I, David Brower, no longer expect the Mavs to win another basketball game.
Shame on me for thinking that since we’ve had success for the better part of this millennium that we should still be good after going out and aquiring one of the best (if not the best) pure point guard in the game today. Apparently it doesn’t work like that. I guess it just so happens that when you do make such moves you show some promise in beating teams that a Canadian 7th grade girls basketball team could beat and then lay a complete egg against teams who are actually decent teams – not to mention teams you beat before the trade. I’m not even counting last nights game because we didn’t have Dirk with us, but still, to get beat that bad by a team with one star and a handful of role players is embarrassing.
This all started when we acquired Jason Kidd. A move that I wasn’t overly thrilled about, but saw what we were doing (trying to win a championship in the next year). I decided to be optimistic about the whole situation and things were going well. We lost our first game to New Orleans who held the best record in the Western Conference. Okay, that’s excusable; plus, we had only had Jason Kidd in Dallas for barely 36 hours. Then we go on to beat Memphis and Minnesota, two teams who are near the bottom of the league and for good reason. Next, we played Chicago, a terribly underachieving team with good players but horrible chemistry. We struggled a bit, but eventually pulled it out.
So at this point we’re 3-1 and things are looked okay. Then the wheels begin to shake.
We head down south to face the much hated and very boring San Antonio Spurs. This game had crazy hype surrounding it because the Mavs and the Spurs have been two of the top teams in the league for a couple of years now and their games are usually very good games. This game wasn’t any different. It was close, hard fought, and back and forth for most of the contest. At one point the Mavs took a small lead in the fourth quarter and looked like they might pull off the win. With 30 seconds left we are down by two points, and then something ridiculous happens. Coach Avery Johnson pulls Jason Kidd out of the game. Wait. Didn’t we acquire this guy to help us win? Then why isn’t he in the game!! Needless to say, we are unable to create a good opportunity for a shot and it all ends with Jason Terry (all 6’2” of him) driving down the middle of the lane against two players, who are both at least 4” taller than he is, and getting his shot blocked. Game over. We lose. 3-2 with J-Kidd.
It’s okay, shake it off, shake it off. Just a bad decision by the coach. It’s cool, we won our next game against Sacramento (a sub-500 team). 4-2 with the Kidd. Our three opponents after that are teams that are right in the middle of the playoff race in the Western Conference with the Mavs; a perfect opportunity for us to show that we are a good team.
The Lakers come to town and it was the Kobe and Dirk show. The two stars faced off in a game that was good and very close. We were in the game the whole way. Dirk hit a three to send it into O.T. Then we proceed to get beat. J-Kidd misses a free-throw that would tie the game, and then Dirk missed a 3-pointer the next trip down, which would have also tied the game. We lose in overtime; 4-3 with Kidd.
Next, the Utah Jazz. Another good game. We were getting destroyed for the better part of the game, but rally in the 3rd and 4th quarter to even take a decent lead with 7 minutes remaining. Then we fall apart…again. There seems to be a trend developing. 4-4 with Kidd. Not to mention Dirk Nowitzki was tagged with a flagrant foul that made him sit out the next game. Great, awesome, spectacular.
Enter the Houston Rockets, a team touting a 16 game winning streak and missing their star center Yao Ming. Granted we were without Dirk, but we still have players on this team. Jason Terry, Jason Kidd, Josh Howard where were you guys? Our offense looked stiff and boring. Many times we would give the ball to Josh Howard and watch him try to create a shot, which lead to him shooting 8-19 from the floor. I thought we were supposed to be this new offense with Jason Kidd at the helm. Instead, we looked like a team that gave up before the game even started. We were only down by two at the half and then we get outscored by 15 in the third quarter! Terrible, embarrassing, disappointing; 4-5 with Kidd.
Now this isn’t all to say that I blame Jason Kidd for our misfortunes. No, I think a lot of it is that the rest of the team is sitting around expecting things to happen magically. Our coaching staff has failed to make any changes to the offense to accommodate Kidd’s talents and the rest of the team hasn’t stepped up when we are without Kidd or Dirk on the floor. We are a lack-luster team that expects things to happen for them. Hopefully this next stretch of games at home will do something to instill some confidence and light a fire under this team. Otherwise, we probably won’t be in the playoffs and won’t have a 1st round pick for the draft. I hope we don’t win the draft lottery if that happens; it would be the icing on the cake.