ATLANTA, GA - NOVEMBER 29: Paul Millsap #4 of the Atlanta Hawks fouls Dirk Nowitzki #41 of the Dallas Mavericks at Philips Arena on November 29, 2013 in Atlanta, Georgia. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Samuel Dalembert can’t wake up. Dirk Nowitzki’s missing clutch shots. Devin Harris still isn’t healthy.
And, mostly, the trouble with the Mavericks is that they’re constantly blowing double-digit leads because they’re reliable on neither defense nor rebounding. Only three NBA teams – the Heat, Bucks and Lakers – have a worse rebounding margin than Dallas’ -3.4. And the Mavs allow a gaudy 101.5 points, 21st in the league.
It’s rebounding. It’s defense. It’s crunch-time execution. It’s … not officiating.
Hate to hear this, but the Mavs are up to their whining ways again, sending a video compilation to the league office in New York of what they say are non-calls on Nowitzki’s shooting elbow. As I said a week ago in the wake of an officiating gift in Minnesota, when the Mavs start complaining about the refs they should immediately stop.
Dirk missed three open shots in an ugly home loss to the Raptors. He missed an open leaner in the lane last Friday night in the final minute against the Clippers. He’s been good this season, but not great in the clutch. And his team has coughed up enough big leads for two seasons.
Head coach Rick Carlisle won’t make excuses. I wish his players – and his owner – would follow suit.
A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He currently writes a sports/guy stuff blog at DFWSportatorium.com and lives in McKinney with his fiancee, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.