Mavs 102, Pistons 99: Who Gets The Dirkie?

The Mavs' way-too-close 102-99 Friday win in Detroit causes Dallas to be just a little closer to the playoffs. Utah lost, so the Mavs are 3.5 games back, and seven guys in double-figures is part of the story. Another part? Which individual deserves 'The Dirkie'?

We're into the tidying-up portion of the schedule, making sure to pay friendly visits to the folks back East. This is Detroit, which this time of year has all the charm of a frozen pile of sludgemud.

And the basketball landscape isn't much better.

Give the Pistons at least this much credit -- when our Dallas Mavericks had them on the ropes in the fourth, up to their necks in a hole 15 points deep, the bad guys clawed their way back with a 24-8 run. In the end our Mavs (playing without Trix as he nursed a bad calf) finally throttled them, 102-99.

As coach Rick Carlisle said, "We'll take it and run and get the hell out of here."

No, not much beauty but a win's a win and, with postseason hopes still twitching in some of our hearts, we'll take what's there.

Onward and hopefully upward, but first a shiny thing.

This is where you vote for Player of the Game.

This is who you might vote for:

OJ Mayo -- leads the way with 22

Vince Carter -- cool 10 points and 7 boards

Dirk Nowitzki -- 12 points and 7 rebounds

Brandan Wright -- 14 points and 7 boards

Chris Kaman -- 10 and 6, G.R. 4evah!

Elton Brand -- 9 points, 6 rebounds, a steal, a block

Darren Collison -- 11 points and 8 assists

Mike James -- 12 points on 4-8 shooting-- wait, what?

Jae Crowder -- starts, chips in 2 points and 5 dimes

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