Mavs All-Access: My Utah Wish
When in Utah, you’re forced to start your regular season on a back-to-back.
When in Utah, you shoot 3-for-18 from three on opening night.
When in Utah, you pay Gordon Hayward (ranked 98th PER in ‘13-’14) $14.7 million (27th highest salary) for the next four years.
When in Utah, you let Al Jefferson walk away because you need to give Enes Kanter minutes.
When in Utah, you lose six straight regular-season games to the Mavericks, as happened here in a 120-102 smashing.
Pretty smart of the Dallas Mavericks to go full-on 3A-high-school-football-style and schedule a team that they knew they could dominate for their homecoming. The Mavericks have won 21 of the last 24 meetings with the Jazz in Dallas and Utah really hasn’t even been a thing since they said goodbye to the Deron Williams-Boozer-Okur-AK47 bundle of fun that once made a Western Conference finals in 2007. Don't remember? You were probably too busy booking your trip to the "Spice Girls Reunion Tour.''
The most intriguing storyline of the night was just how many sweet perimeter-rotation passes Richard Jefferson was going to make to spurn his former team. ... Each one more vengeful than the last.
No, the main thing I was looking for was how Chandler Parsons would respond after his lackluster performance in the season-opener in San Antonio. He’s 14.7 and 15.3 and even 16 times better than the offering he put down Tuesday night and if he ever wants to be the face of the franchise after Dirk Nowitzki is carried off the court on rich people’s shoulders, then a matchup with the Jazz at home on the tail end of their season opening back-to-back would be the place to start.
The final numbers weren’t astounding (21 points on 8-of-16 shooting with seven boards) but the overall contribution to the game was perfectly acceptable. Chandler is more of luxury when you get down to it. A third scorer of his aptitude is something very few teams have. I really don’t want to make excuses for him not lighting up the box scores with efficiency but the Spurs game largely wasn’t his style of game and tonight was a blowout from the eight-minute mark of the first quarter on.
Here's the Parsons Video Visit:
"I definitely wanted to bounce back,'' Parsons said. "These guys make it easy ... You've got to pick your poison with us. We have a lot of ways to hurt you.''
When you get a new toy you want it to be the most amazing thing you’ve ever seen and destroy your concept of what is awesome. But, what the Mavericks need is him playing lights out basketball in the spring of 2015. This 21 and 7 is a good start.
Dallas wasted no time showing the Jazz who owns their own jet skis and who rents them at the lake as the home team made its first eight field-goal attempts in spectacular fashion. Shockingly, that’s the same amount Utah made in their entire fourth quarter Wednesday night against the Rockets. Dallas did it in seven minutes!
By the time everybody had used up their best Utah jokes (most of which centered around Joe Ingles and the fact that he doesn’t work at a FedEx office but actually plays in the NBA) and the first quarter had ended the Mavericks had reeled off 36 points on 64-percent shooting. (Which is actually behind schedule considering the last time they played Utah they dropped 39 in the opening frame shooting 94 percent. I wonder how many games the Jazz would win if they didn’t get the advantage of being scheduled commonly as a team’s back-to-back opponent coming off of a road game at Denver. The answer is none. None games.
What is this play in which one player lobs the ball in the air and the other catches it mid-flight and forces it through the steel cylinder? Wicken? Before tonight I was led to believe that only Brandan Wright possessed this acrobatic contrivance. After seeing four different alley-oops I’m willing to surmise that this is a high-percentage attempt and the Mavs should try to do more of them.
Turns out, TY is willing to try. ...
Often times I flat-out forget or overlook writing about Dirk. He’s been a bigger part of my sports consciousness than any athlete in my lifetime. I can’t explain the feelings I have about the time I’ve spent watching him play basketball in anything less than a "Goosebumps'' boxset so I often don’t try. He’s my sports totem. He’s as consistent as me getting an upper-respiratory infection when winter hits or getting homesick when driving at night. It’s not an excuse but I often take what he brings to the table for granted and assume that people want to read about the variables.
This time, I can’t.
Seeing him play Utah drums up all of those feelings of last spring and watching him break into the top 10 on the scoring list. He was absolutely phenomenal. Enes Kanter needs about three months of intense therapy after what Dirk did to him. Coming from a person that’s seen probably upwards of 85 percent of all of his games that he’s played the last 18 years, Dirty looks nasty this year. If someone would give me odds on him making 40/50/90 I’d love to run to the ATM up the block. His 21 points came so easy they didn't even feel like 21 points. Just a low-key 21 points no biggie.
The Uberman's Video Visit:
"We already showed in preseason how explosive this team can be,'' Dirk said. "We want to play for each other.''
Let’s have a nice handclap for Brandan Wright. I think this is type of role he was born to play. Now he doesn’t have to guard the other teams post-up big and he’s not being relied upon to grab every second-team rebound. He can just be what’s natural to him and that’s a flying pterodactyl raising hell. Yeah, he didn’t look great when he got locked up on Tim Duncan in the last game but honestly you could fill the AAC with dudes that haven’t looked great guarding Tim Duncan over the years. I feel like Brandan is going to have some big moments this year and be a part of a bundle of 16-4-ish third-quarter runs that put the Mavs up late. Wright finished with 14 points on 6-of-7 shooting.
"The Chief has arrived.'' If we’re going to give Brandan Wright props, then Al-Farouq Aminu can’t be far behind. They shared the court for a large portion of the game and it’s been my notion since preseason that those dudes were going to be a real pain in the ass together against other teams' second units (which is basically Utah’s first unit). Farouq went 16 and 10 on 6-of-7 shooting (13 in the second half) including a three ball. Shoot all the threes you want against Utah.
Welcome back, J.J. I always thought he brought something that can’t be calculated in a box score. Every bucket he scores it’s just like “Hell yeah, we can do this just look at how tiny and crazy he is.” He’s a spark and an agitator and although I hate to see Gal Mekel head on down the road I know he had no place on a team with championship aspirations. Barea can cause a lot of headaches for other teams especially when the Mavs keep serving up another unit of stellar guards like they’re running a conveyor belt. I knew the moment that Barea signed his Minnesota contract that it would be the reason he’d be waived at some point. It’s understandable why the Wolves said goodbye after his performance last season but he’s not that far removed from back-to-back seasons of 11+ points 4+ assists and shooting 35 percent from three.
"Yeah, I was nervous," said Barea, who scored four points. "I haven't been nervous in a while, so it was a great feeling that I was missing."
Good to see you again, little buddy.
Devin Harris looks supremely confident in his 3-ball and that wasn’t the case last season for weeks at a time. He's 3-of-7 here coupled with 2-of-5 Tuesday night and that leaves him at 5-of-12 on the season which is exactly 10 points higher than last season. The way the rotation is shaping up currently, the Mavericks will have at least two players that can stretch the defense on the court at the same time. This team is so deep that everybody can focus on the things they do incredibly well to a higher degree.
Devin's Video Visit:
"A lot of guys got a lot of open shots,'' Devin said. "I've been shooting a lot (practicing from the perimeter), knowing those are the kinds of shots I'm gonna get this year.''
I wish we could play Utah every night.
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