1. Josh Howard - Howard got off to his typical hot start, and the Bulls never really had an answer for him all night which I find odd since the Bulls have about 5 Howard clones on their roster. Howard racked up 27 points (21 in 1st half), 10 boards, 6 assists and 2 steals.
2. Andres Nocioni - Shaggy ate some super powered Scooby Snacks before the game, and then decided instead of solving mysteries, he would just try to kick some Mavericks ass instead. He had 30 points, but only took 9 shots all night. The rest of the time he was busy scoring half of his point total at the free throw line. He also stuck it to us on the defensive end with 3 steals. He couldn't stop Howard, but Howard couldn't stop him.
3. Jason Terry - JET had 18 points and 5 assists, but when the Bulls starting making their run in the 4th to nearly close a 16 point lead, JET was hitting the timely 3's to stop the bleeding. He shot 4 of 6 from behind the arc.
- Dirk's Digits: 25 points, 6 boards, 2 assists, and 7 of 7 from the free throw line. More importantly, he was 9 of 17 from the field after two straight 5 of 15 games.
- How are the Bulls this bad? It doesn't add up. Did anyone see this coming? At first everyone thought it might have been the lingering effect of all that Kobe trade talk during the preseason, but this is turning into a full-on landslide. (This game was a month or so ago, and to-date they have already fired their head coach.) Pretty unbelievable for a team that was picked to be a Finals contender in the East.
- Games against Chicago always give me an opportunity to remind my wife about the time she went to a game without me. Back in the 1996-97 season, my wife (then girlfriend) got 2 tickets to the Bulls game to see Jordan and Pippen. Rather than going with her Mavs and NBA obsessed boyfriend, she went with her pregnant sister. With about 4 minutes left in the game and the Mavs down by 15, they decide to leave and beat the traffic since a professional basketball game doesn't exactly lend itself to extreme comfort to those carrying the miracle of human life in their stomachs. As soon as they leave, the Mavs, with the legendary lineup of Michael Finley, Cedric Ceballos, Shawn Bradley, Robert Pack and Samaki Walker, go on a 17-2 run to force overtime. They eventually win 104-97. I never let my wife forget about that one. You never leave a game early, and you don't invite people that might force you to.
- Chicago shot almost 44% on 3 pointers, but only 32% from everywhere else closer to the basket. That might just be a small aberration for one game, but largely synonymous with the type of odd, surprisingly bad start this team is off to.
- It's good to see Adrian Griffin again. He served us well during his two stints with our team, including being on the squad that made the Finals. But he's a Chicago native, and he wanted to close out his career closer to home. I wish him the best.
- Chicago's Joakim Noah's mom is a model, so why is he so ugly? At least that mane of hair has plenty of volume. He must use Pantene. Ugly Ponytail Man also took down Devin Harris early in the 3rd, knocking him out of the game.
- Every player should have ankles as bionic as Dirk's. I think Dirk rolls an ankle biweekly, but rarely does he ever have to sit out or even leave a game early. Some of his rolled ankles would have sidelined lesser men for 2 weeks.
- Avery Johnson has compiled a very impressive record thus far in his coaching career, partly because he's a good coach and partly because he was handed a good team. But the real evidence of him being a really good coach, in my opinion, will be the development of Devin Harris and what Avery can mold him into.
All things being even, you can say the Mavs are underachieving this year, but at least they aren't the Bulls. Sometimes, people need to put things into perspective. Go Mavs!