Mavericks 109, Nuggets 93: My Top 10 Observations
9. Roddy Beaubois didn't exactly have 40 points, but he did have three steals and a 3-pointer during a second quarter in which the Mavs took control of this showdown. (For what it's worth, owner Mark Cuban is calling the French rookie the "wild card" in the playoffs.)
8. Seeing Adrian Dantley coach the Nuggets in George Karl's absence is just weird. I remember the day - Feb. 15, 1989 - the Mavs traded Mark Aguirre for him. Man, I was pissed.
7. Back when I covered Jason Kidd as a beat writer for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in the mid-90s, I would've bet you anything that he'd never have a season with 15 3-pointers, much less 150.
6. Not saying that Caron Butler is the missing link to the Mavs finally winning a championship, but I am saying you can no longer call the Mavs "soft." The athleticism and toughness of Butler and Shawn Marion gives Dallas a defensive bark it's lacked the last, um, forever. Right, Carmelo Anthony and your season-low 10 points?
5. If you remember Denver's Chris "Birdman" Anderson from last year's contentious playoff series, you probably didn't recognize him last night. 2009: Spiky, gelled faux hawk; 2010: Shaggy hair, accented by a dingy mustache the color of old, withered scotch tape. Yep, if it weren't for the 37 tattoos and anti-white hops, you wouldn't believe it was the same player.
4. Dallas is 17-5 since the All-Star break, bettered only by Phoenix's 16-4. Are you, like me, starting to believe in this team?
3. Mavs dominated from the tip and were in control throughout. Except, that is, during that quirky second-quarter spurt in which Denver not only stopped a Dallas possession playing 4-on-5 (Anthony was doubled over in pain in the corner) but also scored on a layup while a man down. Mavs need to work on their power play.
2. I realize the Nuggets are without their coach and their enforcer (Kenyon Martin) and were ending a five-game road trip on the second of back-to-back games, but ... hey, that sounds like the excuses the Mavericks used to make for blowout losses in statement games with Western Conference bullies.
1. 34 points. 10 rebounds. 10 assists. A triple-double in the biggest game of the season. Seriously, if you don't think Dirk Nowitzki is good enough to win an NBA championship then I'm afraid I'm going to have to ask you to leave.