Following a two day rest, the Dallas Mavericks faced off against the Washington Wizards Saturday night and lost in a frustrating fashion 114-111. Though the final score indicates a close game, Washington ran the Mavericks off the floor for most of the contest until a late, late rally made things interesting. John Wall sliced and diced Dallas, to the tune of 26 points and 16 assists. Wes Matthews caught fire once again, pouring in 28 points. Raymond Felton also managed a truple double somehow, scoring 10 points, while grabbing 11 rebounds and dishing out 11 assists.
Dallas should be utterly embarrassed by their effort at both ends of the floor.
I really don't care about the comeback. That the Mavericks were down by as many as 21 points to a team playing on the second night of a road back to back while also missing their best player is inexcusable.
It's really hard to know where to start lodging my complaints, but just because Deron Williams was out with the flu doesn't mean the offense had to fall apart. Ball movement was choppy, which had a cascade effect on the offense. Far too many shots came late in the shot clock, and not near enough were easy looks. Some of this can be attributed to the Washington defense, but even plays out of timeouts were horribly ran. This definitely felt like a game where Chandler Parsons sporadic minutes provided next to nothing (even though he did have a nice dunk). Charlie V. was terrible. J.J. Barea hit some shots in the fourth by my God is he a blind ball hog. Dirk was just sort of a tall decoy.
Rick Carlisle's defensive game plan was bad and the Mavericks executed it poorly anyway.
Did you notice how the Wizards had a lot of open threes? Did you see how they shot 14-29 from beyond the arc? A large number of those attempts came as a result of John Wall dragging out his dribble from a high screen and roll then throwing an absurd cross court pass to the wing or the corner. Wall is a hell of a player, but the Mavericks helped him rack up assists by continually doubling Wall 35 feet from the basket, which caused the need for quick help defense from the Mavericks.
Dallas doesn't have a glut of quick help defenders. Dirk Nowitzki was often stranded in No Man's Land between his man on the baseline or running out to the three point shooter. It rarely worked. Secondarily, whenever the Wizards ran side pick and rolls, I was baffled at how many times Raymond Felton and J.J. Barea just missed their man flare from the top of the key over to the wing. It happened at least a dozen times.
Either Carlisle and the staff had the Wizards poorly scouted or the Maverick defenders were in La-La land fair too often. I screamed at my TV way too often tonight simply due to mental lapses.
Oh, and one more thing: in a game decided by three points, Rick Carlisle opted to intentionally foul 80% free throw shooter Ra
Maybe we should worry about Dirk?
Or maybe we shouldn't. At any rate, the Wizards loss added to his recent woes and the Big German is now shooting 44% from the field and a putrid 26% from three in December. Dallas did a very poor job getting Dirk the ball tonight (one time, Wes Matthews attempted a bounce post entry pass when Dirk was being guarded by DeJuan Blair. No.), so perhaps he just needs to be more assertive calling for the ball.
Dirk's a human being, so he's allowed to have bad stretches. But the fact is, LAST December was when he started to look like crap too.
Charlie Villanueva is so bad and he must not get minutes. Perhaps ever again.
The chucker got up 6 shots in 6 minutes and hit one. He also finished a -11 in a three point game. I have no idea why Rick Carlisle keeps going to that well because Charlie is awful. Playing Charlie over Jeremy Evans is utterly ridiculous.