The problem with the way in which the Mavs beat the Clippers (112-105, after trailing for much of the first three quarters) is that it’s totally unsustainable- not so much the always-fun 50-90-40 (FG/FT/3-pt), though you don’t want to count on it- but the hot hands that made those shots and lack of viable alternatives on the nights when they go cold. Yeah, Dirk and Jason Terry characteristically combined for 48 (though Dirk’s 20 came on an uncharacteristic 6-15 FG) and Shawn Marion made four of seven shots and scored 10 points (about what you’d expect), but the other two Mavs to crack double figures played, VERY generously, a bit over their respective heads.
First off, we have Tyson Chandler, who was perfect from both the field (5-5 FG) and the free throw line (11-11!) en route to 21 points. While Chandler is a fantastic all-around player in the midst of an excellent season, he’s only averaged more than his current 9.6 points per game (on an impressive 68% FG and 78% FT) once in his career (11.8 with the Hornets in 2007-08) and, well, dude didn’t miss a single shot! If he’s less than perfect and merely turns in an outstanding 4-5 FG, 9-11 FT performance, there’s no guarantee that Dallas comes away with a win. Plus, as great as he’s looks this year, Chandler only suited up in 96 games over the past two seasons, so the Mavs might want to be careful about putting too many eggs in his basket, lest injury strike.
Funny thing is, despite Chandler turning in the fifth perfect 20+-point game of the season, the honor of “most uncharacteristically heroic Mavericks performance” goes to goes to Jose Juan Barea. Normally just an elfish nuisance with hair gel, Barea was unstoppable, making 9 of 12 shots (including 3 of 4 3-pointers) and all four of his free throws in lighting the Clippers up for 25 points in 33 minutes. Now I’m not gonna say that this performance is an outlier, but how comfortable can the Mavs be relying on a 5’10” 8-point per game scorer and 40% shooter to hit three-quarters of his shots and play a starring role in a seven-point comeback win at home over a 3-13 (now 3-14) road team?