Well, the Mavs were the Mavs last night and almost coughed up another big lead in the 4th quarter. They did survive, however, and they live to fight another day in their quest for that final playoff spot. Dallas still has a ton of work to do, and they don't have the benefit of playing either of the teams they're chasing. They're still mathematically alive though, but they really shouldn't be.
Their near 4th quarter meltdown last night would have been at least the 6th time so far this season---and I actually think it's more like 10 or more---that they have faltered in the last quarter of a game. In other words, neither the Jazz nor the Lakers should be playing for anything right now, except the number of ping pong balls they're going to get in the draft lottery draw.
The upshot of the whole thing with last night's game was that I was, once again, almost a freakin' genius. The Blazers had the ball, down 3 with only 12 seconds to go in the game. You'll remember that the number had opened at Dallas (-3 1/2), been bet up a full point, and that was too many for me. I did get the win by staying with the Mavs just to win the game, and that's never going to be a bad thing, but Shawn Marion is the most favorite player of all time today for many investors.
Had Marion not broken free into the front court to receive that outlet pass at the very end, and then go on to lay the ball in to get the number for the Mavs and their backers. There may be some grumbling and moaning and groaning over Marion making that last basket, but it's totally unfounded. Marion is a player. He's an effort guy, and he plays all 48 minutes. He just so happened to make a lot of people happy last night, but I have no problem at all with him making that last basket. I don't care if the Mavs were up 26, as they were earlier in the game. Marion approaches the game the right way. It's not up to him to stop himself or his team. That's up to the opponent, and if the Blazers had their feelings hurt by losing by 5 points instead of 3, that's on them.
The Association takes a break tonight to allow the kids to determine their champion, and it's still too early in the season for me to want to get involved with the Grand Ol' Game. It is what it is.
Michigan (+4, O139) 76, Louisville 71 - I definitely don't agree with this projection. Louisville is the better team, and they will be cutting down the nets and hoisting the trophy at the end of this game. Michigan is an explosive team, but the Cardinals can score with them. Where these teams differ, however, and what the difference will be in this game is in the defense. Louisville can suffocate an opponent's offense, and the Cardinals are more capable of getting the big stops when they need them. I won't make the play with them though because my numbers don't agree with my feelings about the game. That's that.
So, there we go. Relatively quick, and that's just the way it should be with only one game going. The Royals are about to start their home opener, so it's all nice and tidy for me. Have a great rest of your Monday, and I'll see you again tomorrow.