Another week, another goose-egg in the loss column. The Mavs came out of the All-Star break as hot as they were going in, notching a 3-0 record against the Utah Jazz, Washington Wizards, and Toronto Raptors. Some fine performances to discuss this week. Fine, indeed.
(Note: Please forgive the lack of player/team links at the moment. The SBNation autotagger is on the fritz.)
1) Shawn Marion
Off the bench, on his game. The Matrix had the sort of week that's become fairly typical of him during this 2010-2011 season. Against the Jazz, Marion went 6-of-9 (67%) from the floor for 16 points and collected 6 rebounds. He tallied his sixth double-double of the season against the Wizards, with 13 points on 4-of-6 (67%) shooting and 10 boards. Not to be outdone by his own greatness, Marion had a stellar game at his old stomping grounds (and "one of his favorite cities") in Toronto. Twenty points on 10-of-17 (59%) shooting, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals. He also started the second half in place of Peja Stojakovic and jump-started the Mavs' defense, which gave up only 39 points that half after conceding 57 in the first.
2) Jason Kidd's facilitating
Here's something that's not news to anyone: Jason Kidd takes care of the basketball. His assist-to-turnover ratio has been stellar all season, as he is third in the NBA (3.72) behind Jose Calderon and Chris Paul. This week was more of the same. In total, Kidd tallied 33 assists to just 6 turnovers in 3 games. For those of you without calculators or abaci, that's a 5.5 assist-to-turnover ratio. What's more, he tallied that assist number despite averaging only ~27 minutes per game.
3) Jason Terry
JET had the type of week that will make Mavs fans hopeful he won't disappear in the playoffs. He started a bit tepid against Utah, going 4-of-9 (44%) for 13 points and 5 assists, but also 3 turnovers. Then he really got going. His statline against Washington: 10-of-18 (56%) from the field, 2-of-5 (40%) from deep, 25 points, 4 assists, 0 turnovers. And against Toronto: 7-of-13 (54%) from the field, 2-of-2 from deep, 19 points, 5 assists, 0 turnovers. The
landing gear is down JET is on the runway. (Why do announcers like to say "the landing gear is down" right as JET is heating up? Isn't it exactly the opposite?)
1) Rodrigue Beaubois
In fairness to Roddy, he's still working his way back from a broken foot (and a not-so-secret rebroken foot). And he wasn't awful this week. But the Mavs had a great week overall, so the bar for the Cold list is fairly low. Roddy's statline against Utah looks respectable: 10 points on 4-of-6 (67%) shooting, 4 assists, 2 turnovers. Some of the positive stats there came in garbage time, though, and his next two games were not so great. The French Express was a poor 1-of-7 (14%) shooting against Washington, leading to a veritable short leash---he played just 13 minutes that night. The next evening in Toronto, Roddy was 2-of-6 (33%) with just 1 assist, and again was limited to under 15 minutes of playing time. Word is that coach Rick Carlisle expects Roddy to take until April to get fully acclimated. Hopefully that's not a conservative estimate.
2) Interior defense
Paint defense could have been worse this week, but it wasn't good. And it definitely wasn't championship-level good. Utah had 34 points in the paint, a respectable defensive number (although one would imagine it would have been substantially higher if they hadn't just lost their all-world point guard, Deron Williams, to a trade earlier that morning). Washington then lit up the Mavs in the paint, scoring 54 of their 99 points inside. The biggest culprit was the Wizards' young star, John Wall, who carved up the Mavs on repeated drives to the paint. The next night, Toronto tallied 52 of their 96 points in the paint. The culprit there? Probably the first-half defense, which gave up 57 points on nearly 60% shooting, including several easy layups when the Mavs' bigs would lose their mark in transition. Gotta keep workin'.
No third Cold item because the Mavs are ballin' and refuse to lose in February (except to Arron Afflalo). See you next Monday.