Mavs Donuts: Beating Pels, Diamonds + Poo
The Hornipels are paying Tyreke Evans and Eric Gordon more money this year than the Dallas Mavericks are paying Dirk Nowitzki, Monta Ellis, Brandan Wright and Devin Harris combined. It is truly diamonds surrounded by pooh pooh, Emmitt.
Anthony Davis is like that diamond that old broad dropped into the ocean in Titanic.
While we’re here, I’d like to admit that I’m not into all this Anthony Davis hype that has reached a fever pitch level of obnoxiousness this year. He’s not the best player in basketball. Is he on his way there? Yeah duh. But just because one contrived stat (PER in this case) presumes that he’s the “best” player in the basketball and somebody said the like on a podcast once doesn’t mean everybody has to nod and blindly agree. Most fun to watch, OK. Most upside, yeah. The next big thing, yes. Let’s not push things into the over-hyped vortex just quite yet like we love to do with anything that lends itself to fun hyperbole. He’s phenomenal but to me learning how to win is as much of what makes you the best player in basketball as is whether your game translates easily to Vine. He could be the best player in basketball by the season’s end or next year but there’s still five dudes I’d rather have on my team. (Don’t believe me? OK, LeBron, KD, Curry, Gasol, Westbrook, Boogie probably). The Hype Train came through town Wednesday and lost to Dallas, 112-107. Hype has zero titles and zero playoff wins. Davis will have his time but for now let’s appreciate the guys that are here.
I suppose we won’t have to amputate Monta Ellis’ arm. There will be no “slightly-used” white compression sleeves on eBay, guys. Sorry.
I have no idea what was wrong with his elbow this week but for it to heal and perhaps become even more powerful like a lizard’s tail in a 24-stretch is pretty incredible. The 1-of-11 shooting and the expectation that he could play Monta-level ball in Memphis no doubt cost the Mavs a shot at competing in Tuesday's game (read all about it here) but with Monta you always know the next magic trick is coming soon.
This was spectacular. Heading into the fourth quarter, I was concerned seeing as their Mr. 4th Quarter J.J. Barea was clearly knocked out of his comfort zone and looked like a turd sandwich shooting 1-of-7 on the night. How would the Mavericks overcome their one-man fourth-quarter sledgehammer being in a funk? How about Monta scoring the Mavericks final five field goals? That’ll work.
Monta knocked down a three with 4:27 left and he didn’t miss the rest of the game. Wednesday night was the outlier in his flaming hot stretch of offensive production. If you take Tuesday out of the equation, he’s scoring 26.2 points on 50.3-percent shooting in his last seven. Those sound like All-Star numbers. Against the Pels, this was just your regular 26-5-4 line while going full on Max Payne to send New Orleans on their way down the road.
“Coach put the ball in my hands and my teammates have confidence in me to make plays around this time,'' Monta says of game-ending spots. "I was looking to make plays and tonight I had it going in the fourth quarter.”
This version of Chandler Parsons is a lot of fun. I wrote extensively about it from Tuesday's game (see all our Parsons coverage here) but maybe it takes 25 games for a player to start gelling with a new team that’s offense is completely based on feel.
Parsons looks like he found some of that ninja turtle ooze (10 points for a TMNT reference boyyyyy). He’s been steady throughout the game and persistently confident when shooting. He’s starting to find his structure within the unstructured wave pool that is the Mavs offense. Over his last three games he’s averaging 26 points on 64-percent shooting and 59 percent from three. He’s not doing anything noticeably different. He’s getting the same looks and he’s just not hesitating on them. He needs to be the third-best player on the court and on some nights the second or best and he’s starting to fill out those shoes.
Here he went 8-of-13 from the field and 3-of-6 from three for 20 points and it never looked like he hesitated at all. He showed the full arsenal and he even pump-faked straight into a power dribble once. No moment was bigger than his three ball to make it 97-90 and help the Mavs hold on despite Jrue Holiday.
CP did something funky to his back -- "Brutal,'' he said -- and I hope that’s not a big deal moving forward and doesn’t dampen his stellar string of performances. After having five 20-plus-point games in his first 21 games he’s now had three straight.
It truly is the season of giving as I got the pleasure of watching another Jameer Nelson-less Mavericks game. What a treat. With Jameer out due to mercy and Raymond Felton’s injury getting super suspicious, that means plates full of Barea and Harris. We talked about Barea’s wobbly game but Devin Harris played one of best games of the season (his game against the Bulls was arguably better). Devin showed up on the bookends with seven in the first and eight in the fourth. It felt like every time Gal Mekel was on the court that Devin felt it disrespectful and he wanted to make a point of going straight at his head.
Devin is capable of 15-plus pints every night it’s just a matter of whether or not his deep ball is falling. His biggest moment was when he buried a long range strike to make it 92-86 and finally give the Mavericks the slightest bit of breathing room.
When the Mavericks play the Pelicans I always have the same question; what the hell is Luke Babbitt doing with his life? What kind of existence leads a man to think that looking like that is an acceptable way of living? He’s gotta be one of those steampunks or home-schooled, right? I don’t mean to talk bad about a member of the WAC’s all decade team but that bro is looking like teenage Joan Jett and nobody is like “dude, the hell is going on with you?”. He’s clearly crying for help. He’s on full Robert Swift watch from now on. He and Adam Morrison have set the white basketball brotherhood back at least two generations. Just try to be a goofy looking white guy and get drafted in the lottery now-a-days. For real, Babbitt will be the worst NBA starter you’ll see this season. No doubt.
Dirk Nowitzki is shooting 15.6 percent from three in his last nine games. Forget that I said anything.
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Jrue Holiday is going to get so many execs fired before his playing days are over. Potential gets people fired. The Pelicans need a veteran key rotation guy that knows how to win and can demand respect from all these third- and fourth-year guys. The idea of “just let them grow together” is great until you reach that point where your timeline suggests you should win games. Honestly, they’re better off tanking this year and getting rid of Monty Williams. I’ve never been a fan of him and I wouldn’t tank for another high rookie pick. I’d tank to move it and any of their under-performing youngster (obviously not Davis or Holiday but anybody else) for a veteran scorer.
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*Austin Rivers airballed a free throw. That’s the end of that joke.
*Good God I’m happy we didn’t pull of an Omer Asik trade last year when that was everyone’s wet dream.
*Aminu made me laugh when he was determined to take every single of his ex-teammates of the dribble one at a time in like a two-minute run.
*Ryan Anderson got posterized by Richard Jefferson. The last person that did that is probably writing a check at the grocery store right now and about to drive 8 miles home with their turn signal on the whole way.
“I think we need to bring the same energy regardless of where we are playing. We have to get our crowd involved and make energy plays. I think on the road we come with that edge and that focus and set the tone. At home we really need to pick it up and we’ve got to protect our home court.” -- Chandler Parsons.
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