Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Game 2: Hornets 127, Mavs 103 (2-0)

Done and Dusted.

Never has a team had such a crucial game, only to make matters even worse. Oh, wait; They did this last season in a “must win” game in Oakland.

As much as I try to hang in there with these guys in the face of people calling me a moron for believing in them, I feel that I have been duped. The honest appraisal of this all appears to be that they are diseased and dying. They are taking their last few breaths before they are put in their casket. Last night indicated to all of us how interested they are in delaying the inevitable. Not. At. All.

They don’t believe. They don’t fight. They don’t appear to care. And, even if they did, they don’t appear to know what to do about it.

I said last summer that they needed a heart transplant. They ignored me and everyone else that agreed. Then, in February, they made a bold trade to “win now”. It actually appears they made it even worse than it was. Or, maybe just more hopeless.

If last night wasn’t a true indication that the current mix isn’t close to working, I don’t know what would be. That was sickening. And, barring a completely unforeseen recovery in this series, that was more than plenty to fire your coach. Is it all Avery’s fault? Debatable, but in sports, when your team clearly doesn’t respond to you, you fire your coach.

After a night of having your hides tanned for all to see, here are the notes:

• So, the Hornets take liberties with the Mavericks on Saturday night, including the much publicized “touching of the face” of Dirk. Between games, Avery talks about standing up for yourselves. So, on Tuesday, in an effort to set the tone of how the Mavericks won’t be pushed around, they roll out and surrender a dozen dunks in the Hornets’ 39 point first quarter. There is nothing more demoralizing than not having any clue how to stop them. And it is quite obvious that the only thing worse than not double teaming Chris Paul as he lights you up, is poorly double teaming Chris Paul and allowing the entire team to light you up.

• Did you consider giving up on the game at the same time I did? Jerry Stackhouse drives to the rim, is soundly rejected by Tyson Chandler, who sends the ball to Chris Paul, who takes off on the right side, Chandler sprints down the left side and accepts another lob pass and throws down a power dunk 94 feet away from where the play began. That made the score, 8-5, and the route was on.

• Josh Howard made a jump shot with 8:00 to go in the 2nd Quarter. That would be his last field goal of the game. In game 1, his last field goal happened with :01 left in the 2nd Quarter. I am not sure what he does in the 2nd half of basketball games, but it isn’t playing basketball.

• Seriously, have any “between game adjustments” ever gone any worse? You had 72 hours to figure out the Chris Paul riddle, and that is what you came up with? I think we can all agree that wouldn’t qualify as a real precise adjustment. Avery may not have the personnel to handle certain complicated deployments, but by now, Avery should be aware of what he has to work with, and if he can’t make those pieces fit well enough together to hold New Orleans below 127 then you may need to fire your coach.

• By the way, Avery is signed through 2010-11, at $4 million per season. It would not be real cheap to fire your coach. Of course, it also would not be cheap to trade for Jason Kidd - that didn't stop Mark Cuban.

• Remember the premise that Dirk needs help? Well, that means Jerry Stackhouse, Josh, and Kidd need to step up and help. 4-10, 3-10, and 3-10 is not what we had in mind. By the way, Dampier went 3-6 for a starters-not-named-Dirk total of 13-36 (36%) Meanwhile, CP3’s mates in the starting line-up had shooting nights of 8-13, 11-17, 4-7 and 5-7 for 28-44 for 64%.

• The last 3 halves for the Hornets: 64, 67, and 60 points.

• And now for the obligatory Chris Paul is amazing entry: 32 points, 17 assists, and 5 rebounds? That’s great but he didn’t block a single shot. Seriously, wasn’t it fun to watch Dampier trying to guard Paul on the switch? Shockingly, Erick did not break an ankle, but CP3 had a pretty nice crossover that just about made the big man tumble. He is in another world. But, did TNT’s comparison to Lenny Wilkens miss the mark or what? You can show me those highlights all you want. Wilkens is not a similar player to Paul. Sorry. They are playing two different sports.

• David West may be in the running for most underrated player in the NBA. He certainly has a game that makes you notice his impact on a game. 27 points and another harassment of Dirk leads one to believe that the battle of the supporting casts is not going well from a Dallas perspective.

