Mavs All-Access: Checkmate Over NY IN OT
The Dallas Mavericks were, predictably, going to get an inspired performance from Tyson Chandler on Monday. Somehow, Phil Jackson has the unwashed masses in New York believing that decades of Knicks woes, the garbages strikes and "Spiderman: The Musical'' are all TY's fault.
Right is right, so Chandler gave Dallas season-highs with 17 points and 25 rebounds against his former team Wednesday night, powering the Mavericks to a 109-102 overtime victory against his former Knicks team.
"Just a beast,'' Dirk Nowitzki said, "and we needed every single rebound. ... We were actually talking before the game that we had to shoot (Tyson) with a tranquilizer gun to slow him down a bit."
So yeah, Tyson played as if he was inspired to avoid losing a third straight game to an opponent missing its star. But it too way too long for TY's mates to catch up.
"Sometimes,'' Tyson said, "you play down to the competition ... you look at a roster and see a guy is missing and you (let up). You can't do that.''
Yet ... they did. Again.
The Knicks were missing Carmelo Anthony (back spasms), just as in the previous game the Pacers were missing Roy Hibbert (ankle) and the Rockets were missing Dwight Howard (allegedly illegal belt buckles, maybe). Dallas lost to those shorthanded clubs and was in danger of doing the same thing here with Jose Calderon -- sacrificed in the summer trade with New York that brought Chandler home -- matching a career high with seven 3-pointers for all of his 21 points (to go with 10 rebounds in an oddball double-double).
Also contributing for NY: Center Sam Dalembert (13 points and 13 rebounds0, also involved in the trade and also involved in the Knicks being neck-and-neck for most of the game, an accomplishment especially because the mindlessly erratic J.R. Smith was 1-of-10 from the field entering the fourth quarter before he started making plays, getting bounces and issuing stare-downs to the Dallas bench.
Such a waste of talent and energy. Smith managed the tying jumper with 0.9 seconds left in regulation, yes. But while he was participating in his familiar "ignorant arrogance'' that perpetually keeps a lid on what the Knicks have been, are and will ever be ... Rick Carlisle was busy putting OT chess pieces in place.
In the extra period, Dallas scored 14 to New York's seven. The Knicks suddenly became a turnover machine, with oodles of errant passes and give-away fouls. How did Carlisle make it happen? J.J. Barea enters the game for Devin Harris ... Al-Farouq Aminu enters the game for Chandler Parsons ... Richard Jefferson enters the game for Dirk Nowitzki ... Dirk Nowitzki enters the game for Al-Farouq Aminu ... Chandler Parsons enters the game for Richard Jefferson ... Al-Farouq Aminu enters the game for Chandler Parsons ... 99-103 Devin Harris enters the game for Dirk Nowitzki ... Richard Jefferson enters the game for J.J. Barea ... Dirk Nowitzki enters the game for Al-Farouq Aminu ... Chandler Parsons enters the game for Richard Jefferson ... J.J. Barea enters the game for Tyson Chandler ... Tyson Chandler enters the game for Chandler Parsons ... Al-Farouq Aminu enters the game for Dirk Nowitzki ... Richard Jefferson enters the game for Monta Ellis ... Brandan Wright enters the game for Tyson Chandler ...
Offensive for defensive, to be sure. But also situational in other ways. Matchup advantages. Confusion. Checkmating. ... a brain-spinning total of 15 of these things over the course of 103 seconds nearing the end of OT.
"It was a blood-and-guts type of game. They were just throwing in shots; they were throwing in some really difficult shots. But this in the NBA and these are NBA players – guys do that. We didn’t hang our heads, we kept battling, kept fighting and that’s what you’ve got to do. ... We showed a lot of guts.”- Rick Carlisle.
You know the drill: The Mavs win the game, and Mavs fans like you choose the Player of the Game. Who deserves "The Dirkie''? Vote here!
Let's acknowledge that it's not going to be Chandler Parsons, a big part of why Dallas was just 4-of-31 on treys. (He's once again not stepping into shots, rather kind of fading back on they long bombs, accomplishing nothing but making the shot more difficult.) But Parsons goes to the floor late in the game to eventually win a 50-50 ball, hustles to fill the lane on the break, pitches in on D in OT.
These aren't $15-million plays. And they aren't even "Dirkie''-worthy. But we throw Parsons' name in here because seeing him work for it is encouraging, at least.
Similarly, Monta Ellis struggled ... then saved.
Ellis, for a while, was enduring arguably his worst game in a Maverick uniform.... Until it mattered most. Ellis was 1-of-9 from the field with just two points and three turnovers with 4:28 left in regulation. He had picked up his fifth foul with seven minutes left in the fourth quarter, though Carlisle kept him in the game.
And, boy, did that pay off.
Ellis hit a couple of free throws with 4:56 left in the fourth quarter and then hit back-to-back jumpers to give the Mavs a one-point edge. In overtime, Ellis missed a shot but saved the ball from going out of bounds and tossed it back into play to TY, who slammed for the Mavs, giving them a two-point lead that they would not relinquish.
Ellis finished with eight points on 3-of-13 shooting, six assists, three steals, and a couple of rebounds. There's no Dirkie in there. Just more stick-to-it-tiveness.
Dirk Nowitzki had a season-high 30 points for Dallas, and because this game was on national TV, it exposed another wave of fans to his brilliance while also exposing the ignorance of the basketball-blind. Yes, America, Dirk does this in the clutch. All the time. For, like, forever. Better than, like, everybody.
We continue to be amused by suggestions that The Uberman is anything shy of "superstardom.'' As demonstrated here again, he is quite usually exactly as much superstar as Dallas needs him to be, exactly when it needs him to be.
Said Rick: “Vintage. Vintage Nowitzki. ... It was his will that kind of carried us.''
Oh, and Coach, about Nowitzki playing a season-high in minutes with 39?
I was looking very closely at the minutes, but once we got into overtime, I took one timeout about two-and-a-half minutes in, which I thought we needed to do to get our guys a little bit of rest,'' said Carlisle, cognizant that all his other starters (including Devin Harris, subbing for an ailing Jameer Nelson, would tally at least 40). "There are just some times when you can’t take Dirk out. It’s just one of those things. In those situations, if I did, then I’d hear about it. I don’t want to hear about it.”
Chess pieces. Checkmate.
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