by mavsluvr at Yesterday, 02:35 AM

Goldang it. What a frustrating loss. 

Your Dallas Mavericks mailed it in for the first 24 minutes, came back to capture the lead, but couldn’t hold on. Rats!


All the COVID guys were still out, although DFS, Powell, and Richardson were on the bench in street clothes. Hopefully, they will be back soon. Very soon. All the best to Maxi. Rick went with a starting lineup of Luka, Brunson, THJ, KP, and WCS. 

Luka lit up the first quarter with 14 points, 5 rebounds, and 7 assists, but the rest of the team looked like doggy doo. After one, they trailed 31-38, going 1-6 from deep, The Nuggets, otoh, hit 59% of their threes and 90% of their free throws.

The second period went from bad to worse. Jalen Brunson gave the team a little lift with 9 points, but the Mavs found themselves on the wrong end of a 58-70 scoreline at the half. Just could not get stops to save their lives. 

In the third quarter, the Dallas men unexpectedly came out with energy, and decided to play some defense. They had chiseled the deficit to 7 at 4:51, when THJ took one for the team, absorbing “contact with the groin” from Jamal Murray. Murray, who had been hammering the Mavs, was ejected. What a gift! Tim took the occasion to finish a run of 11 straight points, to end the quarter with 16. They romped their way to a 36-22 frame, and led 94-92 after three. 

Alas, the Mavs’ familiar fourth-quarter woes appeared, and they just couldn’t score, putting only 19 points up in the frame. However, they did manage to make a little comeback in the middle of the period, and trailed by only 2 at the 5:00 mark, with a James Johnson reverse layup tying the game a couple seconds later, and a Luka pull-up giving Dallas a 2-point lead at 3:53.

Then, the Mavs’ end-game klutziness was in full bloom. The next offensive possessions were as follows: Johnson missed three; Luka lost ball turnover; THJ missed three, Johnson offensive rebound, KP offensive foul turnover; KP one of two free throws; KP bad pass turnover; KP missed three, THJ offensive rebound, THJ one of two free throws. By then, the Mavs had to play the intentional foul game, and the Nuggets made their free throws. Dallas scored two points in that stretch, consisting of two of four free-throw attempts. Gag. 


The Mavs had another mediocre three-point night, hitting only 11 of their 32 attempts. In point differentials, they were +10 on points from twos, -12 on points from threes, and -2 in made free throws. They had a dismal night on the glass, giving up 14 offensive boards and being out-rebounded 49-34. The leading scorers were Luka with 35 points, THJ 19, KP and Johnson 16 each, and Brunson 12. The players on the floor in the clutch were Luka, Burke, Hardaway, Johnson, and WCS/KP. 


DONCIC. The Mavs squandered a spectacular triple-double from Luka, who had 35/11/16, to go with 4 steals. He had three triples, and was an awesome 10-10 from the line. He was not awarded a free throw attempt in the second half, which I found perplexing. Asked to address the problems in the clutch after the game, he simply said that no team is going to close every game well. He indicated that the team had met after the game, and several people, including Rick, had spoken, but what is said in the locker room stays in the locker room. Rick himself did not want to dwell on Luka’s performance, saying that individual stat lines don’t mean anything if the team spirit isn’t right. 

HARDAWAY. Timmy had 19 points and 7 rebounds. Although he did not shoot especially well overall (7-18), he saved the team’s bacon in the third period. He did not want to discuss the flagrant foul against him, and denied that the foul served as any particular motivation. 

PORZINGIS. It was a very poor night from KP, by his standards. He did have 16 points, but was 6-18, and 1-8 from three. He had only 6 rebounds in 33 minutes, turned the ball over three times, including twice down the stretch, and was in foul trouble in the fourth quarter. He was no match for Jovic. 

JOHNSON. Johnson had a decent game off the bench, contributing 16 points on 7-8 shooting. Rick threw some praise his way after the game, describing him as “one of our fighters,” having a presence, being physical and unselfish, and always battling. Rick acknowledged that James had made some mistakes, but said he made a “very good effort,” and “his heart was in the right place.”

BRUNSON. Jalen had 12 points, and was perfect from the floor and the line, but had some trouble holding his own defensively and did not appear in crunch time. 

WCS played 27 minutes, and had 2 points and 3 boards. He actually had about as decent a defensive night as one could expect against Jovic, but missed all three of his shot attempts and both of his free throws. I keep watching Willie miss shots at point-blank range, and I don’t think it’s solely a strength issue. I think he is just doing something fundamentally wrong. Luka serves him up layups and dunks on a platter, and he just has to make those. That said, I think he had a respectable defensive performance, considering. 