• Would it be too much to ask Josh Howard to win a matchup against Peja? Seriously. That is flat embarrassing. And if I hear one more time that he is having a hard time continuing on without his buddy Devin Harris, I might vomit. Seriously, how old are these guys? Something that should be assumed when you take $40 million from an NBA franchise is that they might – without warning – trade one of your buddies. At this point, you may have to correspond with your buddy nightly through text, phone, IM, or perhaps video phone. Somehow, we will ask that you still carry on and try to play basketball that is slightly above horrendous.

• When your opponent has 97 at the end of 3 Quarters, and 3 guys have over 20 points, I am guessing the stats generally indicate you are going to lose that game.

• This is too much to bear. I believe in being loyal to your team through thick and thin, but when you are actually happy that TNT switched away from your game, you obviously are having a hard time hanging in there. Is this thing over? There is still time, but no longer does this appear to be trying to climb out of a hole. It appears more to be delaying a sure death.

• When this ends, can we please blow this thing up? The Dirk-Terry-Stack-Howard-Dampier led Mavs era needs to end. I am sorry. I can no longer defend something that is so obviously broken. At least we have a #1 to look forward to…oh wait.


John said...

Right on Bob! Blow it up and fire Avery!

Andy D. said...

Like sand in an hour glass... These are the days of our lives.

What can we say about this franchise now? Diseased and Dying is pretty much right. You can say all the same stuff that everyone has been saying about mental midgets etc. but what I have seen in the SEVERE DROPOFF OF TALENT on this team in the past 3 months. Kidd is a hall of famer along with Dirk, but what is surrounding them is absolutely dreadful. Like I have said many times, I look forward to 3 months from now when Mark Cuban blows the bitch sky high and starts over.

Cue Johnny Cash song...

MK said...

I bet NBA GM's are lining up to take on Howard, Terry, and Dampier's contracts. And to think, this time last year Josh Howard was untouchable. Anyone want to rethink that now?

Bob, can you put a moratorium on any William Wallace reference when talking about this team until they show the tiniest bit of sack?

MK said...

also, J-Ho may take the regular season off from smoking but it sure seems like he starts blazing when the playoffs start. I know what he was doing this past Sunday, 4/20.

Tony said...

Does anyone else throw up a little bit anytime Josh Howard gets the ball?

Does anyone else think Mark Cuban was right about playing Brandon Bass more?

What else saddens me is that we roll out a has been Eddie Jones, a has been Juwan Howard, a has been Jerry Stackhouse. I think Kidd still has something in the fastbreak and he seems to have made Dirk & Damp have a little more. Veterans are nice to have on the end of the bench, but meaningful playoff minutes?

How can a team rally around a coach, that at anytime in a NBA game, sits on the bench starring into far-away-ville with his palm on his chin? Get out of your seat, yell at a player, or an official, call out a play, do anything to earn your paycheck.

Fake Sturm said...

F Josh Howard. What a pu$$y little bitch that is getting dominated by Peja. PEJA!!!??! Has a coach ever been fired in the middle of a playoff series? Dump the whole team but Dirk and Bass and Kidd next year. Kill me.

Jake said...

Serenity now, insanity later.

Fake, we agree on something. Bass, Dirk, Kidd - blow the rest up.

Bring on the Sharks!

Go Stars.

Jay Beerley said...

If I was Dirk, I'm totally throwing someone on the floor the next game, getting suspended for the rest of the series (which happens when you retaliate all you national know-it-alls) and leave the country. And not return until something has been done.

Fake Sturm said...

No shit Jay. I want somebody to get mad. One play last night, when we were down by like 20, Dirk gets his rock picked at the top of the key. Paul is cruising down solo looking for the easy fast break layup. Here comes Stack streaking down the other side trying to contest the play. I come off the couch thinking here comes my boy Stack to drop the hammer on Paul like Stack has done so many times in the past. Hell he did it to Shaq, surely he can send Paul's ass three rows into the crowd. But nothing. Easy foul, no harm. Where is the fire? DO SOMETHING!!!!

Bitterwhiteguy said...

As long as you guys consider Dirk untouchable, you'll never fix this team. Anybody who would let David West give him a love tap on the face does NOT qualify as a franchise-level player.

Fake Sturm said...

