The Difference: Dallas Mavericks 112, Golden State Warriors 106

Posted by Rob Mahoney on March 17, 2011 under Recaps | 2 Comments to Read

Screen shot 2011-03-17 at 3.47.01 AM

Box ScorePlay-by-PlayShot ChartGameFlow

TeamPaceOff. Eff.eFG%FT/FGORB%TOR
Dallas92.0121.757.131.229.415.2
Golden State115.256.715.918.414.1

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

  • The Mavs trailed by 18 points in the first quarter, and came back to win this game in spite of themselves. Hooray? Victories are certainly valuable (particularly with the Mavs now in a tie with the Lakers for the West’s second seed), but I doubt this game did anything to quell the doubts many have about this team’s playoff chances. If Dallas is a contender, they’re certainly the most vulnerable of the bunch.
  • Initial shot defense may not have been the problem on Tuesday against the Blazers, but Dallas did a horrendous job of contesting the Warriors’ opportunities or limiting their shots at the rim. It wasn’t just the perimeter defenders, either; Tyson Chandler and Dirk Nowitzki were routinely caught out of position as they stared down an uncontested Golden State dunk or layup. When Vladimir Radmanovic is rolling to the rim untouched for a slam off a pick-and-roll, the defense probably isn’t working properly. Chandler has certainly done a lot to improve Dallas’ defensive execution this season, but his impact has probably been overstated through the second half of the season. There’s no question that Chandler is a positive influence, but if the Mavs aren’t limiting opponents to a reasonable number of points per possession, then all of the laudation rings hollow.
  • Dirk Nowitzki had another remarkably efficient scoring performance that was somehow still unremarkable by his own ridiculous standard. 34 points on 22 shots is in no way normal, but that’s just the kind of thing that Dirk does. To add 13 boards to help round out Nowitzki’s overall line should be considered unfair, but while that sum is well above his season and career averages, this was just another nice rebounding effort. An interesting wrinkle in this one, though: Nowitzki hit the offensive glass hard in this game, and finished with six boards on that end. Some of those rebounds came off of his own blown attempts from the paint mind you, but that offensive rebounding total is still quite notable.
  • Also working the glass: Jason Terry (19 points, 7-12 FG, six assists, six rebounds). JET grabbed six boards of his own, and they weren’t caroms that managed to bounce their way to a grounded guard. Terry really worked to contribute in that regard, and occasionally took rebounds away from the Warrior bigs. It’d also be a shame not to make mention of Terry’s scoring impact, as he provided crucial baskets to empower the Mavs during their various rallies. JET’s jumper was working but he also didn’t shy away from driving to the rim, and the Warriors’ lack of shot-blocking or rotating bigs provided plenty of opportunities for Terry to get to the cup.
  • Rodrigue Beaubois (18 points, 7-11 FG, four assists, four steals) played a career-high 37 minutes, in part because Rick Carlisle utilized him in a three-guard lineup featuring Terry and Jason Kidd (four points, 1-6 FG, 11 assists, five rebounds, four turnovers) in addition to more conventional five-man units. Beaubois was as spectacular offensively as his stat line suggests, but he also did a tremendous defensive job guarding Monta Ellis (26 points, 10-20 FG, 11 assists, six rebounds, five turnovers). Corey Brewer started the night on Ellis duty, but after a relatively short stint in the first quarter, it was Beaubois who primarily defended the high-scoring guard. Ellis dropped 10 points on 5-of-6 shooting in the first frame, but went just 4-of-13 for 13 points the rest of the way (excluding a stint when Beaubois was on the bench) while being defended by a combination of Beaubois and Terry. Though an intriguing defensive prospect, Beaubois didn’t exactly produce on that end during his rookie year, so to see such significant improvement over the last two games in that aspect of his play is promising.
  • Honorary ‘Mavs Allow a Marginal Player to Make a Substantial Impact’ selection: Acie Law (15 points, 5-7 FG, six assists), who had the game of his life. Dallas has been better about limiting role players this season, but Law somehow squeaked through the cracks…possibly because he’s not even rightfully considered a role player. Law isn’t a rotation-quality NBA guard, and yet he dominated against Dallas’ horrendous defense.