HONORABLE MENTIONSBURKE had a decent night, with 9 points on 4-6 shooting, and was on the floor at the end of the game. IWUNDU had three boards in 16 minutes, and BOBI made a three-minute cameo. I expected to see more of Boban in this game, but I guess it just wasn’t working out, not that anything else was when he played. 

DENVER. The Nuggets are a darn good team, and really outplayed the Mavs. If anything was surprising, it was honestly that the game was so close. Michael Porter, Jr. had 30 points off the bench, Jokic was somewhat contained with 20 points and 10 boards, and three other Nuggets scored in double figures. It kills me that Dallas did not take advantage of this opportunity to steal one. 


Rick said that the third quarter was one of the team’s best quarters of the year. However, he described the first half as “very poor,” commenting that the ball didn’t move, the players were distracted, they didn’t help each other defensively, and were “very disappointing.” He observed that the Mavs just didn’t play well enough in the fourth quarter to win, making mistakes and not able to score. However, he thought that the team’s “spirit” was much better in the second half, and at least they were “playing the right way.”

Folks, I don’t want to be a downer, but I have serious concerns at this point. I think the question now is not whether this team can make a deep playoff run, but whether they can make the playoffs at all. It’s not just in reaction to this game. It’s been coming. They are 8-9, and in 10th place in the West a quarter of the way through the season. They just don't look good. The COVID guys will trickle back soon, hopefully, but things are not going to instantly turn around the minute they get on the court. It will be a process getting the chemistry back, and I could easily see that taking at least a couple of weeks. And with the games coming so thick and fast, they’re going to mostly have to work the kinks out during matches. Yikes!

Well, hopefully, I am just experiencing an irrational burst of pessimism, and Luka and the boys will make me look silly very soon. I would love that. Anyone is welcome to persuade me I am overreacting. 

Next up are two games against Utah, followed by a two-game series against the Suns. Not getting any easier. Fasten your seat belts, Mavs fans!

Hoping for better times, I will catch up with you MFFLs again on Wednesday. Until then. 
by mavsluvr at 01-24-2021, 01:43 AM


Pretty dismal showing from the Mavs. Might have been the least entertaining game of the season, tbqh. 


Both teams were on the second games of back-to-backs. Both teams had played many games in few nights. Both teams were missing key players — Richardson, DFS, Maxi, Powell and KP for the Mavs, and Danuel House, Christian Wood, and Victor Oladipo for Houston. KP was being rested, as was Oladipo. Rick went with a starting lineup of Luka, Brunson, THJ, Green, and WCS.

Dallas was terrible in the first quarter, and they were down 27-38 after one. They were unable to make up any ground in the second, and went into halftime trailing 59-70. They made a nice little run to start the third, cutting the deficit to three. But immediately fell apart, and ended the period 83-104. The fourth quarter was played, on the Mavs side, mostly by youngsters, and while they at least scurried around a lot, they didn’t accomplish much. Game over. 133-108.


NUMBERS. Dallas was 5-25 from range. Aargh. Houston, by contrast, bombed away, hitting 16-37 deep ones. The Mavs were out-rebounded 36-52, and cobbled together only 15 assists. The Rockets had 58 points in the paint, and 22 second-chance points. And so forth. You get the idea. Just a beat-down in every way. 

ROCKETS. Three of the Rockets had season highs in scoring. It was very much the Boogie-Gordon game, with Vintage Cousins emerging from the time machine and pummeling our team with 28 points and 17 boards, not to mention 5 assists. Eric Gordon buried the Mavs from deep, with 33 points, 6-9 beyond the arc. Mason Jones and David Nwaba combined for 34 points off the Rockets bench. 

PLAYERS. Luka had 26/5/8, but was 1-6 from three, and missed 5 free throws. Hardaway had 15 points, but was 4-13, and some of his points came when the game was out of reach. Bobi put up 15 points and 12 rebounds in 19 minutes off the bench, and, at +9, was the only Mav in positive figures. However, he was pretty terrible at protecting the rim. Burke was decent, with 13 points, and 4-9 shooting. 

Green hit his first NBA three, but had three turnovers. Iwundu played 23 minutes off the bench. He had a few good defensive plays, but man, he is flat dead weight offensively. WCS was poor on both ends. 

CARLISLE. Rick was terse after the game, saying only that the team obviously didn’t play well, and he had no excuses. Asked about Luka’s midrange shots, which have increased this season, he said Luka has been working on that, and that a player in Luka’s position has to have a mid-range counter. 

