Poor Jimmy Butler. I love how he’s played for a short-handed Chicago team this year. His defense on the wing has been a large part of Chicago’s success despite the missed time from just about everyone—right now it’s Noah; Butler had a righteous block on Brandan Wright earlier in the fourth, which Wright then re-collected and threw up for a bucket plus a foul, but he met Wright at the rim and it’s defense like which keeps him in Thibodeau’s rotation. But the way Butler missed those free throws before Dirk’s heroics was brutal. It’s not the playoffs, so he’ll probably avoid the Nick Anderson curse, I just hate seeing young players fail in big spots, especially from the free throw line. Regardless of his two missed free throws, if he’d only connected on one of them it still wouldn’t have been enough because Dirk hit a three from the top of the arc and that was it.
For the game, as mentioned earlier, Dirk was a Dirkian 14-for-17 from the floor and 5-for-6 from three, the most important of which gave Dallas their first lead of the second half with 2.9 seconds remaining. All told in the fourth quarter, Dirk was 5-for-6 from the field and 3-for-4 from behind the three-point line for 15 of his game high 35 points. The Mavericks needed every last one of them as they battle Utah and Los Angeles for the 8th, and final spot in the Western Conference playoff seedings. They got a big win over Chicago on their home floor before going to LA to face the Lakers in a HUGE game at Staples, that could be the difference in which team faces the Thunder or Spurs in the first round.
Dirk with the Dirkian 14-for-17 from the field last night as he put his team on his back for the victory. I’m watching the exciting final four minutes right now, and I’ll have game-winner for you when I can.
I’m just getting around to watching the thrilling Dallas-Chicago game from last night, and Nate Robinson is absolutely killing Dallas right now. He was 7-for-7 from three-point land on the game, and of particular note was a Dallas fan’s reaction after Nate’s 32-footer dropped in as the shot clock was about to expire and with under five minutes to go in the fourth (second gif above). That three extended the Chicago lead to 91-83. Also, it’s important to note all the various celebrations Nate engaged in as he was torching Dallas. The first was from earlier in the fourth, but the one underneath the fan’s reaction came after that 32-footer. Nate never attempted or made another three on the game after this last one. Even though I know the outcome, I’m looking forward to Dirk’s heroics.
More to come from this fantastic Saturday night watch, which I’m viewing on Sunday because Saturday night is for wilding out with your friends.
I really hope the Mavericks can get back to .500 and eventually make the playoffs, but I love Dirk’s beard and that’s probably gone if they do.
Check out its progression (it hasn’t evolved, it’s progressed) since he joined the pact started by Vince Carter and O.J. Mayo to not shave their facial hair until they were back to .500 on the year. The Mavericks are currently 35-36 on the season, and look to get back to .500 on Thursday when the Pacers visit. In fact, they’re inviting their barbers to the game in the event they secure a win. While that’s probably bad juju, I hope they do win because I think they’re the best bet to take LA’s place if they continue to falter.