NBA Playoffs LOOK: Dallas Mavs break 6-year streak; Hanging cheap jazz Royce O’Neale?
WHITT’S END: 04/22/22
Whether you’re at the end of your coffee, your day, your week or even your rope party, welcome to Whitt’s End…
*They say nothing good happens after 2 a.m., but DFW was reminded Thursday that staying up late can indeed be great.
Long after bedtime on a school night, the Dallas Mavericks and Texas Rangers won games and exorcised demons in their houses of horror. Around 11 p.m., the Mavs snapped an 11-game losing streak at Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City. An hour later, the Rangers won a game at T-Mobile Park in Seattle, where they were 2-17 since 2020. If only the Dallas Cowboys could have kicked off around midnight in their Waterloo staff, better known as M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore. .
72 points, 1 turnover
11 consecutive games without defeat, Kaput
The Cowboys have lost more games (53) to the Philadelphia Eagles than any opponent, but their worst winning percentage has come on the road against the Ravens where they are 1-5 with an average loss of 16.5 points. Luckily for Dallas, no visit to Maryland is on the schedule for 2022.
Unsurprisingly, the Rangers’ all-time enemies are the California/Anaheim/Los Angeles Angels with 497 losses. But, like the Cowboys, they have a stadium in which they have only won once – going 1-5 at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia.
The Mavs, who hadn’t won in Utah since April 11, 2016 before Game 3 on Thursday night, have by far the most glaring enemy territory: Los Angeles. Dallas lost 115 games to the Lakers, including a gruesome 21-62 record at the Forum and Staples Center that included a 19-game losing streak in the 1990s.
The Mavs nearly lost a 17-point lead until Spencer Dinwiddie saved the day. Rangers rallied from a five-point deficit, capped by Adolis Garcia’s best helmetless run since Jason Witten in Philadelphia 15 years ago.
A late night. Two streaks broke. Those cloudy eyes at the water cooler this morning were worth it.
*Finding My Mavs-Jazz Game 3 Ramblings? Here you have prepared a new batch of “Mavs Donuts” flavored with wellness and upset victory. If you’re really hungry, eat game 1 and game 2 while you’re at it. Enjoy your lunch!
Don’t want to feel good?
Watch cheap Jazz clown Royce O’Neale repeatedly “stalk” Jalen Brunson, and anyone else in the other uniform, for this series of plays that just aren’t basketball. Brunson was almost badly injured on one of them.
And O’Neale should be seriously punished for all of them.
*Here we Nope again. With the Cowboys’ Super Bowl speech, of course. Coaches. Veterans. Even newcomers like Dante Fowler — who actually played in a Super Bowl — just can’t help it. For the Cowboys, 26 failed seasons just means they’re due. Uh, late.
*Despite Thursday night’s spectacular 8-6 victory made possible only by a rally from a 5-0 first-leg deficit, coming out of a goal-laden jam in the 8anda two-out, two-run counter-hit in the 9and and a diving catch by Adolis Garcia to seal it, I’m afraid I’ll have to alter my Rangers prediction. Two weeks ago I guaranteed that they would not lose 102 games this season. Maybe 103? At 3-9, they are off to their worst start since 1987 (2-10) and the days of Bobby Valentine, Ruben Sierra and Charlie Hough. They did, however, pull off a triple play this week in Seattle. Raise your hand if you predicted the Rangers would produce a triple play this season before Marcus Semien hit a home run. The $175 million second baseman — who hit 45 home runs in Toronto last year — is yet to hit one in 50 at bats with Texas.
*It was cantankerous Cowboys coach Bill Parcells who emasculated the famous apology with a joke “You are what your record says you are.” Rangers general manager Jon Daniels was asked about his team’s slow start this week and has argued against Parcells. Daniels reasoned, “We should be better than what our record is.”
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*Keep me posted, because at first it will seem completely crazy: But for a franchise that boasts 7-foot, Wurzburg-born, 31,000-point scorer Dirk Nowitzki, is Maxi Kleber the best German 3-point shooter in Mavericks history? Also born in Wurzburg, the 6-10 Kleber made eight 3-pointers in Game 2 and his first four in Game 3. Despite all his shooting accolades and redefining big man roles, in a playoff game Dirk n never made more than five.
*Really now did mama want me to grow a mafia? Or just dress like one for Easter?
