Avery Johnson: Either Johnson is still a Spur at heart or he just enjoys throwing games, because last night's coaching poop-fiesta not only jerked defeat straight out of the snapping jaws of victory, it also proved -- once again -- that having a micro-managing control freak for a coach can absolutely kill a team down the stretch*. The Little General not only watched his team surrender a 10-point lead at the end of the third quarter, he actually contributed to the Spurs' game-changing 13-1 run by drawing a technical foul for beefing with the officials. Jason Terry also got T'ed up during that stretch. So Johnson can't control himself, and he can't control his players. That's shades of Rick Adelman and the early 90s Portland Trail Blazers. And that does not instill me with a great sense of hope for the Mavericks' playoff hopes.

*For further reading, please refer to the 2006 NBA Finals and/or the First Round of the 2007 Western Conference Playoffs.

But Johnson's greatest boner of the night was benching Jason Kidd for the final 30 seconds of the game. That's the same Jason Kidd that the Mavericks mortgaged their future for. The same Jason Kidd that supposedly gives the Mavs their best chance of winning a champtionship. The same Jason Kidd who is the starting point guard, the team's only true playmaker, and one of the greatest passers in the history of the NBA. Yes, folks, that Jason Kidd. So, instead of having Kidd try to create a play to get Dirk and company a nice, open shot, Johnson watched his team's final possessions go down like this: Dirk Nowitzki missed fadeaway jump shot, Dirk Nowitzki missed layup, Erick Dampier missed tip-in, and Jason Terry missed jump shot, stuffed by Bruce Bowen. Game over.

Right after the Kidd trade finally went through, Johnson had this to say: "He's going to help us, because at the end of games he just knows how to win. A big steal, a big block, a big rebound, big three, his penetration." So what happened between then and last night? Why didn't Johnson roll the dice with Mr. Big Block, Big Rebound, Big Three, Big Penetration? Here's why: "We wanted to spread the floor and give Dirk more room to operate." Okay. I get that...I guess. Kidd's an awful shooter. But you know who was on the floor for that final 30 seconds? Erick Dampier. Does Dampier open up a floor more than Kidd? I really don't think so. And I understand that Ericka was in there for her rebounding -- and she did take, and miss, a tip-in on the Mavs' final possession -- but, honestly, who would you rather have on the floor with game on the line and your team down by two points: Kidd or Dampier? I mean, is that even a question?

This may be an overreaction, and you all know by now that I'm occasionally prone to those, but I feel like I watched Dallas get knocked out of the playoffs already. Because of their coach.

Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Terry's clutchability: Forget their awful shooting -- a combined 7-for-25 on the night -- these guys couldn't hit a shot to win a game if their grandmas were in some sort of superhero-style death trap (I'm thinking a giant, bone-chilling snowcone or maybe huge pot full of grandma-eating flowers) and the old ladies' very lives depended on it. How many Dallas games over the last few years have ended the way last night's game did? Here's the answer: A lot. Kidd was supposed to fix this problem, but, great as he is, he can't fix anything from the pine.

Basketbawful: I really didn't think that sending DeSagana Diop to the Nets as part of the Kidd trade was that big of a deal. And I still don't. Mostly. But after watching Tim Duncan's 31-point, 15-rebound performance, I'm willing to concede that I might have been...not totally, 100 percent right about that.

The Trillion Twosome: As correctly pointed out by an anonymous reader, there were a couple trillion performances last night: Sean "I scored 1280 on the SAT" Williams had a two trillion while Kurt "I'm the final piece of San Antonio's championship puzzle" Thomas trudged his way to a four trillion. Note: The anonymous poster thought there was actually a hat trick of trillions. Unfortunately, Dorell "Mr." Wright actually scored 8 points and had a rebound against the Lakers.

The Milwaukee Bucks bench: Do you think that Larry Krystkowiak ever looks down his bench and wants to throw up in his mouth a little bit? Milwaukee's support staff contributed only 8 points in the Bucks' 120-106 loss to the Nets, and all of those points came from Charlie Bell (5) and Michael Ruffin (3). Yi Jianlian was the next "best" player off the bench with zero points (0-for-2), 1 rebound, 1 turnover, and 3 fouls in 10 minutes of lack-tion. Then there was Royal Ivey, who played almost 7 minutes and contributed 1 turnover. Dan Gadzuric played 2 minutes and had matched Ivey's turnover. Jake Voskuhl? 1 minute, 1 turnover. Bobby Simmons chipped in with a DNP-CD, which was probably the best thing he could have done.

