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Damn, was THAT an exciting game. It's just one game, and it doesn't change what happened last week against the T-Wolves, but it's a hell of a start!

Hell of a way to spend a Saturday afternoon. Big screen TV. Wings. Beer. Fellow fans and friends hooting and hollering. Only thing better would have been BEING there.

Mavs were down by 4 at halftime. In the third quarter they exploded, outscoring the best team in the whole league by 14 points. And they won going away, outscoring them by 4 in the final quarter. Dirk had his second '20-20' game (meaning he scored at least 20 points and grabbed at least 20 rebounds) in a ROW. Wow. Nash was sharp, going 4 for 4 from the three point arc and scoring 28 points in only 31 minutes. Finley had only 2 in the first half but made some very clutch shots in the second. Wang and Newman also played their roles well.

The new guys? Van Exel and LaFrentz both looked nervous in the first half. Understandable. Different story in the second. Raef had 14 points including several slam dunks and 2 beautiful rainbow threes. Van Exel had 8 points and 8 assists, including one interesting play where he had a clear shot at an easy lay-up and instead dished to Fin who nailed a three. I want to see more of that stuff from both of them. The defense was also strong, especially when Dirk and Raef were both out there and when Van Exel and Nash were on the floor together.

Final score was 111-97 in favor of the Dallas Mavericks. Again, they were playing the Kings, the best team in the NBA. They played on national TV. The home crowd was a sellout and was trying to blow the roof off. It is just one game but maybe some fears and doubts about the trade have been put to rest a little. There's still the problem of Van Exel's attitude and the salary cap problems.

But the talk at the bar was about the playoffs and possible Finals. Everyone knows about Shaq's toe. Are the Mavs now one arthritic toe away from winning an NBA championship?

They have two days off then a game against the worst team in the league, then a whopping three more days off, and it couldn't come at a better time, as they have time to practice, work-out, train with the new guys, lick a few wounds, and work a few things out.

It is a great time to be a fan.