No Rashard Lewis tonight. Scratch that, Lewis will play. It doesn't matter, though. If you have Dwight Howard on your team, you are good. Howard is a man-beast, and will be one of the best players in the league for years to come. I would put him up there with Chris Paul as one of my favorite non-Mavs. Which makes him my 16th or 17th favorite player.
1. Hedo Turkoglu - I've never been super high on this guy, but he's a solid player and quite possibly the best pickup the Magic made this past offseason, Rashard Lewis included. Turk had 26 points on 10 of 14 shooting, 6 boards and 4 assists.
2. Dwight Howard - Does anyone still stress about the Howard/Okafor debate that existed during the draft that one year? I think the Magic made the right choice. He got into foul trouble, and he sliced his hand open on the rim when he was trying to throw down a hard, massive dunk. He also disappeared in the 2nd and the 4th quarter, but he still managed 22 points, 15 boards, 5 assists, 2 steals and a block.
3. Jerry Stackhouse -Stack's starting to get comfortable being the 6th, 7th, 8th man off the bench, and it's helping us to a great degree. Stack had 21 points, 10 of 10 from the foul line, 3 boards and a steal.
- Dirk's Digits: Dirk says his best Mavs moment was making the Finals, regardless of how it turned out. The fact that he would even admit that means that he has moved on. More importantly, he's rocking the panties off of this game with 31 points on 12 of 24 shooting, 11 boards, and 4 assists.
- Magic guard Jameer Nelson is finding his place on this team. Good for him. I didn't think he had much of a future in this league when he came out of school, but I guess you can't question the heart of a kid that won 2 state championships in high school and went undefeated his senior season in college at St. Josephs until the tournament.
- A happy birthday to Brad Davis during this game. He's calling the games now, and he is the original Mav. My problem is that Cuban hems and haws over how to retire numbers. Memo to Cuban, if you are reading, it's quite simple. There are only 2 Mavs so far that deserve to have their number retired, and Davis isn't one of them. It's Rolando Blackman and Derek Harper. Blackman's 22 hangs from the rafters. Harper's doesn't. Get it done. Harper is the best player in the history of the NBA that has never been an All-Star. I can't wait to see that #12 raised to the duct work. Oh, I digress. Happy birthday, Brad.
- It's a good thing the Mavs jumpers are falling because that's all we are getting right now. At the half, with the score 57-54, the Magic have doubled our points in the paint, 37-18.
- The Magic, at the time of this game, have the best road record in the league. But the Mavs are up for the challege. It's been a game of runs, with each team going back and forth on 10-0 drives.
- Someone had a sign that said "Will Work For Dirk". I know it rhymes, but it doesn't make sense. Are they going to do his laundry?
- Keith Bogans thought he had hit the game tying 3 pointer, but he was inside the line so it was just a 2. The Mavs hit their free throws, and the game was over.
Blah, blah blah. The Mavs dispatched another Eastern Conference foe. Except, they struggled. I want to believe in this team, but they aren't giving me much reason to do so. From here on out, I will be looking for this team to do something that makes me believe. No more living on past results. Go Mavs!