Depleted Clippers Struggle
This game was less a Mavericks victory than a Clippers loss, although it’s hard to blame them. Top scorer and team anchor Blake Griffin is out for two months with a knee injury and Clips were also missing Danillo Gallinari, Patrick Beverly, and Euro rookie Milos Teodosic for this game. Before their injuries, those players averaged a combined 50 points per game and without them the Clippers had nowhere to go on offense. At the end of the first half, they shot just 30% from the field and the entire team produced a total of five assists. In the second half they made some adjustments, but there just wasn’t enough firepower on the court.
Balanced Attack from the Mavs
The Clippers offensive woes bled over to the defensive end and the Mavs took full advantage; it was a massacre from start to finish. By the end of the first quarter, nine different Mavs players had scored and Dallas finished the game with five players in double figures and five players with double digit positive plus/minus ratings. JJ Barea posted a 21 point 10 assist double double. Dirk was a perfect 5-5 from three and the Mavs shot 50% from three as a team. JJ and Dirk both finished the game with a +32 plus/minus rating. It’s hard to draw conclusions since the performance came against such ragged opposition, but it shows that Mavs have some wins in them if they take care of the ball and shoot well from three.
The Deandre Saga is Irrelevant
Perhaps it’s Jordan’s jovial personality, perhaps it’s that the Clippers haven’t been able to hold a candle to the NBA’s top teams since his decision, but after earning notoriety for leaving Dallas at the altar, no one seems to care about Deandre Jordan anymore. The Dallas crowd was well behaved when he had the ball and he and J.J. Barea even jawed conspiratorially back and forth at one point in the game. The landscape of the NBA can change almost over night and seems clear now that the Mavs are much better off rebuilding around Harrison Barnes and DSJ than saddled with mammoth contracts for injury-plagued Chandler Parsons and DJ.
When Dennis Smith Jr. gets a big switched on him, it’s two points
Whenever pick and roll action puts a big on DSJ, he’s great at sizing them up and blowing by them on the way to the basket. He put Montrezl Harrel and Jamil Wilson on skates multiple times and even roasted the more agile Austin Rivers on a drive.
Kleber Continues to Impress
The other Wurzburger made another solid contribution coming up with some big rebounds and finishing with three points and eight rebounds. He needs to get some more air under his three point shot, but he’s showing that he has a lot to offer this team from the bench.
Nerlens gets a halftime hotdog
The rollercoaster that is the Mavericks and Nerlens Noel still has plenty of loopdy-loops and surprise twists left. During halftime, Nerlens snuck into the media dining room and grabbed hotdog. Apparently, he wasn’t optimistic about getting any minutes in the second half.
Carlisle gets his 700th win
With the W, Rick became only the 18th coach in NBA history to record 700 wins.