OBSERVATIONS. The Mavs looked they were running (ambling?) on fumes, and then completely out of gas. They lacked energy, were not competitive, and put up little resistance. I don’t think this game is worth any kind of deep analysis, and I don’t think we can read much into it. I suppose I could say that the Mavs don’t seem to have any kind of answer to teams who play behemoths who can score from everywhere. Also, this team needs Porzingis, in order to survive. Their system just falls apart without his spacing, particularly when two non-shooters are on the floor for the Mavs. 

This is one to forget, fellow MFFLs. Very disappointing effort. Hopefully, a day of much-needed rest will work wonders. Because they face Denver on Monday. 

Peace out. 
by BoulderMFFL at 01-23-2021, 02:31 PM
JJB is Maverick royalty and I wish him nothing but the best. 

The downside is that now I have to follow another team.
by mavsluvr at 01-23-2021, 02:24 AM

Whew! The Mavs controlled the game for much of the match, but gave up a 14-2 run down the stretch, before sealing the victory in the last minute.


The four guys with the virus remained out. Rick used the same starting lineup that he employed against Indiana — Luka, Brunson, THJ, Green, and KP. 

Both teams busted out their offensive chops in the first quarter, with the teams combining to complete 12 of a total 20 3PTAs. Luka had a better line in the quarter than many guys have in a game — 19/5/6. After one, the Mavs led 37-34.

Dallas dominated much of the second period, achieving a game-high lead of 18 at 4:29. The Spurs came back with a run toward the end, and the Mavs went into the locker room with a 68-58 advantage. 

The Dallas shooting cooled down in the third, but the Spurs couldn’t capitalize, and the quarter featured a battle that ended 27-27. The scoreline was 95-85 going into the fourth. 

Our guys hung in for the early part of the fourth, and led by 13 at the 6:18 mark. Then, the team suffered one of their late-game collapses, committing numerous miscues, and not getting stops. They clung to a 1-point lead with 1:03 to go. Luka danced around in the midrange area, and put up a neat bank shot from 11 feet, to get the lead back to three. DeRozan missed a pull-up. Luka was swarmed at the basket, and found Brunson in the corner for an open three. Mavs +6. Two seconds later, Rudy Gay hit a three, leaving the Mavs clutching on to a three-point edge with 16 seconds. The Spurs played the intentional foul game, and KP and Iwundu came through with their free throws. 


The Mavs and Spurs took roughly the same number of shots, but Dallas attempted 11 more threes. Although the Spurs shot a higher percentage from range, the Mavs were able to get a couple more makes, due to their shot selection. The Spurs had 10 more FTAs than the Mavs, and the Mavs got a little lucky that the Spurs missed seven of theirs. Point differentials for Dallas were +4 on shots from twos, +6 on points from threes, and -5 on made free throws. The Mavericks high scorers were led by Luka with 36 points, KP and THJ with 21 apiece, Brunson 16, and Burke 13.

Both teams took excellent care of the ball, for the most part, and both teams combined for only 13 turnovers. The Mavs balanced their scoring from different parts of the court, and won the PIP contest 50-40.


HARDAWAY.  Tim was just flat in a groove in this one, scoring 21 points with an impressive 8-12 shooting record. He made only a couple of threes, but he was aggressive about getting to the basket, and in fact took half of his shots at close range. He put on a high-flying display from one end of the court to the other.  I think his highlight reel play would be a chase down block, followed by running the floor for  a flush at the other end. Woo-hoo! Very efficient and balanced performance. 

DONCIC. Luka put on yet another ridiculous performance, stat-wise. What more is left to say? He boasted 36 points, 9 rebounds, 11 assists, and only 2 turnovers. He was 9-16 on twos, had four threes, and completed all six of his free-throw attempts. I thought he did a good job of controlling the game, and not panicking when the lead was disappearing. Rick praised his leadership in the huddles. 

PORZINGIS. KP contributed 21 points and 8 rebounds, and provided great spacing when the team really needed it. Porzee posted up several times during the game, and Rick was asked about it. He said that Luka called those plays on the floor, as Luka thought KP needed a touch here and there with a smaller guy on him. Rick does not generally favor posting up, but said that he is okay with it if Luka thinks it is necessary, and thinks in this situation, the team was able to use the tactic to advantage. 

BRUNSON. Jalen had an excellent game in his starting role, putting up 16 points, 4 rebounds, and 6 assists, with 6-11 shooting, three treys, and only one turnover. I really liked the way he and Luka worked together, looking almost as smooth as the Dirk-Jet tandem at times. He also controlled the game well when called upon to do so, and remained calm through the clutch minutes, hitting his dagger three with aplomb. The clutch unit was Luka, KP, Brunson, THJ, and Burke/Iwundu, and presumably reflects a level of Carlisle trust in all of these guys.

