The Dallas Mavericks are a good team, a very good team. They're a relatively efficient offensive team (13th in the league), so I don't see how you can look at this game in any other way than a great defensive effort and a quality W.
Let me start by saying I loved the defensive results from pretty much everyone who played tonight. The Mavs never really went on an extended run, and while I thought Lou got absolutely torched continuously on the perimeter, especially by Barea, the back line held up and blocked enough shots to limit the damage.
Obviously, I loved the starting lineup. The only thing I didn't like about Brand and Jrue being inserted into the starting lineup is that Jordan still found a way to limit their minutes. I can't remember the last time a Sixers' starter played only 15:12 in a game when foul trouble wasn't a concern, but you know what? This was still preferable to Jrue playing one stint in the first half with the bench brigade. 15 minutes on the floor with Iguodala, Brand and Dalembert is probably worth two or three times that many minutes shared with the likes of Willie Green, so I'm going to look at it as a positive. I'd love it if Jordan would reward Jrue for his great play once in a while with an extended run, instead of constantly feeling the need to get Willie and Lou minutes, but we're talking baby steps and I won't let Jordan's rotations ruin those highly enjoyable 15 minutes. Not tonight, Mr. Chompers.
Besides, you can't really make the argument that Lou and Willie weren't getting the job done. Not in this game. They took the lead in the first half, they extended it in the second, and somehow, someway the most idiotic lineups we've seen all year wound up holding the Mavs to 41 points in 21 minutes. (Jordan actually had Speights, Thad, Kapono, Willie and Lou on the floor together, for over 11 minutes).
If you're in mood for someone to rain on your parade, think about the odds of that lineup putting up a defensive effort like this on a regular basis.
Anyway, Thad apparently didn't appreciated losing his starting spot very much. He literally exploded all over Dirk and the Mavs for 18 first-half points. He only added four more after the break, but there weren't too many shots to go around what with Speights jacking at every opportunity.
We've got a quick turnaround, so I'm going to cut this one short. Get ready for Indy tomorrow night, folks.
Player of The Game: Thad
Team Record: 14-28
Up Next: @ the Pacers, tomorrow night