Well, this is definitely not the post I imagined myself writing when I was asked to do the Game Recaps here at Mavs Moneyball. I will save the introductions for happier times (anyway you didn't come here to read about who I am, you came to find out what the heck happened with the Mavericks) but for the time being I will be following up every Mavericks game with a succinct recap. If you have a suggestion or want to see something I am not covering, let me know and I will make sure to grab it in the next recap.
Now, without further delay (still trying to figure out what happened in Memphis)...
Game as a Whole:
From the opening tip to the last shot of the fourth quarter, it didn't quite feel like the Mavericks showed up to play. Sure, Dirk had a really poor shooting night (7 of 22 for 16 points) but a good team should be able to overcome their star player having an off night every once in a while. Unfortunately, everybody on the team seemed content to follow Dirk's lead by chucking up contested shots and generally looking out of sync on the offensive end.
Give Rick Carlisle credit here as he tried a bunch of different things, giving Rodrigue Beaubois some extended burn this game (second most minutes he has played besides the Bucks), keeping his starters on the floor for major minutes, but in the end it felt like the Mavericks were doomed to lose this game as soon as the Grizzlies started having a career night from the 3 point line. For as much as was said about the Mavericks focusing on defense during training camp, it definitely seems like they are a long way off from having anything resembling a championship calibre defense.
By the Quarters:
- Both teams come out like they don't know how to play defense. Shots are being thrown up on both sides with abandon and it feels like the game is going to be played at a pretty up-tempo pace.
- O.J. Mayo starts out on fire. Definitely thought Jason Kidd should have been on Mike Conley and Rodrigue Beaubois should have been guarding Mayo.
- It's a shoot out as both teams are over 50% from the floor.
- JJ Barea comes in and immediately gets a turnover (not what Jason Kidd wants to see when going to the bench).
- Kris Humphries gets a full extension block on Sam Young who gathers the missed shot only to have it be denied by... the rim. When all else fails, the rim is a great help defender.
- The last portion of the quarter sees Jason Terry trying to force the issue by taking the ball to the rim before seeing him settle into taking corner 3's.
- Beaubois proves to Memphis that he is a rookie by rushing two 3 point shots on consecutive possessions. The Mavericks should have been taking it to the rim.
- Frustration sets in as all of the Mavericks start rushing shots. The offense looks disorganized and you can see that the guys are really having to work hard for even a glimpse at the basket.
- Jason Terry makes a timely three close to the end of the quarter to make the game feel like it's close (notice I said "feel").
- Grizzlies can't score in the first three minutes but the Mavericks don't take advantage. JJ Barrea ends up with another really bad turnover while trying to thread the needle to Drew Gooden under the basket.
- Terry to this point has had the only consistent game. He finished with 18 points.
- At 2:39 the game is over for the Mavericks as Rick Carlisle pulls all of his starters (except Beaubois) off the floor.
This is one I am sure that every Mavericks fan would have easily circled as a win on the schedule but no matter how bad a team is (hey the New Jersey Nets got their first win tonight!) you still have to show up and put the effort in to get the win. As Dirk goes, so do the Mavs; without Dirk putting up his usual numbers the team looked completely lost. Let's hope that we don't see another performance like this out of the Mavericks for a long time to come.
Some Choice Statistics:
- Looking at the +/-, almost every Maverick was in the negative on the floor while almost all of the Grizzlies had positive nights.
- Dirk Nowitzki has his streak of 14 straight games with 20 points or more snapped.
- Hasheem Thabeet a 30% Free Throw shooter is fouled on his first shot attempt and makes both free throws (this is when you know you are having a bad game).
- Dallas has the 4th best scoring bench in the country.
- The Grizzlies shoot 52.9% from three even though they are not known as a three point shooting team (thanks in large part to O.J. Mayo's ridiculous night from behind the arc).
- Mavericks shoot 0 foul shots in the second half.