There you have it folks. Season on the ropes and we were thrown over like The Honky Tonk Man in the 1989 Royal Rumble (Wrestling reference). Lying on the mat; done….. finished. Sure, it was Shaq night and naturally, we gave up a triple double to Kobe. But what was most bothersome, is that we surrendered a career night to Earl freaking Clark. Earl Clark. Just for reference, in the previous game vs. Dallas back in February, Clark scored 1 point in 4 minutes of action.
The year is 2010. During that season the Mavs surrendered 52 points to Andre Miller and four days later let Monta Ellis score 46. Both career highs. Shortly after, Dirk had this gem of a quote that still resonates to this day.
“That’s what we do. We give guys contract extensions”
It’s Round 1 of the 2010 Western Conference Playoffs and the Spurs are up 2-1 on the Mavs in the series. Mavs were the #2 seed and the Spurs were the #7. In a pivotal game 4, Mavs surrender a career night of 29 points, 5 3-pointers made and 1 block. The lucky player that night was George Hill. Causal Mavs fans have no idea who the guy is. They still don’t. But I do. From this point on, this phenomenon of our Mavs giving up career nights was something that intrigued me. Of course, the Mavs won the title the next season. But this doesn’t change the fact that star players, irrelevant players and younger players like to go off at our expense, on a regular basis. Even if it’s not necessarily the best scoring night of a player’s career, it often seems that players love to play against the Mavericks. Call it bad defense if you want. But being the die hard fan that I am, I call it more bad luck.
I tried asking a source close to the Mavericks for assistance while retrieving details on the amount of career nights the Mavs have given up over the past few years. But apparently he was too busy to help us with this endeavor. So I looked at this season’s box scores (to date) to find examples. Take note; all of this was done over my lunch break at my “big boy job”.
Keep in mind that these following examples are based purely on amount of points scored (Except for Earl Clark stats). It doesn’t take into account the nights where the Mavs surrendered a career high in rebounds/steals/assists for an individual player.
These are also career games as of the night the stats were recorded. Some of these players may have scored a higher amount of points versus an opponent after they matched up with the Mavs. I didn’t do the research to determine that. But I doubt that any of these players had better nights than what’s reflected below.
So let the fun begin.
1. November 10, 2012. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist scores 25 points and grabs 12 rebounds as the Bobcats beat the Mavs for the first time, EVER. Yes, I understand that MKG is a Rookie player so his “career” is virtually non existent. But that actually makes it worse that we let him score so easily on us.
2. December 23, 2012. Danny Green scores 25 points, career-high. He went 7-8 from the 3 point line as the Spurs rout the Mavs 129-91 in Dirks season debut.
3. December 28, 2012. Danilo Gallinari of the Nuggets scores a career high 39 points in a 106-85 win over the Mavericks. Making 7-11 from the 3 point line.
4. January 18, 2013. Kevin Durant drops a career high 52 in a slug fest that the Mavs lost 117-114 in overtime. One of many overtime losses for our Mavs this year.
5. February 20, 2013. Maurice Harkless scores a (at the time) career high 20 points as the Mavs beat the Magic in the first game back after all star break. Harkless has since scored 28 points in a game. 4/2/13 vs. Houston.
6. March 4, 2013. The Chandler Parsons game. Parsons decides to go unconscious and makes 12 of 13 shots from the field and ending the night with 32 points. Rockets blow out the Mavs 136-103. Barf.
7. March 8, 2013. Khris Middleton, rookie, scores a personal best 14 points as the Mavs almost blow a significant lead at the Palace.
8. March 20. 2013. This isn’t a career high but it was one point shy. Brooke Lopez drops 38 points in a crucial loss to the Nets. Career high for Lopez is 39 pts versus Detroit in 2011.
9. April 2, 2013. Earl Clark scores 17, grabs 12 rebounds, and blocks 5 shots as the Lakers end the Mavs season (pretty much). Points were not a career high but 5 blocks were. Clark scored a season high 22 vs. SA in January.
10. To Be Determined. I’m saving this spot for some other player that’s surely to go off with 8 games remaining of the schedule.
Honorable Mention: Here is a good spot to recognize that ridiculous dagger 3 pointer that Lamarcus Aldridge made in our loss on January 29, 2013. This was his first and only 3 pointer of the season. You remember that game? This is the game where the NBA later apologized for the missed foul call that would’ve sent Brandan Wright to the free throw line. Looking back, that’s now a big loss on the Mavs record.
Our Maverick hearts have been broken many times over the years. Obviously mended in the magical run of 2011, but then broken again the following seasons. This year’s team has been awful in a lot of categories; Rebounding, Point Guard play, paint scoring, and getting to the free throw line. I’m man enough to admit that this team is average. But with such small room for error, it’s disappointing to see shots fall for opponents when the odds are that they shouldn’t. I don’t have the stats in front of me and I don’t have the time to look. But how many buzzer beaters as the shot clock or a quarter expires have we seen against the Mavs in the last 5 years? Too many. How many ridiculous shots have players made after the Mavs played 23.5 seconds of great defense? Too many. How many times this season have we seen a lesser player make long range jumpers with hands in their face as players like Dirk or Brand miss wide open jumpers on the other end? Too many. It’s a weird deal.
I’m looking forward to an offseason filled with hope. I’m expecting for Cuban and company to take this years draft more seriously than ever before. I’m also expecting some major roster shake ups as well. Mavs will be back.