No Dirk Nowitzki, no Shawn Marion and no Elton Brand. No Problem for the Dallas Mavericks. They took care of business tonight and beat the visiting Toronto Raptors, improving to 4-1 on the year. It seemingly does not matter who the Mavs put on the court, as they just keep winning.
I know that it’s only five games into the season, but the way the Mavericks are playing right now, they seem like they cannot be stopped. If they keep playing like they have been then Rick Carlisle might be up as a Coach Of The Year candidate.
Tonight’s game shows that the Mavs are playing as a team instead of relying on one guy, as usually that one guy is Nowitzki. Again, it’s only the first five games of the season, but by winning tonight without Marion and Brand it shows that the Mavs can compete with anybody.
It seems like shooting guard O.J. Mayo is too hot to stop this early in the season. He scored 22 points as the Mavs cruised right along with a 109-104 victory over the Raptors. He also had six assists and five rebounds.
Darren Collison was another factor again tonight with 15 points, but he only recorded two assists. It did not matter that his assist stat was not high tonight. The reason being was everybody was passing the ball. If the NBA counted “assist to assist” than Dallas would without a doubt be on top of that stat. Everybody was passing the ball which was the main key in the Mavs winning tonight.
Chris Kaman got his first start as a Maverick tonight and played excellent with 22 points and 8 rebounds. The Mavs were hoping that when they signed him that he would be a center that could both score and play defense. If Kaman plays the way he did tonight throughout this long season, then the Mavs have found that person.
If Dallas keeps beating their opponents in a convincing way, than I don’t want to imagine how it will be when Nowitzki returns to the roster. Remember tonight’s win was without the team’s two main guys. Their main scorer, Nowitzki, has been out for all five games and their top defender, Marion, was out today, and yet the team still won.
Brand should return for the Mavs back-to-back road trip games, but Marion will not be making the trip. This will be a great test for the team as they will take on the New York Knicks on Friday and then the Charlotte Bobcats the next night on Saturday. If Dallas wins those two games, and keep winning, by the time Nowitzki comes back the Mavs Nation may be saying “look out.”