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Mavs 100 Sixers 83 : Defense Rules as Damp Comes Back

The Mavs are finally on a roll.; for the thrid game in a row, the Mavs outscored their opponent in the first period. True, the Sixers were playing without Chris Webber, and the only thing that could really kill the Mavs was Iverson not playing in the game. Oops! Wait, AI got hurt, and only played 30 minutes! Were the Mavs in trouble? Not really, the Mavs took a 55 to 41 lead to the locker room at the half and stretched it even further in the third. The Mavs looking at a 20 point advantage for much of the game only had to worry about losing interest. That happened in the fourth quarter, but the co-captains re-entered the game and salted this one away. The only disappointing part of the game was you couldn’t really scream for Pavel or DJ to hit the floor since they were on the IR. Darrel Armstrong finally made an appearance for the last 3 minutes, but everyone else had already hit the floor much earlier. The Mavs out shot the Sixers 44.6% to 37.8% from the field, aided in part with the Sixers sizzling the nets from behind the arc to the tune of 2-20. The Mavs also won the battle of the boards 48 to 44, a nice turn around from their performance in Boston. What a difference Erick makes. Even better news is that none of the starters exceeded 35 minutes, especially since the Cavs are waiting for revenge on Sunday.

Avery : A; Avery ran the Mavs hard in a game-day practice, and it showed up on the floor tonight. Avery saw his team playing good defense as the Mavs maintained their cushion over the fifth seed. Avery substituted liberally, hitting the bench hard with five players in the teens in minutes. Although the Mavs still favored their isolation plays, their was a lot more ball movement tonight.

Howard: B+; Iguodala was 2-5 from the field and Korver was 1-5 from the field as Josh and Michael kept switching . Both had their only made shot from behind the arc. Either Josh (and Michael) were incredible or the Sixers were terrible. I’m going with Josh being pretty good on the defensive end. Nearly got a double-double with 11 points (4-8 FG) and 9 rebounds. +14

Nowitzki: B+; Dirk had 7 made field goals and 7 trips to the line as he led all scorers with 29 points. Dirk was only 7-17 from the field, but was perfect from the line, going 14-14. Dirk’s rotations were still a bit off, but did end up with 2 steals and a blocked shot. Had some nice passes, notably one to Erick, sharing game high honors with Michael with 4 assists. +31

Bradley: B+; Shawn had a good effort tonight with 7 rebounds and 2 blocked shots. The Sixers starting center only played 13 minutes and was only 1-5 from the field. Nice espn-highlight was seeing Shawn reaching to the floor to tie up AI for a jump ball, and yes, Bradley won the tip. Zero turnovers. +8

Finley: B+; Michael had his shot going again tonight, only inside the arc as he missed both of his trey attempts. Good defensive effort, as neither Iguodala nor Korver got loose tonight. Like Dirk, Michael had some nice passes tonight. +10

Terry: B; Jason only had one assist tonight, but still had some nice passes as the Mavs ball movement was better than it has been of late. Jason had his shot going with 13 points on 6-8 shooting. +15

Dampier: A; Erick returns to the lineup and has 10 rebounds (in his first 11 minutes) to go with 5 points. Erick also kept Avery off his back by delivering two blocked shots. Erick claims that his foot is still a bit stiff in the post game interviews, hopefully it’s doing well tomorrow. +11

Harris: B; Devin was aggressive tonight, sized up against AI and Willie Green. Like Jason, had some nice passes, but ended up with only 3 assists. +11

Stackhouse: B-; Jerry came back down to earth tonight after a sizzling return in Boston. Played hard, but was only 1-7 from the field, his only make being from behind the arc. +2

Van Horn: A; Keith led the bench production tonight with 15 points (4-9 FG, 2-2 treys, 5-5 FT). Keith’s defense continues to exceed expectations as Van Horn is demonstrating he knows how to play team defense. The best part of Keith’s performance though is limiting Dirk’s minutes as we close in on the playoffs. Health is everything. +13

Daniels: C; Marquis continues to struggle on both offense and defense. Even with 14 minutes tonight, Marquis only had 2 points. Bet that ankle is hurting more than he’s willing to admit. +1

Henderson: B+; Alan only got 3 minutes with Erick coming back, but made the most of it, scoring 2 points and grabbing 2 rebounds. Zero turnovers.

Armstrong : C; Darrell got 3 minutes in garbage time and was clearly a bit rusty. +0

Podkolzin: DNP-IR.

M’Benga: DNP-IR.

Typical Chef Ed Type
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