Jason Williams: Pat Riley's going to throw a party when this guy's $9 million salary comes off the books after this season. I'd be willing to bet my collector's set of fake Larry Bird mustaches on it. Last night, Jason Williams might have lost his starting job to Marcus Banks -- yes, that Marcus Banks -- by scoring zero points (0-for-3), dishing only 3 assists, and racking up a +/- score of -19.

Dwyane Wade: Pookie's descent into sub-superstar status continued to continue last night. And you might not be able to tell from the raw numbers, but Kobe Bryant stuck Wade's head on a spit, cooked it over an open fire, and then ate it. With ketchup. It was a comedy of sadness, kind of like watching the UFC's heavyweight champion get into a fistfight with the guy who set the world record for extreme ironing. Flash missed 11 of his 17 shots, committed 4 turnovers -- including one in which Mamba stripped him clean and ran the ball downcourt for an uncontested dunk -- and almost fouled out of the game. And don't think for a minute that Kobe didn't enjoy rubbing Wade's nose in it.

Pat Riley: When Riles realized that he could actually sucker another team into taking on Shaq's cap-crippling contract, he couldn't push The Big Injury out the door fast enough. Now he's bellyaching about not having his former center. Here's a sample of Riley's post-game lament: "We won a championship with that kind of game -- being able to post up, being able to run some, pick-and-roll a ton and isolate the top of the lane a lot. And now, we don't have that one dimension. So we're going to have to play differently. When you have a dominant guy like Shaq, whose presence is like a magnet, I don't care what kind of game you play. Eventually that guy's got his hand under the basket and he just forces you to throw it into him. But we don't have a post-up player, so you can't slow it down." Wait, what? It's not like anybody was holding a gun to Riley's head and forcing him to send Shaq away. Does Riley even know what he's saying anymore? Or what he's doing? Seriously, I think it's long past time for Riles to call it a career. He's lost it, his team has lost it, and it's time for a fresh start for everybody.

Derek Fisher's shooting touch: You can't measure Fisher's contributions by numbers alone. He's a character guy who provides savvy, cunning, and a much-needed dose of veteran leadership. But up until the Pau Gasol trade, Fish was having a career season shooting the basketball (nearly 50 percent from the field). Since then, his percentage has plummeted to 44.6, and last night's 2-for-11 shooting performance is becoming more of a rule than the exception. Maybe it's just the Law of Large Numbers catching up with him, but I figured Fisher's shooting might get even better with Gasol around to open up the floor.

Kidd and Avery-001

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Anonymous Anonymous said...
[avery johnson impression]YOU GOT TO SCORE THE BAS-KET-BALL!![/avery johnson impression]

Anonymous Anonymous said...
D Wade....you guys won the most trife basketball championship of all time, If i were your Daddy, I'd beat that ass proper!

Blogger flohtingPoint said...
Up next for Pat Riley is complaining that they dont have Van Gundy anymore.

Blogger Tonewise said...
haha that kidd photochop is well done.

Blogger starang said...

I have yet to see him be succesful at it.

Hey Avery, your supposed to leave that shot up to your MVP. MVP...what a joke.

Blogger Justin said...
Dallas is a paper tiger. I look forward to their inevitable first round exit against any other Western squad.

Anonymous Shrugz said...
please tell me why Jterry was 2-9 and then got to shoot the last shot????? COME ONNNNNNNNNnnnnnnnnnn drive the FREAKEN BALL!!

Blogger Basketbawful said...
starang -- Because the Terry is the ball handler in those situations, and he ain't giving it up.

justin -- Yikes. You may be right. Probably, in fact.

shrugz -- Well, in fairness to Terry, he did drive...then stop, pull up, and got his junk stuffed. But that dude doesn't believe in Dirk, or anybody other than himself, for that matter.