*On Friday, April 8, I surprised my Big Brother Big Sister little brother Ja and his buddy with floor seats at a Mavs game. They are 15 years old. Separated from us but also at the game was my friend’s 13 year old daughter. Everyone had fun, the Mavs won and we all came home happy. Except the same night – at the same game in the same building – a 15-year-old girl from North Richland Hills was lured into sex trafficking. She just left her family to go to the bathroom and then, poof, disappeared. Seen on arena security cameras leaving with a stranger, police found the girl in Oklahoma City 10 days later after seeing her picture in online sex ads. Cooling.
*And just like that, I feel older than Mordecai Brown’s three-fingered glove. In 1972, I was a 7-year-old punk – as opposed to the 57-year-old punk I became – who was just beginning to soak up the wonderful world of sports. The Cowboys won their first Super Bowl in January and three months later here comes baseball. Real high-profile baseball. Dad had taken me to see the minor league Dallas-Fort Worth Spurs in what was known as Turnpike Stadium in Arlington. But on April 21, 1972, we were entitled to major league Baseball and the Rangers. We went to the home game opener at the brand new Arlington Stadium, sat on those glorious metal bleachers in right center field for about $5 and when Frank Howard piped a line homer to center field during the first run, I was addicted. For life. Fifty years later, I still love Rangers baseball…and, unfathomably, I’m still looking forward to their first World Series.
*Be honest, if you saw Jalen Brunson and Luka Doncic (and Kleber, for that matter) at the mall, you’d be think they made their living in a cabin rather than on a lot. Neither are surprisingly chiseled like elite athletes, and would likely be overwhelmed by NFL scouts with their “measurable” pedestrians. But as sneaky basketball players, opponents just can’t stop them from dribbling where they want, when they want. Over the past two playoff games, Brunson has an incredible 72 points and just one turnover, joining an exclusive club of 70+ points and 1 turnover that includes LeBron James, Michael Jordan, Karl Malone, Michael Redd and Jamal. Murray.
*I visited people last weekend and – as always, right? – the conversation turned to … ZIP codes. They weren’t invented until 1963. So how on earth could a letter be delivered before then? Envelopes simply addressed to “Dallas” – or “New York” – magically found their precise destination? Somewhat related but not really, don’t even start with the tricky story that claims the fax machine was invented over 100 years ago. Don’t buy it.
*With Roger Staubach, Troy Aikman and Dak Prescott teaming up, pediatric cancer has no chance. Good ol’ The boys are having a good Friday night in Dallas.
*In his latest Corona commercials, Snoop Dogg claims “The best plans are not plans.” Alright, maybe. But… not while sitting on a beach, in a silk dress, without a hat, without an umbrella, without a cell phone, without a magazine, without anything. I would get bored faster than I typed that sentence.
*How bad is the season starting for Rangers? Their opening day starter and de facto ace, Jon Gray, explained his struggles on the second outing controlling his slider thus: “It was almost like I forgot how to hold it.” Excuse me while I search for the forehead palm emoji. What. The. What?!
*Our current president has his problems. But he is our current president. I overheard this conversation in the gym locker room this week. 1st Man: “Trump has won more counties than any president in history. He has won them all! 2n/a Man: “You can’t tell me the guy who won all those counties didn’t win the election. How is that possible?!” Uh, context anyone? In Oklahoma, for example, Trump did indeed win every county in the 2020 election. He beat Biden, 77-0. But Biden won a certain county in California, called Los Angeles County. Population of Oklahoma’s 77 counties combined: 4 million. Population of Los Angeles County: 10 million. A year and a half later, how do some of us still not understand this?
*But wait, there’s more Rangers talk: Supply chain issues + shortened spring training = No traditional electric blue uniforms at home on Sundays. For now, anyway.
*Countless dating apps these days for unlimited genders, but this week I was alerted to a new launch in DFW that lets you bid on dates with like-minded philanthropists… with proceeds going to charity. There are apps for singles who love dogs, exercise, kink, garden or do art, why not give away? Poze helps you find love and fund change. I dig it.
*Want to see some of America’s top athletes? See you at the Levy Event Plaza in Irving next Thursday-Sunday for the US National Triathlon Championships. Tackling, dribbling and kicking are awesome and all, but let me know when you can swim a mile, get on a bike for a 25 mile ride and finish with a 6 mile run. Rain or shine.
*This weekend? Saturday is a 3 year anniversary party (Yay?) before Mavs-Jazz Game 4 (Yay!). Sunday is diving into HBO Max’s The stewardess (Yay?!). As always, don’t be a stranger.