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Kidd's Trick Shot Treats Mavericks to Win


Dallas hit the road for their first road trip of the season.  First stop: the city of angels to meet up with the Clippers.  The Mavericks were looking for treats on Halloween, looking to continue their road success from last season.  They ended last season with a record of 27-14 (65.8 win percentage), best record in the NBA last season.  To start the season with a 1-1 record after holding both opponents on their season-opening home stand to under 40 percent shooting, they were looking to clean up their mistakes and continue playing solid defense.  Jason Kidd ignited the Mavericks with a 65-foot buzzer-beating three to give the Mavericks the halftime lead and they didn't look back, winning 99-83.


It was a point of emphasis to cut down on the  turnovers and late-game mistakes that haunted the Mavericks Friday night.  After a sluggish first half, they really put the clamps on the Clippers.  Late-game execution couldn't be placed under a microscope due to the game being out of hand for the better of the second half.  Free throws were a forgotten tidbit from the Memphis game.  In a one point loss, the Mavericks missed eight free throws.  Entering the game today, the Mavericks were shooting 73.8% from the line.  That is well below their average from their league-leading 81.6% from last season. At halftime, the Mavericks shot 7-15 from the charity stripe and finished 20-29.

Rebounds continued to be an issue for the Mavericks, they were out-rebounded 48-41.  Protecting the glass is definitely something they will need to continue to work on going forward.

Entering Sunday's game, Blake Griffin was averaging 17 points, 12 rebounds and 3.5 assists.  He finished with 16 points, 9 rebound and zero assists.  Those numbers are respectable but he shot 4-15 from the field, definitely his worst outing of the young season.  Dirk Nowitzki was the first defender on Griffin, but that lasted only for one possession as the Mavericks switched to Tyson Chandler.  For the most part, the Mavericks went with a center against Griffin, which was a smart move.  Tyson Chandler and Brendan Haywood stayed out of foul trouble in the first half and that paid huge dividends for the Mavericks.  It allowed to throw a physical player at the rookie for the whole game and protected Nowitzki against foul trouble. 

The two-headed monster at the center position definitely shined today. It was mentioned after the Memphis game, the centers for the Mavericks won't be a focal point on the offensive end and they'll have to be opportunistic to get points and that was the case on Sunday.  The duo finished with 18 points, 11 rebounds and 3 blocked shots.

There have been a lot of concerns about the amount of shots Dirk Nowitzki has had over the early stretch of the season.  He had 7 shots at halftime and finished with 14 total, scoring 16 points in the game.  It should be noted that this team does pride itself on it's depth and multitude of capable shooters.  They like to spread the wealth and it might prove to be beneficial later down the road, Dirk might be able to avoid excessive heavy lifting in the regular season and that can only help further down the road.


Quick Notes:

- Despite the youth and potential, these are still the LA Clippers.  The Mavericks have now won 13 out of their last 14 games against the Clippers. The Mavericks enjoy playing on Halloween, this marks the 8th consecutive win for them on Halloween.  On the other hand, the Clippers now have lost 7 in a row.

- It will be interesting to see how the minutes go for Dominique Jones once Roddy Beaubois comes back from his foot injury.  He's been the primary backup for Jason Terry and has shown some of his solid court vision when he attacks into the lane as well as flashes of good defense.  It will definitely be something to monitor.

- Caron Butler fans or haters, start to track his production early in games.  There is a possibility that one part of his game might be that of an early spark-plug for the offense, similar to Josh Howard in his days with the Mavericks.  Butler had a third of the points for the Mavericks in the first quarter (9 out of 27), that included six trips to the free throw line.

-Beware, the lob to Chandler can come from anywhere.  As mentioned during the broadcast, Tyson Chandler is a threat to receive a lob pass from just about any  Maverick on the court.  We've seen different instances where Butler, Barea, Nowitzki and Terry have fed the big man with the lob. 

- The D stands out, the Mavericks have held all three opponents they have faced under 40% shooting from the field.