Wednesday Night Mavericks, 10/31/07
November 1, 2007 2:37pm CST
If you have watched the game Wednesday night when the Dallas Mavericks visited the Cleveland Cavaliers, you should have noticed how the Mavs improved their defense, limiting LeBron James to 10 points on 2-of-11 field goal shooting (he made his first field goal almost halfway through the third quarter), 5 rebounds, and 5 turnovers. Some of those shots he took were even on drives to the hoop (where is arguably best shooting the ball from), missing them thanks to the Mavericks' tough defense in the paint, and in particular, DeSagana Diop and last year's MVP, Dirk Nowitzki. The turnovers were also thanks to the pressure defense on James, the Mavs even making him miss two from three-point range. Lastly, James was plagued by fouls in the game, rendering him less useful for the Cavaliers (he only played 14 minutes in the first half, way less than his regular play time). The game's final score was 92-74 in favor of the Mavericks. The Dallas Mavericks are still reeling from their loss last postseason (credits go to the Golden State Warriors), and the group (Nowitzki, especially, who took most of the blame; after all, he was the league MVP) took it upon themselves to improve themselves more in preparation for this season. It looks like they've done a good job of it, too. Cleveland's coach, Mike Brown, said, "We got our behinds kicked. Dallas came in here and did what they wanted to do offensively and defensively." And what a kick they got: it was their worst loss in a home opener in six years. Dallas didn't even need Josh Howard and center Erick Dampier who were both out with injuries to finish off the Cavs. The question is, can they keep their heads up until *after* the regular season? They made a good showing on Wednesday night, they're projected to reach the playoffs again this year, and one can only hope they won't choke for a third time when the games start to really count towards the championship they want.