After being dismembered by the Kings on their home floor on Wednesday, the Mavs face a Pacer team that outscored them 130-121 back in October when both Dirk Nowitzki and J.J. Barea were on the floor. How do the outmanned and outgunned Mavs rally?
Wait, do we really want to win this?
Good question. Lately, the the Mavs have been wrestling with whether or not it would be best for the team to forge ahead with a winner’s mentality (and therefore a very grim outlook) or accept a poor season with open arms and embrace the draft pick that would follow.
Cuban and Carlisle have both remained staunchly opposed to throwing in the towel but with this many injuries (Update: I ran into Andrew Bogut and his wife at Meddlesome Moth yesterday. He had a nice lunch and is making a steady recovery.) this team might end up at the bottom without need of a formal concession. Anywho, here’s two considerations, assuming we do indeed want to reject the abominable performance we had against the Kings on Wednesday and win this game!
Own the paint
Last time we played the Pacers, Myles Turner went off for 30 points and 16 rebounds, and because six of those rebounds were offensive, you can bet grandad’s pension that a majority of Turner’s points came on easy buckets close to the basket. Defending Paul George is obviously a pressing concern for the Mavs’ D, but if the paint is wide open, it won’t matter if we lock up PG. Securing the paint with solid energy and rebounding from the likes of Powell and Merji are a must if the Mavs want to make a game of this.
Trust the pass
With so many important players out with injuries, it’s vital that the Mavs offense rely on Rick Carlisle’s ingenuity to create positive movement on offense. This means relying on teammates and always looking to make the extra pass. If we’ve learned nothing else from this season so far, it’s clear that this team doesn’t have the ability to hero-ball itself out of trouble. The #HarrrisonBarnaissance notwithstanding, it’s key that the Mavs find open shooters and knock down open threes.
How to Watch:
Tip off is at 7:30pm Central on Fox Sports Southwest and NBA League Pass. FoxSportsGo.com is always a go if you can’t catch it on TV.