Thuggets 2, Mavwimps 0

Already being out-jumped, out-run, out-dunked and out-funked, the Dallas Mavericks last night became a desperate team suddenly out-manned.

And after another thorough loss to the Denver Nuggets - this one 117-105 in Game 2 of the NBA's Western Conference Semifinals - it's inevitable the Mavs will soon be simply out. With Dallas swimming upstream against Denver's superior physicality and athleticism - I'll say it, the Nuggets are the best in the West right now - it became an unfair fight when Josh Howard left the game because of two aching ankles.

If Howard - who was hobbling so bad he was reduced to a defensive liability forced to settle for long-range jumpers on offense - can't play in Saturday's Game 3 this series is over. But, honestly, it's over regardless. I repeat, Nuggets in 5.

The scariest thing about the 12-point loss? The Mavericks didn't play poorly.

Until the fourth quarter.

Behind Dirk Nowitzki's gutsy performance and a bench briefly taking up the slack caused by Howard's first-quarter departure, the Mavs trailed only 86-83 entering the fourth. But with coach Rick Carlisle inexplicably resting Dirk and Jason Terry and Jason Kidd at the same time, his team started the quarter with a missed 3-pointer and a grade-school traveling violation by sporadically used sub James Singleton.

The result? By the time Nowitzki re-entered the Nuggets had rattled off a 9-0 run and the rout was on. By the end the Thuggets were dunking and dancing and dominating their way to a 2-0 series lead that must feel to the Mavs like 20-0.

Dallas trailed Game 1 82-80 early in the fourth and Game 2 86-83 early in the fourth. Both times the Nuggets left the Mavs in their dust.

Denver's best player last night: Nene.

Dallas' chance without Howard the rest of the series: Nay, nay.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.