Wanna know how crappy the Dallas Mavericks were yesterday afternoon against the previously winless Clippers. This about sums it up:
“We just couldn't get stops,” said Jason Kidd, “and we couldn't make any shots at the other end.”
Other than sucking on defense and sucking on offense, the Mavs did a great job of sucking. Playing without injured Josh Howard (sprained wrist), the Mavs were harmless. Jason Terry missed his first 11 shots. Kidd? Jerry Stackhouse? Pedestrian at best. Gerald Green had 13 points and 12 rebounds, but he’s still no Michael Finley.
Dallas forged a tie at 79 early in the fourth, only to watch the 0-6 Clippers score the next 13 points of the eventual 103-92 outcome. Even worse, the loss came on the heels of Friday’s meltdown in Denver where in the final 21 seconds Kidd missed a potential game-tying free throw and head coach Rick Carlisle somehow designed a play in which power forward Brandon Bass handled the ball (and, not surprisingly, committed a turnover) 30 feet from the basket. On the same night, mind you, a fella named Devin Harris poured in 38 points for the New Jersey Nets.
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Even at 2-4 and with Kobe Bryant and the undefeated Lakers coming to town tomorrow night for their only visit of the season, the Mavs will be fine. Fine as in a playoff team, not fine as in an elite, legit title contender.
But these fourth-quarter implosions need to stop. Pronto. In its six games Dallas has been outscored in the fourth quarter, 158-137.
Can’t wait to hear what ESPN analyst Avery Johnson thinks about them apples. – Richie Whitt