DALLAS -- Wanna find a bright spot after the Mavs got their butts kicked at home by a team with a losing record? Look no further than Brandan Wright.
Wright, the lottery pick-turned-Mavs reclamation project, had his second consecutive impressive performance in limited playing time.
The long-limbed, high-leaping Wright was a major reason the Mavs built a 14-point lead in the first half. He finished with nine points on 4-of-6 shooting -- included an underhanded alley-oop from Jason Terry that will get a lot of SportsCenter run -- with two rebounds and two blocked shots in 12:37. That comes on the heels of a five-point, three-rebound performance in 8:35 in Monday’s win over the Suns.
“He’s playing well in certain situations with certain groups of players,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “We’ve got to keep looking at him. He brings energy, he’s a different kind of athlete and he’s doing positive things.”
A few other notes from a 15-point loss that Shawn Marion called “[expletive] embarrassing”:
1. Celebration stinkers: The banner-raising ceremony was followed by the Miami Heat running the Mavs out of the American Airlines Center in the season opener. The ring ceremony, which featured brief, touching tributes to each player from Carlisle, was spoiled by the Timberwolves. “I think we’re all happy that we don’t have any more ceremonies for our championship,” Jason Kidd quipped.
2. Lopsided at the line: Timberwolves star Kevin Love attempted as many free throws (10) as the Mavericks. Minnesota enjoyed a 33-10 advantage on free throws attempted. Carlisle wondered aloud if Lamar Odom might have been fouled on some of his drives to the basket, but the coach certainly didn’t blame the officiating for the disparity. “The bottom line: Minnesota was more aggressive,” Carlisle said. “The more aggressive team is going to win most NBA games.”
3. Yi yo-yo: Forward/center Yi Jianlian, another lottery pick-turned-Mavs reclamation project, showed flashes of his intriguing potential by scoring six points on 3-of-5 shooting in six minutes before halftime. The second half offered a hint about why the 7-footer is playing for his fourth team in five NBA season. He missed five of six shots in the second half, all but one of which were midrange jumpers.