February 12, 2007

Lightning 4, Devils 1

All-around bad. This is a team the Devils can't figure out. And that's not good news, because guess what, they were just in seventh place (now 6th) and could easily fall back there again and play the #2 team in the East, which would be.....the New Jersey Devils. Other teams around that area are Montreal (beatable) and Carolina (yikes). So the Devils need to figure out these teams that are hanging around the seed that they would face in the playoffs. But for sure, this is the team you don't want to see. They figured everything out. They scored four straight goals and played pretty solid defense. Their team has won 12 of 15. They have great skaters and great shooters. I've said all of this before. The Devils can't figure them out. They have played amazingly well as of late, but the Lightning are the kryptonite right now. Not that the Devils won't be able to figure them out, but time is running out and they should start doing it soon.

Mavericks 106, 76ers 89

What do you get when you have a high-scoring offense and a defense that shuts teams down? What do you get when you have the best record in the NBA, an unheard of 42-9?? I don't know the answers to these questions.

The Mavs own the best record on the road, and it helps to play teams like Philadelphia without Iverson, because how could they win? Sure, the Mavericks were up by so many points that they didn't care and they let the 76ers come back and think there was maybe a chance, but they ended up winning by almost 20. It's a typical story. They get such a huge lead, they get sick of it. They know they will win, so they slack off for a while. Not a great statement, not something to be proud of, but what can you do? If it doesn't even matter, then what's the point? True, it's not a great sign, but there you have it. And better to afford it now then when it counts.

Check the halftime score. 63-39. I mean, there it is. Do whatever the heck you want in the second half. Crap around. Play some horse. Play lackadaisical defense if you want. They did. And they paid the price in a rally from the 76ers. But it amounted to nothing.

Nowitzki had his day (24 points, 11 boards, 7 assists) and Howard did his usual thing (15 and 5). Devean George also got 15, and Jason Terry had 11 assists to go with his 16 points. For the Sixers, it was Igoudala with 21 points and 9 boards. 3-pointers was another key as the Mavs hit 7 of 15 and the Sixers took 10 and made a measly one! Hard to consider knowing that Kyle Korver is out there, but that's what happened.