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Game Recap: Tired Mavs Lose a Close One 75-80

I am really hoping that I am not bad luck for the Dallas Mavericks.  In the second game of a back to back Dallas loses a close one to the Atlanta Hawks (also playing in their second game in as many days).  I cannot be as harsh on the Mavericks in this loss as for about a quarter and a half they played the type of defense that we all know they are capable of, thanks in large part to Shawn Marion.  

Game as a Whole: 

For long stretches this was definitely either team's game.  What it really came down to was which team had more hustle on the offensive end.  The Mavericks took a beating on the offensive glass, getting out rebounded by a tally of 16 to 7.  Additionally, they gave up 34 points in the paint while reverting to their old stand-by, jump shooting ways when they had the ball on offense.  

The Mavericks desperately miss Josh Howard as they consistently need a scoring punch to get them off to a hot start in the 1st quarter.  A healthy Howard would also relieve some of the of the pressure that is currently being put on Marion and would again allow him to be the Mavericks' third option (you would most likely see his offensive production go up).  

By the Quarters:

1st Quarter:

  • Jason Terry on the first play of the game immediately gives up a turn over that leads to a Hawks score.  Not a great way to get the game going against his former team.
  • Jason Kidd at the 9:53 mark has a horrible close out on Joe Johnson who hits a three.  There was absolutely no transition defense.
  • We are currently still in jump shooting mode.  Dirk has not touched the ball yet in this quarter. First time he touches the ball he is immediately double-teamed.
  • At 7:45 Dirk actually jumps to try to block a shot instead of going for the strip down low.  Mavs have quickly woken up.
  • 5:23 Mavericks decide to go to a zone and it has no effect on the Hawks.  Something doesn’t seem right with Jason Kidd tonight.
  • Jose Juan Barea continues the trend from last night; he comes in and commits a turnover on his first play.
  • The Mavericks end the quarter down by eight points.
2nd Quarter:
  • Drew Gooden has a great help side block on Jeff Teague to save an easy layup to start the quarter.
  • Rick Carlisle takes another quick time-out at the 9:38 mark.  Seems that the guys will have a minute of okay basketball followed by 3 to 4 minutes of bad basketball.   
  • With 9:14 left, Drew Gooden leaves with 3 fouls.  He is going to be warming the bench for a while.
  • Marion getting into the post is definitely working for us.  The defensive intensity has gone up a few notches for the Mavericks but there is no offensive rebounding.
  • 7:02, Jason Terry decides to take it into the paint and gets fouled.  If the Mavericks want to win, they need to continue to put the ball in the paint (posting up Marion would be a great idea).
  • Every Hawks possession is working from the inside out.  The Mavericks are already at 4 team fouls with 6 minutes left in the half.
  • The Mavericks end the quarter by putting on a defensive clinic and holding the Hawks without a basket for over six minutes.
3rd Quarter:
  • Marion starts off posting up just outside the paint and ends up giving the Mavericks their first lead of the game.
  • Erick Dampier gives Josh Smith a hard foul as he is going to the basket for a dunk.  Dampier receives a flagrant 1 on the play.  Justified?
  • Josh Smith decides to get retaliation on Sean Marion’s next drive to the basket. Smith doesn’t even attempt to go for a block while pushing Marion in the chest, earning himself a flagrant 1.
  • Marion picks up his 4th foul with 4:12 left.  The defense has really keyed off of him all night.
  • The Mavericks have been on a seesaw with the Hawks for the entire quarter.  The defense has disappeared for both teams as they trade baskets.
4th Quarter:
  • Jamal Crawford air-balls a three which leads to a booming fast-break dunk for Drew Gooden.  Mike Woodsen has to take a quick timeout to gather his team.
  • At 8:45 the Mavericks go with the all-veteran lineup.  We currently have Dirk, Kidd, Terry, Gooden, and Marion on the floor. 
  • Terry seems to be taking almost all of the shots.  We have completely moved away from having Marion post up or hitting Dirk at the elbow.  There is no motion in the offense.
  • Dirk cuts the Hawks lead to 3 by taking the ball to the basket with 3:10 to play.  The Mavs have been extremely aggressive with trapping the ball. 
  • Averted disaster when Mike Bibby misses a potential dagger three.
  • Mavericks don’t even get to attempt to tie the game as Dirk fumbles a pass from Jason Kidd. 
  • Mavs almost get the steal they needed to try to take a 3 pointer but it looks like they have come up short again.
Some Choice Statistics:
  • First start for Jason Terry this season.
  • The Mavericks were currently just a .500 team when looking at only the second game of a back to back (3-3). 
  • Our best 5-man unit is Kidd, Terry, Dampier, Marion, and Nowitzki.  Their wining percentage is over 80% (
  • I think this is the first time in the regular season that Dirk has put the headband on.
Closing Thoughts: 

The Mavericks holding the Hawks scoreless for around six minutes was definitely a defensive showing but it is something they will need to do with a lot more consistency if they want to string wins together.  The writing is also clearly on the wall that people such as Jason Terry, Shawn Marion, and JJ Barea need to start taking the ball to the basket instead of relying on three point or shot range jump shots.  The Mavericks will snap out of this two game slump for sure but will they learn anything from it so they don't repeat the same mistakes again?