It’s true that the Mavericks have shot horribly, seemed listless, and been victimized by the no-shows of Josh Howard and Jerry Stackhouse (though I have argued that counting on Stack in this series was folly anyway). Why, then, would I be so hard on Avery Johnson? Once again – Avery makes in-game decisions that I can make no sense of. Last night’s Game 4 was no exception.

I read the Daily Dime on ESPN this morning, where most of the talk focused on Howard’s woes and the Hornets’ double-team of Nowitzki, effectively daring any other Mav to beat them. No one stepped up. What I’d like to focus on is a rather mind-bending sequence to begin the second quarter.

The Mavs led at the quarter, 30-23. Following a David West miss on the opening possession, Devean George grabbed an offensive board on the Mavs’ next trip down the floor and converted a layup to put Dallas up by 9. On NO’s subsequent possession, Bass blocked David West’s shot out of bounds. I literally began talking to the TV as I watched the following sequence of events unfold:

Boxscore from

Avery subs Stackhouse for Howard (oh, boy)
Pargo makes a jumper (32-25 Mavs)
Kidd turnover
Wells misses a jumper, Nowitzki rebounds and is fouled
Avery subs Barea for Kidd (???)
Stackhouse airballs a 3, shot clock violation
Then, NO makes their next 3 shots while the Mavs miss their next three, leaving us…

…tied at 32 with 9:01 left in the 2nd quarter. Timeout Mavs. Avery’s next move? Sub Terry for Dirk, and Dampier for Barea.

Momentum: gone
Lead: gone
Panic: set in

This whole debacle took place with Chris Paul resting comfortably on the bench.

Again, Avery – why? A 9-point lead with Chris Paul on the bench = foot-on-the-throat time. No worries about getting guys their rest, no efforts to save some legs for later in the series – it’s a must-win, man! Instead, in a critical stretch, we had this group defending the Mavs’ collective honor:

1: Barea
2: Stack
3: George
4: Nowitzki
5: Bass

Then, after the timeout, this:

1: Terry
2: Stack
3: George
4: Bass
5: Dampier

Timeout…let’s see here…9-0 in the last 2:30…hmm…I’ll go with the defensive lineup and remove my only viable scoring option.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Barea as much as the next guy. Every team, and every fan base needs a guy like him to root for. But in the postseason, he is in line behind the Mavs Maniacs for meaningful PT. I ask yet again – where is Ty Lue? He’s not hurt. Why isn’t he playing, Avery? I swear, you’re trying to get fired.

You’ll get your wish soon.

2 thoughts on “Post-Mortem

  1. Mario Post author

    Brilliant post. Absolutely brilliant. The Mavericks’ two home games in this series were desperation time. If I were a coach, and I imagine if most humans were a coach, desperation time is the situation where you ride your best horses until they’re exhausted. So why the only two effective players in this series besides the surprising Brandon Bass (Terry, Dirk) sit on the pine at the same time (Kidd also) for long stretches is beyond me. Especially when it seems like the main #1 problem for Dallas is the possession that proceeds with no movement, no attack and ends with a 17-foot fadeaway jumper.


  2. mike Post author

    I was thinking the same time when Stack, then Barea came in. Honestly, Barea shouldn’t even suit up for this series. Lue should be getting 5-10 minutes. He is quick, and can hit the 3.



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