The Difference: Chicago Bulls 82, Dallas Mavericks 77

Posted by Rob Mahoney on January 21, 2011 under Recaps | 2 Comments to Read

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

  • In the last two games, the Mavericks have experienced contests of completely different complexion. Against the Lakers, both teams moved the ball well and poured in points with only periodic defensive resistance. Against the Bulls, neither team could score even remotely well, and the offensive struggles were far more deep-seated than players missing makeable jumpers. Neither team could set up and execute on account of the other team’s defense, and though it was an ugly product from a basketball standpoint, it’s nice to see the Mavs’ D in full effect. 90.6 points per 100 possessions is a hideous number, but 96.5 points allowed per 100 possessions? Oh so pretty.
  • Dirk Nowitzki (19 points, 6-16 FG, four rebounds) is not completely healthy. You can see it on his turnarounds, particularly deep in the post. Many of his attempts look like poor imitations of his usual routine, as Nowitzki fails to create the same amount of space that affords him time to release. You can see it on his help defense in man-to-man or when he rotates in the zone; Dirk is just a half-second slower when an opponent makes a quick pass or cut. The Mavs’ offense looks even more painful with Nowitzki out, but it’s hard not to wonder if a bit more rest would have best for Dirk. Here’s to hoping the training staff knows what they’re doing, because without Nowitzki in the mix, the Mavs are a miserable watch.
  • Jason Terry (12 points, 5-14 FG, four assists) returned to Earth, DeShawn Stevenson attempted all 10 of his shots from beyond the arc, Jason Kidd leveled out (2-of-4 shooting from three but only eight points overall, six rebounds but only three assists to six turnovers), Shawn Marion (six points, 2-7 FG, three turnovers) misfired, Sasha Pavlovic disappeared, and J.J. Barea missed each of his four shot attempts. Maverick basketball! Catch the fever!
  • It’s honestly shocking that the turnover numbers for both teams weren’t more horrendous. Both teams had a lot of trouble holding onto the ball, but in a lot of cases, it translated into wild shot attempts or recovered loose balls, but neither team was in any kind of offensive sync, and that applied on the catch as well as the shot.
  • In the game against L.A., the Lakers’ offensive rebounds were painful, but only because their misses were so few. Dallas struggled to get any stops whatsoever, so it was noticeable when they squandered the opportunity due to poor rebounding. Yet overall, the L.A. didn’t have a particularly effective night on the offensive glass. Chicago was a bit different. The Bulls pulled in 34.7% of available boards on the offensive end, with the geriatric Kurt Thomas accounting for five of Chicago’s 51 offensive boards. Nowitzki and Brendan Haywood weren’t much help on the defensive glass, and Tyson Chandler and Shawn Marion alone couldn’t box out everyone. Four of the Bulls’ starters had at least three offensive rebounds. That’s a failure in rebounding team-wide, and these defensive rebounding problems have been a recurring theme for the Mavs all season.
  • Bgalella

    This was one of the ugliest games I've seen all season. No one shot the ball particularly well for Dallas. The Mavericks need Dirk Nowitzki healthy, it's clear if he's even just a little off his game, the team can't handle it.

  • Hanz

    You never update this blog anymore Rob. What gives?