The Mavericks were looking for some revenge tonight and they got it with a 105-95 win over the Denver Nuggets. The Nuggets couldn't get out of their own way in this one with too many turnovers and too many missed opportunities ...
- Nuggets going with Ty Lawson, Arron Afflalo, Julyan Stone, Nene, and Chris Andersen to start. Stone and Birdman total surprises to replace Danilo Gallinari and Timofey Mozgov and/or Kosta Koufos. Mavericks starting a cast that could double as the cast from Tales from the Crypt.
- Birdman decides that since he's starting that he should also be taking 16 foot jumpers ... starts 0-1 from the field. 8:13 mark, Bird uses a ball fake to blow by Dirk Nowitzki out by the three point line and gets himself to the foul line ... 0-2 from the free throw line. Following play, Dirk buries a jumper in Birdman's face. 12-5 Dallas.
- First substitutes for the Nuggets at the 6:15 mark ... Andre Miller for Stone and Rudy Fernandez for Afflalo who has two quick fouls. Lawson dishes one to Bird for an easy dunk ... it's 19-12 Dallas. Denver really struggling to get the offense going.
- Lawson owns Dallas, he could easily go for big numbers tonight ... he has 7 points and 2 assists so far and it's 21-14 Dallas ... as I was typing, Birdman bricks a layup ... he's pulled with 2 points on 1-3 shooting and 0 rebounds in 7 minutes ... not really the spark George Karl was looking for.
- 2:38 to go in the first and it's 27-20 Dallas ... let's see how this one finishes, not looking good for Denver's defense as Mavs only average 93 points per game. Dallas finishes on a 6-5 bucket trading run, up 33-25.
First quarter recap: Mavs lead 33-25. The Nuggets defense looks pretty terrible. Dallas getting wide open threes and wide open layups. Nuggets have to defend one or the other ... can't give up both. On offense, the Nuggets are still without a consistent shooter and the whole team seems to get contagious on hot and cold streaks, so damn bizarre. Nuggets 2-6 from deep and Mavs open 3-7 and score a season high 33 in one quarter ... ouch.
- Rodrigue Beaubois opens the second by draining a three on a step over move off the pick-and-roll, 36-25 Mavs. Would have been a good idea to start Fernandez or Kenneth Faried at small forward and use Stone off the bench to bother Beaubois.
- 9:40 mark ... Dirk jogs funny.
- 8:55 mark ... Denver gives up about 46 second chance opportunities to the Mavs, Dirk nails a jumper to give Dallas a 41-31 lead. The Nuggets need rebounders on the floor, like I don't know KENNETH FARIED or I don't know ... I may go stuff my face with cotton balls. To answer the rebounding woes Karl takes Koufos, all 7-feet of him, out for Nene and leaves Al Harrington in at power forward. Don't expect good things. Turnovers galore for the Nuggs as well ... three straight possessions now. Nuggs have 7 turnovers ... I remember when they used to have 10-15 a game.
- 5:27 mark ... 51-37 Dallas. Let's see how Denver responds to close the half.
- 3:16 Afflalo picks up his third foul. What is wrong with AAA? He's 1-4 tonight and 0-2 from downtown ... what a slump this is turning out to be for him.
- From the 5:27 mark the scoring battle ends with Denver on a 16-13 run, it's 64-53 Dallas at the half. Brutal half for the Nuggets as Dallas scores their highest point total of the season after two quarters. Ouch.
Second quarter recap: 64-53 Dallas. Effort and energy can go a long way in the NBA. Teams do not come to play every night, so the team that does has a huge advantage. The Nuggets look like they're playing game 78 of 82 and have no shot of making the playoffs. The Nuggets are going through the motions and the Mavs are making them pay ... a little bit. Dallas goes 3-10 from deep in the quarter while the Nuggets go 1-5 ... bleh! Let's see what the second half holds as Lawson hurt his left shoulder breaking up a fastbreak to end the first half.
- Birdman is back after playing the opening 7 minutes ... Mozgov role. Harrington starts in place of Stone ... Mavs come out on a 4-0 run ... 4-3 as Big Al buries a three in the corner.
- 7:28 go to ... Dallas up 75-61. The Nuggets can't get out of their own way tonight ... once again. Turnovers, not guarding anyone, letting miss-matches occur off bad switches ... might go lay in the snow for awhile. Denver can't seem to get the lead under 10 points, a big run would change this whole game. Captain Obvious enters the building!
