In the Mavericks’ first game back following two days off and a holiday determined to celebrate obesity and Native American domination, Derek Harper, the team’s color commentator and former long-time point guard, kept warning the viewers about the “turkey hangover.” No, he wasn’t making a reference to having a few too many glasses of wine at the Harper Thanksgiving and waking up the next morning with a pounding headache and the entire 1990-91 Mavericks starting lineup passed out in his living room. Instead, he was worried the team got complacent about being home and off during the holiday break, and that maybe those fat-asses indulged a little too much.
After an alarming 3-for-13 start from the field, however, Dallas righted the ship rather nicely, and Harper grudgingly stopped bringing up the infamous turkey hangover we’re all so painfully familiar with, although I think I heard him mutter it a few more times as the game went on. Perhaps it’s telling that Zaza Pachulia was the only one scoring during the time the rest of the team was still fighting off the effects of the hangover. Could that be a result of Zaza eating one of the many delicious Georgian dishes on Thanksgiving I wrote about last week instead of that dreadful, hangover-inducing turkey? We’ll probably never know, but in any case, Pachulia scored the first seven points and waged a one-man war against the Nuggets until Dwight Powell converted on a dunk with just under five minutes left in the first quarter.
In truth, this was a game the Nuggets could have easily won, as they outscored the Mavericks in three quarters. The problem is that in the quarter they didn’t outscore Dallas, they managed all of five points. Seriously, five. That looks weird even putting into print a few days later, but it really happened! Denver didn’t convert on a single shot attempt until Kenneth Faried brushed aside his dreadlocks and put in a layup with just over three minutes left to play in the quarter. Just over a minute later, Will Barton would connect on a three-pointer to give the team the rest of their five points in the quarter. Overall, they shot 2-for-19 from the field in the period and missed their first 15 shots. Denver is a weirdly built team, and they were so underwhelming that I’m not even going to mention any of them by name. Emmanuel Mudiay did make the famed Booing Kiki All-Dallas team last Friday, so it isn’t all bad for them.
On the Mavericks’ side, Deron Williams had a great game offensively, scoring 22 points on 4-for-8 from three-point range. He also dished out four assists and grabbed as many rebounds to round off an excellent all-around game. Dirk Nowitzki continued to not get a lot of opportunities, shooting 4-for-9 and ending his double-double streak at two games. Rumor is that the Nowitzki family stuffs their turkey full of bratwursts, so he probably wasn’t able to handle too much usage Saturday. Naturally, the Georgian diet of Pachulia led him to big numbers, as he finished with 16 points and 12 rebounds, a great comeback from a game against the Spurs where he almost didn’t even need to be put into the box score at all. I forgive you, Zaza; come get your freshly cooked khachapuri whenever you’re ready for it.
I also have to tip my hat to the fine folks at Reborn4HDLive for making my viewing of this game possible in the first place. Upon discovering Saturday’s turkey hangover was an NBA TV broadcast, I briefly panicked, as my Team Pass subscription does not grant me access to those games. (Note to NBA: why not?) Then I stumbled across Reborn4HDLive, which, despite their unprofessional name I can never remember, offers a fine service that I am currently taking in on a one-week free trial basis. The quality absolutely holds up to NBA League Pass broadcasts, and in fact seemed a little clearer to me at times — something about a closer camera angle, maybe?
This was perhaps the most boring game of the season to date, but they can’t all be winners. At least the Mavericks were winners, and that’s what matters. They moved to 10-7 with the win and will now be going back on the road for a matchup with the Kings, who should hardly be considered royalty. If anything, they’re merely cousins with the actual king. See what I did there?