Tyson Chandler got the surprise start at center and Jason Terry got the nod at shooting guard in place of an injured Beaubois. The Mavericks started the season by jumping out to a 16-0 lead. Dirk hit a couple of jumpshots, Butler actually drove to the basket and Chandler looked impressive on defense. 82-0? That thought crossed my mind. But then the 2nd unit happened.
The 2nd unit, consisting of Barea, Jones, Butler, Marion and Haywood, was absolutely atrocious. They promptly gave the lead right back to the Bobcats early in the second quarter. With no offensive player on the floor, this was hardly surprising. It also emphasizes the importance of Beaubois. As much flack as Terry gets, he is the only player that can provide the Mavericks with instant offense and that was desperately needed on the Mavericks 2nd unit. Hopefully, Beaubois comes back quickly because that was pretty ugly late in the 1st quarter.
Needless to say, we did not see those five players on the court at the same time the rest of the night. Another cause for concern was the play of Caron Butler. He finished with 13 points on 5-13 shooting and looked stagnant most of the night. Unfortunately, right now, there is no difference between what Butler brings to the table and what Howard brought to the Mavericks the past few seasons. That needs to change.
Haywood was nearly invisible on the night which is not a good way to begin your new 6 year 55 million dollar contract. Remember, Haywood was upset last season at the notion of coming off the bench and not getting the start after being handed a that contract has to be a blow to the Haywood ego. I have to assume that Haywood will get some starts here soon just to appease him.
Jason Kidd got the assignment to guard Stephen Jackson and frustrated him for most of the night. Kidd was spectacular on the night finishing with 12 points and 18 assists and showing no signs of slowing down at the ripe old age of 37.
Dirk was Dirk, shooting 11-13 for 28 points while nabbing 13 rebounds. Jason Terry responded very well to starting, scoring 22 points on 10-15 shooting. Chandler had a wonderful night wreaking havoc on defense and attacking the boards. The only blemish on the night for him came during a heated altercation with Wallace late in the 4th quarter.
All in all, a nice start to the season for the Dallas Mavericks.
Next game: Friday against the Memphis Grizzlies.