Mike Moreau delves into Mavs-Nuggets Game 2, and kicks off his preview with the following two bullets:
• When coach Rick Carlisle looks at the film of Game 1, his biggest concern has to be the Mavericks’ sloppy ballhandling and head-scratching turnovers, eight of which came from veteran point guard Jason Kidd. Fumbles, mishandles, deflections and passes to no one poured gasoline on what became a roaring fire that allowed the Nuggets to turn a close game into a blowout.
• Denver’s fast break and raucous crowd were ignited by steals that led to dunks and baskets in transition. Look for better ball protection in Game 2 from Dallas, with offensive players getting lower and keeping the ball closer to their bodies to prevent deflections on the pass. With Denver constantly reaching, the Mavericks can turn many of those steals and deflections into fouls. Dallas receivers must also cut harder to the ball to prevent run-throughs for steals.
I couldn’t agree more. As poor as the Mavs’ defense was, the catalyst of that fourth quarter implosion was poor offensive play. We need to essentially do everything better on the offensive end, from the basics of passing and dribbling to more complex play execution. That can be tricky against teams with good defenses, but I don’t think the Mavs will embarrass us that same way again.
…that means you, Jason Kidd.