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Avery Johnson is doing things a little differently on this road trip.

"We're getting a lot of the elements we had in the Finals," said veteran Jerry Stackhouse, who spent the first part of Saturday's practice with the team but was allowed to leave early. "Now we're going to a city where we have three nights. Avery is going to give us some leeway, so we don't' have to bus to Augusta and get a hotel.

"I think we're growing up. He's giving us an opportunity to see a lot of examples of things we didn't handle well last year in the Finals during the regular season.

"I think it's all positive, man. It may not be the same equation of being in the Finals, but there are little lessons we can take from these scenarios."
Garcia writes about this as well.
In some ways, the Mavericks are back on South Beach. The three-night visit to the heart of Georgia offers many of Miami's off-court temptations -- vibrant nightlife coupled with the pull of family and friends.
Very clever. And Happy 42nd Birthday Avery.

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David Moore writes about the Mavs identity, saying their not a defensive team, or an offensive team, just a winning team. Stackhouse agrees.
"We're not pegged to be any type of style," sixth man Jerry Stackhouse said. "We try to play whatever tempo we like against different teams. A team that wants to slow the ball down, we try to pick up the pace on them a little bit. If there is a team that wants to get up and down, we want to slow it down. We have the personnel and the versatility to do it.

"Maybe it doesn't give us a certain identity of how we play. But it gives us an identity of who we are."
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Art Garcia looks at the Mavs offensive efficiency and assist totals this season, particularly in the last few games.
"Scorers are really recognizing when they're double-teamed and they're trusting other guys to make shots, and it's doing wonders for us," Devin Harris said. "Instead of contested shots, we're getting wide-open shots."

In wins over the Celtics and Cleveland, on Wednesday, the Mavs had a combined 53 assists. They've bested that two-game total on only two other occasions this season, netting 54 earlier this month and in February.

Although the team ranks 24th out of 30 teams at 19.92 assists per game, the Mavs are 46-1 when they have the same or more assists than their opponent. They're 42-2 when they shoot at least 45 percent, including 22-0 when they shoot at least 50 percent.
The Mavs are second in the NBA in offensive efficiency (second to Phoenix) and 18th in Assist ratio (% of possessions that end in assists). Not surprisingly, the Suns are first in that category as well.

Phoenix is first third in Pace as opposed to Dallas 27th.

Interesting that the two most efficient teams in the NBA play completely different styles.

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And Randy Galloway rips into Mark Cuban for talking again, saying that it hurts the Mavs playoff chances.
Such organizations as the Spurs and Suns certainly hope he keeps talking. It could possibly pay Heat-like dividends for those teams come playoff time.

But Cuban is Cuban. There is no way, of course, he will shut the hell up, even after what had at least seemed to be more subdued behavior through most of this season.
If the Mavs are that easily distracted then they don't stand a chance anyway...