vintage Dirk Nowitzki as he powered his Dallas Mavericks to a 103-81 win. Dirk, somehow, scored 20 points off of 9 shots. That's efficiency. Or, alternatively, that's getting to the FT line at a 1:1 ratio with how many FGA you take. Still, brilliant performance by the aging scorer. The Mavs were paced by Monta Ellis who didn't score quite as efficiently (22 points off of 17 shots), but over all those two players carried their team when they were in the game. And don't get me wrong, it was definitely a game at times during the night. The Mavs just closed quarters way better than we did; which is what our old Jazz teams used to do to up and comers. Utah was down by only five after one, and lost the second quarter by only six. The third quarter was a loss of only four. These are small deficits from quarter to quarter, but if you add it all up, it's being down by 15 after three. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the game.
Down by 15 going into the fourth quarter on the road against a playoff team that is just humming along = a likely loss. And that's exactly what happened. The Mavs won again, winning their fourth in a row: vs. Sacramento Kings, vs Cleveland Cavaliers, @ Memphis Grizzlies, and vs. Utah Jazz. This is the easy part of their schedule as they go on a three game road trip, then one home game against the Miami Heat, and then another three game road trip. It's an exciting time in Dallas if you are a player who likes to check into new hotels every day or two.
For the Jazz this is now the fourth loss in a row. I honestly don't think this is a coaching problem, but a combination of untimely injuries and a strange schedule. To be fair, these are four losses in a row to the Golden State Warriors, @ Los Angeles Clippers, vs. Toronto Raptors, and @ Dallas Mavericks. It very well could be five in a row as tomorrow night the Jazz play vs. the Miami Heat. But you know why I don't care or feel any blame is really there? It's because all five of those teams are playoff teams, some of them contenders. We're a team that's trying hard but just doesn't have the horses to compete. I have little doubt that in 2-3 years we'll more than hold our own.
This is a development year for the entire franchise. We've rarely ever been in this situation before.
- Marvin Williams was on fire in the first half, and finished the game with 21 points (5/8 from downtown, and 60 fg%), 5 rebounds, 2 assists, and tried his best against a Hall of Famer. He actually scored more points than Dirk tonight, but that'll get lost by the national media.
- The Jazz set a new record for 3PTA in a game with 35!! So now this is a record breaking or record setting season! Utah made 12, 3 off of tying their record for 3PTM in a game too. Keep bombing, boys!
- Trey Burke had a really nice pass to Jeremy Evans. It was pretty wicked, but the finish was better.
No Negatives tonight. I don't want to be a source of more negativity in this fanbase.
Jazz pick up the pieces and face the defending champs in Utah tomorrow night! Woo!