As I state in my bio below, I am currently a Houston resident. So it’s not always easy to watch my Mavs play. Unless they’re on ESPN or TNT, I’m usually out of luck. Except when they beat up on the Rockets a couple of times during the season on Comcast, but that’s about it. Gamecasts and tweets have made this coping process slightly better. It’s still not the same, though. That’s why the other night was so amazing. Well, at least I thought it was at first.
My roommate and I met his dad for dinner at a Mexican restaurant called Pappasito’s. Wednesday nights are always packed because of their delicious half-priced fajitas. Our wait was about an hour to be seated so we went to the bar to kill some time, while properly hydrating of course.
To my bewilderment, the Dallas-Toronto game was inexplicably on TWO of the televisions behind the bar. We were also up 13 with about 3 minutes to go in the 2nd quarter and The Big German even had the night off. I was able to see most of the 3rd quarter too, until our seats were finally ready. Luckily, the table was right next to the bar so I had a perfect view. There I sat, Miller Lite in hand, ready to celebrate a nice road win north of the border.
Suddenly, both channels changed simultaneously to ESPN for the Spurs-Thunder game. I could have pestered our waitress to switch back to the good guys, but I decided not to bother. Devin Harris had just hit a trey to put Dallas up 76-68 with 11 minutes to go in a game we had controlled the entire time. Plus, I kind of wanted to see Kevin Durant light up San Antonio. (He finished with 36 in a 111-105 victory).
As I was enjoying the KD Show, the Mavs were doing what they usually do: blowing another big lead. Their offense went cold when it mattered most, scoring only 12 4th quarter points. Their defense let DeMar DeRozan finish with 40 points, who’s not a bad player, but it’s still DeMar DeRozan. With no Dirk to save the day, the Mavs lost 93-85, despite holding a 21-point lead in the first frame.
Ultimately, I owe whoever changed the channel at Pappasito’s a huge thank you for their excellent customer service. That employee saved me from witnessing another Mavs meltdown, which made the evening so much better.
Look, I know the great Dirk Nowitzki was out, but that’s not an excuse for this loss. Dallas has one of the best coaches in the league and a veteran lineup that should be able to close out games like this one. We can’t have NINE 4th quarter turnovers and score only ONE point in the final three minutes of a game. Championship teams don’t do that. Ever.
The Mavs are still a postseason squad and I still expect us to be there come late April. We must learn to play smarter and tougher toward the end of games, though. If not, a Miller Lite might always be in hand whenever this team is on.