The Difference: Dallas Mavericks 100, Minnesota Timberwolves 86

Posted by Rob Mahoney on December 2, 2010 under Recaps | 4 Comments to Read

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Box ScorePlay-By-PlayShot Chart — GameFlow

    TeamPaceOff. Eff.eFG%FT/FGORB%TOR
    Dallas97.0103.147.120.723.914.4
    Minnesota88.741.522.022.017.5

You know the drill. The Difference is a quick-hitting reflection on the game that was, with one bullet for every point in the final margin.

  • The Mavs are a much better team than the Timberwolves, which unfortunately doesn’t make for compelling theater. There’s not much of a story for anyone to push in Dallas doing what’s expected of them; the Mavs kept their turnovers down, they didn’t make it easy for the Wolves by sending them to the line, and they blanketed a team that’s already limited offensively in so many ways. This is the way things are supposed to be in lesser teams, and while that may not impress the NBA world at large, I supposed there’s something of note in the Mavs handily putting away the opponents that aren’t on their level. Golf clap for an expected win, a pat on the back for seven straight victories, and let’s move right along.
  • For perhaps the first time all season, both Mavs centers were clicking. Tyson Chandler set the season-high in rebounding for Dallas this season with 18 boards, and added nine points (2-3 FG) for the hell of it. Brendan Haywood (seven points, 10 rebounds) was forced to sub for Chandler early thanks to a few unfortunate whistles, and though Haywood had a few decisions worthy of a good head scratch (at the 3:43 mark in the first, he abandoned his box out to chase a block against the already covered Kevin Love, and in doing so allowed Darko Milicic to slam home an uncontested put-back), he did a fine job in his 21 minutes.
  • There’s an interesting difference in the way we do and should evaluate the shooting of Jason Terry and Caron Butler. JET had a nice showing, but also drained a pair of step-back three-pointers that would have induced eye rolls had they come off of Butler’s fingers. It’s not just because Terry is a better shooter — which he certainly is — but that we know that Terry knows better. JET moves brilliantly without the ball. He seeks spot-up opportunities or smart pull-ups out of the pick-and-roll. He isn’t one to attempt doomed iso possessions repetitively, as he’ll willingly give up the ball because he understands that if open, it will find him. Essentially, those attempts, whether made or missed, are atypical rather than part of a depressing pattern.
  • To his credit, Butler had a nice night. He only contributed 10 points, but did so on eight shots while only committing two turnovers. It’s also worth noting that both of those turnovers came while trying to attack the basket, which sure beats the alternative.
  • DeShawn Stevenson had a surprisingly versatile third quarter. He hit a three, drew a shooting foul, attacked the basket, and threw two lobs to Tyson Chandler. One of those lobs resulted in Michael Beasley fouling Chandler, and the other went a little something like this:
  • Dallas actually shot better from three-point range (41.7%) than they did from two-point range (41.3%). Shawn Marion had gone 1-for-10 from three so far this season, but made two of his four attempts in this one. J.J. Barea is still struggling from distance (1-4 3FG), but still boosted his humbling three-point shooting percentage to 16.7%.
  • Jason Terry shot 50% from the field for the first time in seven games. Welcome back, JET.
  • Shawn Marion (16 points, eight rebounds) continues to thrive, though this night was a bit more inefficient than usual. He still had 16 points on 14 shots, but completed just 35.7% of his field goal attepts. One thing I’m loving about Marion this season: he’s far more decisive than he was last year. There’s no hesitation in his moves, and no attempt to turn each catch into some kind of dribbling diagnostic. He catches and goes, getting right by slower defenders like Kevin Love and catching some of his quicker opponents off-guard with his first step. It makes a world of difference.
  • Jason Kidd shot 2-of-11 from the field. He had four assists to just three turnovers. He shot 20% from three-point range, and contributed only five points. So naturally, because he’s Jason Kidd, he had a +14 raw plus/minus.
  • Terry is so good at tight-roping the baseline after foregoing a look from the corner. He doesn’t have the passing savvy to thread the needle to a cutter, but he regularly attacks that baseline to either find Dirk spotting up on the opposite wing or a three-point shooter open at the top of the key. On a related note: JET notched seven assists and just one turnover.
  • Brian Cardinal hit a pair of three-pointers in the third quarter, the second of which sparked this celebration from Dirk Nowitzki:

    Cardinal is already referred to as “The Custodian” and “The Janitor.” Is Dirk adding “The Truck Driver” to the list? “The Train Conductor?”

  • The down side to Dominique Jones’ D-League assignment? His absence in games like this one. I’m not sure how much garbage time minutes really facilitate his development, but it’s a nice blowout draw to see him out there even in a game that’s already been decided.
  • Dirk Nowitzki finished with 10 points on 4-of-11 shooting, and the Mavs win by 14. Even with the Wolves in the building, that’s a nice touch.
  • Aside from Wesley Johnson (2-3 FG) and Kosta Koufos (1-1 FG), every Timberwolves player hit less than half of their field goal attempts.
  • bryan

    im pretty sure the new nick for cardinal is “the pain train”

  • Phil

    One thought on the Dominique Jones D-League topic:

    Instead of playing some 15+ gargabe minutes in the NBA, he played 31min and put up an impressive stat line: 25pts (10/14, 1/1 3pt, 4/5 FT), 5 assists, 3rb (all on the offensive end), 2 steals and just 1 TO….

    Now, one can argue that these kinds of stats happen if the game ends 135-112 with most of the players trying to show off their individual offensive skills rather than being committed to the team effort, but nonetheless, I think a 1-2 week stint is worth for Dominique and the Mavs.

    • http://www.thetwomangame.com Rob Mahoney

      It's more than just worth it. If Jones isn't playing for the Mavs, he should be playing for the Legends. It's exactly the reason why Donnie Nelson bought the franchise in the first place, and if the Mavs aren't using the D-League in part to develop their own prospects while they still can, they're wasting a valuable opportunity.

      It might be necessary to keep Jones around for now to have the depth and the extra practice guard, but once Rodrigue Beaubois is healthy again, I'd love to see Jones make a more permanent move to Frisco. He's too good for the D, really, but considering the alternative is cleaning up minutes at the end of a deep rotation, sticking with the Legends should be good for him.

      My motivations for declaring his absence a downside to this game were purely selfish. I just enjoy watching the guy play.

  • Jai

    I'm aware that it's good to give the veterans some rest after the game has been put away. But still, the team the mavs had on the floor at the very end was just…well, let's just say that everytime it looks like the mavs have a solid 20-point blowout, these guys find a way to mess that up. I know that this is quite inconsequential, and that the only effect it has is on the margins…but it's funny how this doesn't happen to other teams. Look at the Jazz last night: they gave their starters rest, and still won by a huge margin.