The turkey was good and the family was festive. But what the Mavs did was enough to ruin a holiday weekend.
Not the loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves, who will likely be a playoff team come April. I’m talking about Friday night’s collapse in Atlanta.
The Hawks are bad. And they play in a horrible conference. The Mavs won’t have a worse loss all season.
At least let’s hope not.
I understand point guard Jose Calderon was out with a bruised ankle down the stretch, but the Mavs are too good to look that bad. Against the 9-8 Hawks at a sparsely attended game at Philips Arena, they managed only two baskets in the game’s final 10:23. That’s two made field goals in 23 possessions.
DeJuan Blair stepped out of bounds. Monta Ellis missed a layup. Dirk Nowitzki missed two open looks. And, again, Vince Carter took – and badly missed – the game-deciding shot, a 22-foot turnaround jumper that drew nothing but glass at the buzzer.
Shane Larkin and Gal Mekel are promising point guards, but Calderon is the offensive focus the Mavericks lacked last year and apparently desperately need this year.
Suddenly the Mavs have lost four of five.
“We’re going to learn about our team right now,” head coach Rick Carlisle said after last Saturday night’s home loss to the Timberwolves. “Lose four out of five … it’s going to test the togetherness and the collective will.”
Aiding in that quest, the schedule relaxes a tad, starting with a visit from sub-.500 Charlotte Tuesday night.
Let’s just hope that when determining playoff seeds in April, we’re not still nauseated by that post-Thanksgiving Atlanta night back in November.
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.