IWUNDU. Wes was on the floor for 24 minutes off the bench, was the defensive alternate with Burke in the clutch, and had 2 points, 4 boards and an assist. He received the Defensive  Player of the Game Award, with Rick calling his performance “very deserving.” Coach added that he appreciated Wes holding his ground on DeRozan, chasing Patty Mills around, and recovering some 50-50 balls. With all respect and admiration for Wes, I wonder if this award is really for the best defense, or more of an indication of who could use a pat on the head. 

HONORABLE MENTIONS.  Burke contributed 13 points on efficient shooting, also had some nice passes, and was the offensive alternate in the clutch.  Hope to see him put up performances like this with some consistency. Johnson led the bench with 25 minutes, and was somewhat of a mixed bag on the floor. Green had 2 points and 6 boards in 17 minutes. His steal and dunk was the What-a-burger Play of the Game.  Willie had 7 points and 4 rebounds in 15 minutes. 

SPURS. The Spurs were Spurs-like — a mix of skilled veterans, promising youth, and excellent coaching. They generally elected not to double-team Luka outside the paint, as other teams have been doing, and Luka did a good job of making them pay. Brunson attributed their late run to the facts that “they have great veteran players who really know how to play,” and are well-coached. Kudos to our Dallas boys for overcoming those advantages in San Antonio, where winning is always a tough proposition. 


Rick was very pleased with his team’s disposition during their slide at the end. He revealed that the team had spent a great deal of time working on clutch issues before the season, and thought his guys did a good job at staying ‘cool.” In fact, he liked their “cool” demeanor throughout the game, not letting various bumps in the road like bad calls, missed shots, physical play, and turnovers distract them. Coach said that he had chosen his clutch lineup with the idea that he wanted five shooters on the floor on every offensive possession. He complimented both Luka and KP for their decision-making. 

I thought this game was much more like what we hoped to see from the Mavs this season, and it was entertaining to watch. The pace was very fast, and there were all sorts of highlight plays, with pyrotechnical scoring displays from the guards. KP also looked good out there, particularly on the offensive end. I was also cheered by their effectiveness in the paint, as I hoped that the Pacers match would not be a one-off in that respect. And, although the second half of the fourth had me very nervous, I was proud and relieved that they did manage to pull it out. Even if it was baby steps, they’re at least moving in the right direction. 

We have another rivalry game tomorrow, facing Victor Oladipo and the new-look Rockets at the AAC. Our four virus players will still be out. Rick said that 1 or 2 of them might “trickle in” next week, but the situation is fluid, and nothing is guaranteed. Apparently, a couple of them have been quite sick. Our best hopes for their speedy recovery. 

Until then, MFFLs! Hope everyone is wearing a smile after this one!
by Kammrath at 01-22-2021, 10:56 PM
Who was the player of the game who elevated his game to help the team win?
by SkenfromLMF at 01-22-2021, 10:39 PM
Today is a notable day...
America lost one of the true icons of major sports and a notable piece of the later civil rights era.

I named my first dog Hank because of Hank Aaron who had recently broken Babe Ruth 's home run record. My dad is a lifelong Braves fan, and one of his last heroes has left us.

His homerun trot for the record breaker should have been America's finest moment. A beloved African-American player in Atlanta flanked by two white fans celebrating the new king of baseball.

Unfortunately for Hank, he did not know what to expect. He had received hate mail: from old baseball fans who still preferred the segregated game of the 40's; from privileged Yankee fans who still held on to Babe Ruth's legacy; from ignorant racists who just hated what America had become; and maybe even a couple of baseball fans from Milwaukee who felt robbed of seeing history. As those two white fans approached the king rounding the bases he felt apprehensive and feared he might be treated as a Caesar on the ides of March.

For that moment, Hank rounded the bases quickly. In fact too quickly... Don't think too harshly of Hank he couldn't breathe. Seriously that is how scared he was of being flanked two fans caught up in the moment when history gets made. 

It should have been a beautiful moment... what it was - shameful. Shameful because fear shortened what should have a moment frozen in time to be enjoyed by a great player who showed this country and it's pastime that there had been a great sin committed against people of color, and yet they could still achieve the greatest of heights.

I blame the racists, the people who still clung to old timey baseball, but mostly crotchety Yankee fans for not letting a great moment, a historic moment, NOT be a positive personal moment of reflection for one of sports greatest players. Hank Aaron was the model of consistency and a genuinely humble star. 

Rest in Peace sir.
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