The Dallas Mavericks looked like a team that had lost a hard fought game the night before as they spent the first 2 and a half quarters chasing the young Cleveland Cavaliers. Dirk was struggling with only 8 points on 4 of 14 shooting in the first 3 quarters, and despite the positive play of Darren Collison, the Mavs looked like they were going to drop a bad game, and drop all the way out of the playoff picture.
Then almost as if he was on a white horse, Rodrigue Beaubois entered the game. Roddy B almost instantly added energy to a Mavericks team that was sorely lacking it. Roddy Buckets made 6 of 10 shots, scoring 18 points and dishing out 5 assists and grabbing 3 rebounds in just 22 minutes. Beaubois is in the conversation for most frustrating player in Mavericks history, but he had a “telling on himself” game tonight. Rick Carlisle must be pulling out his hair, knowing if Beaubois reached his potential, the Mavs would have an answer to their biggest question. Sadly nights like this are too few and far between, and Roddy will most likely be in a different uniform next season. Tonight though, was a revelation, and Beaubois was assertive not only as an offensive player, but also on defense. He really tilted the balance of this game.
Until the momentum shifted in the middle of the third, the Mavs were being out-rebounded 34-30. They ended up out-rebounding Cleveland 46-39. They got to every loose ball, and turned up the heat on their defense. Even the cold shooting Dirk stepped up and filled his role as closer scoring 5 late in the game. Dirk finished with 13 points and 11 boards, his 3rd straight double-double.
Brandan Wright had 13 points on 6 of 8 shooting to go along with 5 boards.
Jae Crowder was also a factor in this game, breaking his career high in rebounds for the second straight night, grabbing 14 rebounds in 34 minutes.
Otherwise the Mavericks were bad, Vince Carter hit a dagger 3 but did little else and only Dirk, Wright, Collison, and Beaubois were in double figures. It wasn’t pretty but it was effective against a Cavs team they needed to beat at home. It isn’t over yet, and with Shawn Marion’s return imminent, things might just get interesting as the season closes.