DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) — Make no mistake. It would have been a demoralizing loss for the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday night at the American Airlines Center.
“But the 2013 Bobcats are improved!” Marginally.
“It was just an off shooting night!” Not buying it.
“Charlotte was simply on fire.” Flat out wrong.
The truth: for three quarters, the Mavs were just awful on Tuesday night…at home…coming off two days rest…against an 8-10 Charlotte team.
“Our first and fourth quarters were very solid. Our second and third quarters were very poor. We’re lucky to survive it,” said coach Rick Carlisle after the game.
Dallas wasn’t “solid” in the first quarter, and luck is hardly the reason Dallas won.
“I was a little cold there in the first half, I thought I had some good looks,” said Dirk Nowitzki after the game. “I guess it helps when you bend your knees a little bit.”
Wait, what? The Mavs trailed 67-60 through three quarters, shot 33 percent from the floor, and trailed by as many as 12, all because Dirk forgot to bend his knees?
“It really helped me and I got in a good rhythm,” said Nowitzki.
Dirk poured in 14 fourth quarter points, Monta Ellis added nine of his own, and Dallas outscored the Bobcats 29-15 in the final frame.
So, it’s safe to say Dirk’s quick fix for the Mavs worked — at least on Tuesday.
“I’ve been shooting now for 20 years. Routine, experience play a big factor,” said Dirk. “12 or 13 years ago, I couldn’t correct myself like that in a game. When you’ve done it so many times, you try some stuff. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. This time it worked out well.”
It worked out well for Dallas on Tuesday, as it has 11 of 14 times since the Bobcats arrived in 2004.
But the real lesson here?
When facing the Bobcats — even the “improved” 2013 version — you don’t need luck to secure a win. You need one quarter of solid basketball, a fully rested team, and a 7-foot future Hall of Famer that knows how to use his legs.
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