Bitterwhiteguy, you are an idiot. You have horrible sports points and today is not a good day for your garbage. A franchise player knows that he cant get suspended for a game during the playoffs. A franchise player will keep his cool and beat you on the next play, not punch you in the face. This is basketball, not the MMA.

Xanthippas said...

I'm with Fake Sturm. Anybody who thinks the real problem with this team is that the only guy on this team who can score didn't get himself thrown out of a playoff game, is an idiot.

Jay said...

I am so sports sad right now. It feels good to know that other Dallas fans are suffering. Ya what a nail in the coffin when after the 3rd quarter they switch to a game that no one cares ab in the east bc our little Mavs are getting such a thrashing. I had to turn it off around that point. I watched King of Kong which made me feel a little better.

This team sucks. The Kidd deal was bold and it failed. I think they need to try to trade his expiring contract next season for what will end up being much less value than they gave up -- that's how it works folks. I can't imagine Terry is worth much bc of his contract so we're basically going to have to trade him for another bad contract and just swap problems hoping that we're getting the better end of the deal.

We need a slasher big time. We need a low post presense. We need to get J-ho out of here. His value is definitely less but he is the most valuable piece we have. He needs to go. We might have to trade Bass to get someone, even tho he's one of the few guys with an arrow going up. Stack is done. Damp can stick around. I can't imagine you could upgrade him, and he is not the problem.

We have to ride out the Dirk era. Who would like a do-over with the Devin trade? We had 2 nice tradable players and we cashed in. And no 1st round draft picks? Man what a bust Kidd is. He's no where near worth what we paid for him.

If I was the Nets I would have traded him straight up for Harris with expiring contracts, no question. And we gave up Diop and 2 1st rounders too. Man this is bad.

Cuban needs to make some serious moves. First of all Avery is gone the second the series ends. And I think he needs to look at Donnie as well. Cuban is much smarter than Hicks. He knows that the fans aren't buying any more that this mix is ready to win. They're not even lovable losers. They look like quitters. And Kidd has brought heart? He hasn't brought any more heart than Devin. And he's saddled with the same problem we had before, he doesn't have post guys to toss it to in the half court offense. I am so sad. So sad....

A Silence Production said...

on the bright side of things the rangers are still providing a summer full of comedy and there was some great hockey last night!

I seriously thought Alexander Ovechkin was going to pull out a win for Washington all by his lonesome... but that's what you get when you play in WASHINGTON DC - Ha!

A Silence Production said...

p.s. From the Official site of the Dallas Mavericks - the lead story headline:

'Mavs Stumble in Game 2'

that's one way to spin it

after game 3 they can use:

'Mavs Forfeit Game 4 in Preparation of Heart Surgery'

Michael said...

As far as the "hand to the face" thing goes, I can guarantee that if someone messes with Turco, Steve Ott or Morrow, or hell even Stu Barnes is there saying do it again and it'll cost you your life. Actually, I don't have to guarantee that, just watch it happen in Game 1. They all realize that without Turco they're nothing. Why didn't anyone on the Mavs step up and do the same thing for Dirk, when he is clearly the only talent that team of ass-bags has? Because for someone reason everyone on that team thinks they are God's gift to roundball. Aside from Dirk, this team has no balls. None. Or someone woould have stepped up and said touch my big German friend again, and your face and the hardwood will have an intimate meeting. Would it kill the Mavs if Juan Howard gave a hard foul and got suspended. I mean, he did produce, with a clutch 25% from the line the other night. This team is a joke.

BaDRadio said...

Star will win round 2.

KiddCantFinish said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Benton said...

Dirk deserves the MVP award for the simple reason he hasn't committed suicide yet.
Out of everybody on the planet, I feel the most sorry for him right now.

BaDRadio said...

I feel sorry for him too.

Ryan Welton said...

Bob - I'm with you, and I was last year after the GS series. Look, we all love Dirk, but Cuban should have pulled the trigger for Kobe while he had the chance.

And while I know Avery will get the ax, I am not so sure he's the problem or even "a" problem. I think Cuban's the problem if anybody. Jason Kidd? Insisting on keeping Dirk but letting Nash go?

Geez. However, I am not convinced the Mavs can't win this series. New Orleans, I don't think, will win a game at the AAC, meaning Dallas would only have to win 1 in New Orleans.

This series is NOT over.