Dallas Mavericks

Mavericks 118, Kings 100. A Requiem in 10 Parts

My Top 10 observations from last night's Mavs' romp:

10. Mark Cuban really really really really loves him some Jason Kidd. "He's got the most incredible basketball sense I've seen in my entire life," says Cuban. I've never liked the Devin Harris-Kidd deal, but apparently - and appropriately - the owner doesn't give a damn what I think, saying he'd make the trade again "100 out of 100 times." Why? "Because Kidd makes us a better basketball team."

9. Take a stroll through the American Airlines Center's Platinum Club and you get an eyeful reminder of just how much (wonderul, perfectly shaped) silicone there is in our fine city.

8. In the first game without injured Sixth Man of the Year front-runner Jason Terry, Antoine Wright steps up with 23 points. Who knew it would be this easy?

7. Looked up and jack-rabbit-startin' Josh Howard had 16 points in the game's first nine minutes. I remarked to my media neighbor, "Betcha a nickel he finishes with less than 26." Howard's final tally: 23. Pay up.

6. He's had eye-popping, stigma-searing stretches this season, but I still don't think I'd trust JJ Barea in the fourth quarter of a Game 6. You?

5. Walked around the arena at the start of the second quarter and there were five guys getting haircuts in the SuperCuts kiosk. That's just weird.

4. Coach Rick Carlisle, who has Jim Carrey's looks but Jim Lehrer's persona, suffered Terry's exact injury during his college career at Virginia. "It hurts," Carlisle said. "Back then we didn't have surgery for stuff like that. We barely had an x-ray machine. It was up to Mother Nature." To clarify, Carlisle played in the 1980s, not the 1880s.

3. Even on a game night, Victory Park was a ghost town. The closing of N9NE Steakhouse made me realize the problem. Too expensive. I know the original plan was for a typical Dallas foo-foo style-over-substance aura, but the place needs to lower the bar. I don't wanna see a McDonald's move in, but maybe a burgers-n-beer sports bar? Snuffer's, that place would kill there.

2. Cowboys' receiver Terrell Owens will again play in this year's NBA All-Star Celebrity Game. Hmm, wonder what a ball-hoggin', show-boatin', slam-dunk attempt that results in a torn ACL would do for his tenure in Dallas? Not hoping, just wondering. Just to be clear.

1. Dirk Nowitzki's relatively anonymous night: 35 minutes, 21 points on 8-of-15 shooting, 8 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 block. That's it, I'm proclaiming him the most under-appreciated athlete in the history of Dallas sports. You gotta problem with that?

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Richie Whitt
Contact: Richie Whitt