Originally posted in one of my old blogs back in February 15, 2008.
February 10, 2008.
Despite a sudden torrid downpour of snow as we walked towards the Izod Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey—I could feel it in the cold air.
This afternoon’s match up between the New Jersey Nets and Dallas Mavericks was going to be a good one.
Or at least I hoped it would be a good one, if only for two reasons.
- Super courtside seats!!!
- Triple-double #100 (Kidd had the opportunity to record his 100th career triple-double that afternoon and finished with 13 points, 14 assists, and six rebounds—falling short of the feat by 4 caroms).
Some of the highlights:
- Saw injured point guard Devin Harris shooting around with an assistant coach (or trainer) more than an hour and a half prior to tip off. Harris seemed to show no signs of the foot injury that has kept him out of the Dallas lineup for the last few weeks. His shot looked sweet and his movement crisp while consistently knockdown uncontested perimeter jumpers. No wonder these guys are pros! (Later on, I found out that Devin was still on the Mavericks inactive list).
- Dirk Nowitzki also showed his shooting prowess as he seemed to mimic guard-forward Jerry Stackhouse’ knee-bending routine while shooting several 16 footers. Needless to say, they all went in—straight and true!
- More than a dozen kids sporting Jason Kidd jerseys engulf Nets forward-center Sean Williams as he signs autographs. “Gee, those are a lot of Kidd’s.” I just love the word play. Hehehe. The kids turn out to be a part of Jason Kidd’s foundation—“Kidd’s Corner”—and got to watch the game live from their designated section located of the upper level of the Izod Center.
- As the clock was running out—players have fifteen minutes to change into their uniforms prior to the start of the contest—and the Dallas players ran to their dugout, player-development staff member and former Mavericks jock, Ron “Popeye” Jones, showed that he still got his pet move (a hook shot) down pat when he swished a hook shot from outside the court along the baseline. Wow!
- As the Nets entered the Izod Center’s playing court, speakers blared with Kanye West’s “Stronger” as their theme music. It is the same single currently used by the New York Knicks. Now I am really sure that the owner of the “Best Rap Album” in the recently concluded 50th annual Grammy Awards “IS” raking in the Benjamin’s during every home game at MSG and the Izod Center.
- Jason Kidd starts off strong with a nifty alley-oop pass to forward Josh Boone right in front of us.
- I was also looking forward to Kidd’s first foul shot (a technical free-throw) in the first quarter. Noticeably absent was his patented wiping-my-ass-blow-away-kiss prior to every foul shot. I believe the result of which is due to his ongoing divorce proceedings with his estranged wife, Joumana.
- Triple-double watch: Kidd 3 points and 3 assists after one period.
- Mavericks forward Brandon Bass takes out Vincent “VC” Lamar Carter with an elbow to the right side of his face after the former attempted to strip him of the basketball. My thoughts were, “I hope he is alright.”
- The Nets are down double-digits (11 points) with less than seven minutes left before the half. I’m praying now, “No blowouts please! Come on, make things interesting!”
- And that they did. The Nets come roaring back with a 20-4 run of their own—featuring Carter (8 points), Kidd (5 points), and Richard Jefferson (5 points). Intermission: Nets 46 – Mavericks 40.
- Triple-double watch: Kidd 5 points, 4 rebounds, and 2 assists at the end of two. He is now 2 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 assists away from a triple-double.
- During several intangible “Kidd” plays during the second half, I was hollering, “2-6-5,” “2-6-6,” etc. Signifying the points, rebounds, and assists Kidd still needed to get in order to reach the not-so-elusive triple-double.
- Triple-double watch: Kidd 3 points, 2 rebounds, and 7 assists at the conclusion of the third quarter. Kidd now only needs 4 rebounds to reach the 100th triple-double of his productive career.
- Nets Head Coach Lawrence Frank sits Kidd down for three plus minutes to start the fourth quarter. I say, “Play him Coach. He might not be with you next week!”
- Kidd leaves the game with 1:33 left in the fourth after Dallas removes their starters. He adds 2 points and 2 assists to his totals and finishes with 13 points, 14 assists, and six rebounds. Destiny will have to wait for another day…
- Lastly, there was a Stromile Swift sighting! The former Memphis Grizzly had his first block and defensive rebound as a New Jersey Net.
- Final score: New Jersey 101 – Dallas 82
- I found out later that the Nets have historically had a difficult time against the Dallas Mavericks. This truly was a treasured win as:
- The Nets won for only the fourth time in their last sixteen games.
- The win was only the Nets’ fourth double-digit victory of the season.