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Understatement: Mavericks Have to Get More From Their Centers in Game 3 and Beyond

Ian Mahinmi.
Ian Mahinmi.

As I mentioned in my series preview, in my opinion, the biggest thing the Mavericks really miss from Tyson Chandler is what he added to the offense.

Here's the Maverick centers' total numbers in Games 1 and 2:

Brendan Haywood: 29 minutes, six points, seven rebounds 1-of-7 FG shooting

Ian Mahinmi: 40 minutes 15 points, nine rebounds 4-of-7 FG shooting

Brandan Wright: Shit.

So needless to say, the Mavericks need more. The Thunder completely disrespect the Maverick centers, allowing them to wander and either double down on Dirk or help in the lane against Jason Terry, Vince Carter or Delonte West's drives.

Last year, Tyson Chandler didn't necessarily have a huge impact in the series in scoring, but his ability to draw defenders rolling to the basket allowed Dirk Nowitzki to work one-on-one a lot easier. Dirk needs space to either face up or drive. Right now, the Thunder are basically forcing Dirk to attack the basket. That's fine for Dirk, but eventually, Dirk will need some space to splash down a couple of jumpers and mix up his game.

There's nothing else really to say. The Maverick centers have been awful and Rick Carlisle will have to seriously adjust his rotation. He did a bit last night, playing Dirk at the five. It worked, but it forced Dirk to guard Derek Fisher and put the Mavericks in some compromising positions with the zone defense.

Perhaps more Mahinmi minutes is the answer. The problem is Mahinmi picks up a foul almost every other possession down the court. Haywood just has to give the Mavericks something.