Dirk needs help. And when 38 points, 17 rebounds and a perfect pass out of double-team in the final seconds aren’t enough, he needs more help. Now.
The Mavs’ furious rally against the Rocket fell short last night because Nowitzki got nothing from his starting guards. Monta Ellis, plagued by foul trouble, scored only six points on 3-of-10 shooting and Jose Calderon missed 10 of his 12 shots. When Dirk gets help, the Mavs are a dangerous team that can win a round or two in the playoffs. But when they ask the 35-year-old to do it all, they’re just a .500 team that will frustrate as much as exhilarate.
As they did in November against the Rockets at American Airlines Center, the Mavs staged a remarkable rally down the stretch. Down 12 points with just over two minutes remaining, they trimmed the deficit to 117-115 and had the ball with a chance to force overtime or even win.
Double-teamed on the wing, Nowitzki made the savvy pass to a wide-open Calderon at the top of the key. But he front-rimmed a 3-pointer, grabbed the long rebound and then again missed an off-balance triple at the buzzer.
Calderon was only 2 of 7 on 3-pointers, and in Dallas’ last four losses he’s only 7 of 20. Add that to the fact that defensively he allowed Houston’s Jeremy Lin to penetrate into the lane all night and … simply not good enough.
Dirk needs help. Not a lot. But last night he got none.
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 wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.