It is games like tonight that make the Dallas Mavericks look like they will be just fine without their superstar, Dirk Nowitzki. Tonight they handed the New York Knicks their second lost of the season 114-111.
They did play the first half very terrible and fell behind 54-49. There was turnover after turnover after turnover. It seemed like tonight would have been a night where the Knicks would easily walk away with the win.
However, that did not work out that way. The second half was all about the Mavericks. The way they played in the second half is the way that Mavs Nation are used to seeing. Hard fought basketball is what kept the Mavs alive in this tight battle.
The man who is responsible for the win tonight is no other than Vince Carter. He came alive in the second half where he scored most of his 25 points. He was 5-10 from behind the arc and 9-17 overall.
Although, the defense the Mavs provided tonight helped frustrate the Knicks which caused them to make small mistakes. Dallas took advantage of that by scoring 20 points off the 14 turnovers that New York had.
Also, O.J. Mayo led the Mavs in scoring with 27 points. He had another stellar performance and is looking more like an all-star. I believe that once Nowitzki returns next month that Mayo will be that other star that the Mavs have been looking for. It is also looking like that it was a good decision to not re-signing Jason Terry and signing Mayo instead.
Earlier, I mentioned that the fans at the American Airlines Center would need to step up and cheer for their team. Thus far, the fans have been completely silence during the home games. It started like that early on, but once the Mavs brought it close the crowd did not keep quiet.
I believe that the cheers and the chants that they brought late in the fourth quarter brought the momentum. I know it’s not the main reason why the Mavs won, but when a crowd gets into the game it reflects back to the team’s flow. Which in the end they did and avoided going under .500 once again.
On another note, Elton Brand did not start tonight and was replaced by Troy Murphy. Brand did play from the bench with 20 minutes. He only scored four points, but did have eight rebounds, three assists and two steals.
He played, in my opinion, the best game thus far this season. I think that coming off the bench may help him and the Mavs going forward.
Next up is the Los Angeles Lakers Saturday night. Dallas beat them last month, but this time around Mike D’Antoni will be on the sideline. If the Mavericks can carry on the momentum from the second half of tonight’s game to the beginning of Saturday’s game then it could favor them.
Until then, it is time for Mavs Nation to enjoy their turkey, yams or whatever is served at the dinner table. Happy Thanksgiving to all the Mavs fans and NBA readers out there.