- Next uncontested three (81-64 Dallas and two straight made threes) and I'm jumping off my deck. If I break my arms then Andy and Jeff will have to cover these awful games or I can learn how to type with my nose by bashing my face into the keyboard.
- 2:49 left in the quarter and it's 83-72 Mavs ... Nuggets need to get it under 10 points to start the fourth ...
- It's 87-78 Mavs as the quarter closes with Nuggets going on mini 6-4 run, Denver had a chance to get it much closer ... bad rebounding and a charge by Big Al got in the way. But it's a 9-point Mavs lead.
Third quarter recap: Dallas up 87-78. Mavs go 3-8 from deep in the period and are 9-25 in the game (36%). The Nuggets show flashes of getting right back in this one, but just can't seem to get over the hump. Will be an interesting fourth ... too little too late or some Mile High Magic?
Fourth Quarter aka Winning Time:
- Afflalo opens the quarter making a layup and somehow has 12 points ... AAA passes up a three and gets stuffed as he goes for the layup instead of the dunk. Afflalo has his third straight scoring chance of the quarter and gets fouled before getting the shot up ... Rudy swatted on layup and loses the ball on the way up ... AAA bricks a three. 87-80 Mavs.
- 8:55 AAA another brick. Nuggets down 91-80 as Denver cannot capitalize on ANYTHING in this game. So many opportunities, no execution by the Nuggs.
- 7:45 mark and Dallas hits their season point average of 93 ... bad defense tonight from the Nuggets. Dallas up 93-81. Kosta Koufos gets screwed by the refs on offensive clear out with left arm, bullshit call. Rudy hits a layup, but Nuggets still trading baskets ... 95-83. Afflalo with another brick ... as usual.
- 5:27 to go and it's 95-83 Dallas ... need a minor miracle.
- 3:26 to go and the Nuggets are once again getting run at home ... 101-87 Dallas. Barf.
Fourth quarter recap: Dallas wins 105-95. This Nuggets team has a lot of problems right now. The biggest issues are defense (which includes rebounding), turnovers, and bad shot selection. When you can't make long distance shots you should stop taking them. The Nuggets ran out of gas and somehow never really ever put the peddle down.
Game Recap: Dallas wins 105-95. Only thing that could piss me off more about this game is probably the fact that I just lost about six paragraphs of this recap by fat-fingering my keyboard ... stupid save draft button. Dammit! Dammit Dammit!!
The Nuggets looked terrible tonight. Arron Afflalo tried to get himself going and had 12 points, but he was just 4-12 shooting and a miserable 2-8 from downtown. If you can't get your outside shot going ... why not stop and do something else? Well, Afflalo's shake-and-bake dribble drives remind me of a Knowshon Moreno run ... lots of footwork and show, but just a 1-yard run. Afflalo finished with a team low -21 in the +/- department and is making the off-season contract look like a mistake this season. AAA could still bounce back, but might the Nuggets make him expendable if the right trade comes along?
Speaking of trades ... George Karl hasn't really used Chris Andersen since January 27th and after six games he suddenly plays 19 minutes off the bench one night and 14 minutes tonight (seven in the first half and seven in the second half) after being a starter. It would seem to me the Nuggets have been trying to showcase Birdman a little bit, and the injury bug happened to help them out in that department. We were told before the game on Altitude that Bird was starting because the coaches believe he has played well with Nene in the past, well that isn't the case anymore. While I appreciate what Andersen has done with his time in Denver, he is no longer the same player and the team must turn to other options.
The Nuggets need to get back to using their defense to set up their offense, taking care of the ball, and running teams off the floor. It might be too much to ask a team to run, run, run for 66 condensed games, but the Nuggets have some young blood on their team that should allow them to try some different things. Rough go of it right now, but this is the ebb-and-flow of the season ...
Views you can use or throw up at:
- The Nuggets were just 9-26 from downtown and the Mavs were even worse at 9-28 from deep.
- Lawson finished the game 5-16, including 2-7 from deep, from the field for 16 points ... not a great offensive night for The Blur. Lawson did record 10 of Denver's 25 assists though.
- The Mavs grabbed 11 of 41 rebounds in the Nuggets zone ... that's 26% of the available second chance opportunities. Going with small ball makes my head hurt.
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