The road-tested Dallas Mavericks must be looking forward to heading out on the road, escaping the American Airlines center and their lackluster home record (14-8). The Utah Jazz are definitely in a groove right now after winning 9 of their last ten and currently in the middle of a five game winning streak.
Tonight the Mavericks will live and die by how fast their rotations are.
Can the Dallas defense rise to the occasion or will the Jazz run them out of the gym?
Game as a Whole:
One could argue that the Mavericks just met a hot team on the wrong night but that would be ignoring most of the evidence pointing to a Mavericks decline. Since November when the Mavericks went 11 and 4, they have seen their wins and losses draw ever closer (December 9-5, January 8-7). To end January the Mavericks were giving up 101.5 points on the defensive end and getting blocked 4.5 times on the offensive end.
Watching the first half, the Mavericks looked like they were in for a long night before the contest really even ramped up. While the rest of the Jazz were largely subdued, Paul Millsap went crazy on the boards and in the paint (he ended with 25). The 2nd half was a nightmare as the Mavericks got consistently out-hustled on every play that mattered (Jazz had over a +10 rebounding advantage).
I have a few answers to these problems but first,
Let’s look at the quarters…
- 11:30, Barea hits another bucket to put the Mavericks back up by 4. Jazz second unit isn’t looking so great tonight.
- 11:03, How’s this for a role reversal: Gooden misses a jump shot and Howard gathers the offensive rebound for the put back.
- Blown rotation on a C.J. Miles three and the Jazz go back up by one.
- The Mavericks seem to have a problem containing Millsap. Please don’t turn this into an Andre Miller night.
- 8:39, Barea gets a layup on the fast break, Kidd is pushing the ball hard up the floor.
- 7:21, Williams picks up his first foul of the night on a push-off.
- 6:20, Kirilenko goes up for an uncontested dunk on a broken play. Nowitzki got screened out of the play.
- Barea picks up a technical, unsure of the reason.
- 5:48, Quinton Ross comes in for the first time tonight and picks up Kirilenko.
- 4:28, Dampier blows a dunk. He is starting to do that at least once a game now.
- 1:54, Nowitzki is forcing the refs to make a call every time he is on the offensive end.
- 1:07, Three missed shots on one trip. What was the best miss? Quinton Ross couldn’t jump high enough to get the ball into the basket.
- The Mavericks get out-hustled to close the second quarter. The big question is: who can Carlisle look to for energy off the bench? Humphries comes to mind but we traded him away.
- Mavericks are currently down by double digits in assists.
- 11:45, Nowitzki starts off the quarter with a basket.
- 11:05, Back-to-back buckets for Dirk. He needs to continue to look for his shot.
- 9:35, Shawn Marion hits the short jumper before the shot clock expires. Ball is rolling the Mavericks’ way.
- So, Nobody else can seem to get anything else done on the offensive end beside Nowitzki.
- 7:20, Terry with his first three of the night. Williams gets a blow by to the basket.
- 6:02, Terry hits another three and the Mavericks are now up by one.
- 5:28, I have to retract my earlier statement, Terry has now turned his game up.
- 4:34, Brewer scores because Marion looks lost in the zone rotation.
- 1:33, Kidd falls for a ball fake from Okur forcing Nowitzki to try to rotate. He doesn’t make it in time.
- :27.0, I know they wanted a two-for-one, but couldn’t you get an easier shot?
- 10:43, The Mavericks are getting out-worked on the board in the fourth. The Jazz have had multiple tip-ins.
- 9:45, After Kidd loses the handle on a spin move but miraculously gets the ball to a Maverick, Howard can’t convert the jumper.
- 7:07, The Mavericks are imploding in the fourth. They have let the crowd come back into the game and Barea makes a bad decision to foul Kirilenko as he goes to the basket.
- 6:49, Dallas gives up another really soft foul, this time from Jason Kidd, leading to another "and-1". Can you gift-wrap the game for them any more, guys?
- 5:58, Dallas seems like they don’t even want to try anymore. They benefit from a Jazz foul.
- 5:00, This was a possession full of sloppy passes. Mavericks lose the ball without even getting off a shot attempt.
- 3:28, Terry compounds the Mavericks problems by trying to force a pass in between three defenders.
- There is no need to even watch the rest of the game as the Mavericks have already given up.
- Najera comes in and brings some energy. That would have been nice a few quarters ago.
- Why do the Jazz shoot streamers for a regular season win against the Mavericks?
Some Choice Statistics:
- The Mavericks are currently giving up 98 points per game (14th in the league).
- Dallas has given up over 100 points in their last four games.
- Against the West, the Mavericks are only 16-13.
In the month of January Terry started six games, and what was his record? Terry and the Mavericks were decidedly mediocre only managing 3 wins and 3 loses. Now, let’s look at Beaubois record when he starts (9-4). It’s pretty apparent to this casual observer that you go back and try what worked. Shake up your starting lineup by putting Terry back on the bench and start Beaubois. I would also argue in favor of putting Ross back into the starting lineup and bringing Marion off the bench to make the second unit much more solid.