Blogger anne said...
Well said about the Mavs. I cannot stand Avery, and when he benched Kidd, I did pretty much the same thing Dirk is doing in the first picture. Only I was screaming, "why God, why have you forsaken my teams?" I used to could root for the Suns in the playoffs when the Mavs pulled this shit, but since they really suck now I can't even do that anymore. All my teams are losing when they play a decent team such as the Spurs or the Hornets. God help the Mavs when they play the Lakers on Sunday. I'm going to have to up the antidepressant dosage in order to get through the season.

Also, I don't see how Avery mostly escapes the ire of the blogs, while Dirk takes the brunt of it. And yes I think that he has a tendency to disappear when he doesn't need to (seriously, Dirk needs to see a shrink about that problem). However, imo, most of the Mavs problem is sucktastic coaching. That is why I had hope for Kidd running plays since he knows what the hell he is doing, but apparently, the control freak is not going to allow that to happen. It's going to be the same shit every year as it was in the 2006 and 2007 playoffs until they get rid of the Little General (great name btw). I wonder what Cuban thought of the brilliant move of benching Kidd. I would have went down there and choked a bitch if I would have been him. It isn't like he can't afford the fine.

Blogger Mike said...
Did anybody else notice Dirk's hilarious flop in the last 3 or 4 minutes? Bowen grabbed his arm and Dirk did a pirouette and flop like he got thrown off a bull. I'm still laughing. The NBA "FLOPTASTIC"!

Blogger Jeffrey Hardy Quah said...
Not to mention the Keystone Cops moment where Dampier and Nowitzki banged their heads together. Is there a video of that?

Blogger anne said...
Haha I saw that. I guess that Dirk figures if the French Flopper does it and gets by with it, he might as well try it too. BTW, this game against the Kings is slowly killing my soul. On top of that, the Jazz are getting killed by the Hornets, but it is probably because I like the Jazz (Brewer is my Razorback homeboy). As I've said before, all my teams are currently sucking ass.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I am the hat trick trillion poster. I swear yahoo box scores had wright as having a trillion. We have seen Yahoo not being too accurate in their box scores, my bad though.

Blogger Alex(andra) Cavnar said...
I wish I had some intelligent input about the game but I was drunk as shit during the fourth quarter and all I remember is Dirk tripping over his big ass feet in the first quarter and getting a foul called on San Antonio..........

Anonymous Farfa said...
Wow. I love when chicks get drunk. I also love when Avery Johnson gets drunk.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Dirk was pretty good closing out the game.

Yeah, he missed the last shot attempt of the game, but the last 3-4 minutes when the game was really close, he was doing really well.

He was driving to the basket and getting to the free-throw line (albeit, some of the fouls were ticky-tacky). On the last play just before Kidd got benched, Dirk blew past Duncan for the and-1 dunk and hits the freethrow tying the game.

More than anything, I think a lot of the blame has to be put on Avery Johnson. Benching Kidd was the dumbest play ever.

Even if Dirk were to become a super clutch assassin, the Mavs still can't win it all with Avery Johnson making boneheaded decisions like that.

Anonymous bears in the cathedral said...
weekends are so empty without you

Anonymous Farfa said...
Thank you, Steve Kerr and Robert Sarver. Thank you.

PS: I have to agree with bears in the cathedral.

Anonymous James said...
Hey check this out.

According to ESPN's recap of LA/DAL game,

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Kobe Bryant scored 30 of his 52 points in the fourth quarter and overtime Sunday to lead the Los Angeles Lakers to a 108-104 victory over the Dallas Mavericks.

LA scored 28 points in the fourth quarter....


Anonymous Josh said...
I don't know what was more impressive tonight, the Wizards 17 point win over the Hornets or Hilton Armstrong's amazing 8 trillion:


What on earth did he do for 8 MINUTES! I mean put a hand on somebody or something. I would say this was the worst effort I've seen all year but Memphis has 23 games left and Jason Collins is just warming up. Now there is a guy who's a threat to put up 5 trillion a night.

Anyways, I bet Armstrong's performance bought him a one way ticket to the D-League. RGV Vipers here we come.

Blogger Jeffrey Hardy Quah said...
Someone finally got a video of that Dirk/Ericka Looney Tunes moment.

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