USA TODAY Sports
We start the second half of our midseason report today, talking about the Mavericks, who are about to start the second half of their season. Fun stuff, y'all.
5) Biggest strength headed forwards?
Alan: Balance. Until Dirk comes back to full strength there isn't an elite weapon on the club, but there are seven guys playing more than 20 minutes a game with PER's above 15, including all five starters, Carter and Brand. That means they have plenty of capable scorers, and can go at you from every position on the floor.
Tim: The depth is a huge advantage, especially when you consider people like the forgotten Brandan Wright and Bernard James are still hanging out at the end of the bench. Not only does Carlisle have a solid seven-man rotation, plus Jae Crowder and whichever backup point guard the needle landed on when the coaches spun the PG wheel, but he has two energy guys off the bench who he can come in and make plays in the right situation. Not many coaches have that type of luxury.
Kirk: Ball movement and scoring options. We saw this against the Timberwolves. Dallas scored 113 with Dirk only needing to chip in 10. There are 4-5 guys capable of having big scoring nights. This is aided by the great ball movement and fast break mentality the team possesses.
Andy: Depth. The Mavericks are playing much better, but not great, defense. They’re doing things a lot better on offense but they still kind of suck at shooting. But, with Collison, Mayo, Kaman, Brand, Marion and Vince all finding their place within the offense and Dirk pretty sure to join them pretty soon, the Mavs have a lot of starting-caliber talent to throw at people. Not star-caliber, but starting.
6) Biggest weakness headed forwards?
Alan: That until Dirk comes back too full strength there isn't an elite weapon on the club. You need a guy sometimes who can just take over, especially late, and get a basket every time down the floor. Did you notice how the Thunder went to Kevin Durant I think literally every possession the final couple of minutes Friday night?
Tim: For a team that doesn't necessarily take a ton of difficult shots, they still miss a lot. I actually kind of feel bad singling out this one weakness because, truth be told, there are several key issues present. Catch them on a good night and you'd never notice this particular one, but if the shots not falling then it can get ugly faster than Eddy Curry can eat a double cheeseburger.
Kirk: Rebounding. Dallas is terrible at this as a team. Brand and Marion are the team's best rebounders, but the drop off after them is steep. It's going to cost Dallas more than a few games as they make a desperation playoff contention run.
Andy:Ohmygod this team is terrible at shooting. I mean oh my god. Sometimes they get a head of steam, like in the recent Minnesota game, or Memphis, but besides that the last time they even wandered close to 50% shooting as a team was Jan 1st, and before that Dec 18th. There’s more clang than they know what to do with, a lot of nights. It’s like those horrifying monkeys with symbols.