Team Pace Off. Eff. eFG% FT/FG ORB% TOR
Dallas 90.0 98.9 47.5 22.2 32.6 16.7
Los Angeles 101.1 47.1 19.5 37.2 15.6
You know the drill. The Difference is a reflection on the game that was, with one bullet for every point in the final margin.
- Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: the Mavericks played poorly, inexplicably managed to keep things close, and then lost a game they could have — though shouldn’t have — won. It’s a bummer of a story to have to follow twice, but Dallas fittingly used their trip through Hollywood as an excuse to reuse the same tired plot line. In theory, this was a perfect chance for the Mavs to fine tune their offense; the Clips have been pretty miserable on the defensive end this season, and with Chris Paul — L.A.’s top perimeter defender and resident turnover-generating machine — out of the lineup, the Mavs’ opponents looked more like hapless prey. That (theoretical) opportunity was squandered, as the Dallas offense officially segued from patient to stagnant. The Clippers played some terrific preemptive defense (they had every one of Jason Terry’s pet moves completely pegged), complacency took over, and the Mavs frittered away the good looks that they were actually able to create. They’ll get better on that end, if only because they’ve reached a baffling level of offensive inefficiency. The flow of the offense is capable of producing so much more than it is, at present. Dirk Nowitzki (17 points, 6-18 FG, seven rebounds) is an excellent shooter capable of hitting open shots. Terry (12 points, 5-13 FG, five assists, four turnovers) is a better decision maker than he’s shown recently. Jason Kidd (five points, 10 assists, four turnovers) and Lamar Odom (five points, 1-4 FG, seven rebounds) are still very good NBA players, even though they’ve done little to warrant that status of late. These are very basic truths, and even the Mavs’ sloppy play against the Lakers and stunted performance against the Clippers can’t undo their empirical validity. It’s useless to ask anyone to be patient at this stage in the season, but we can all recognize that the offensive fluidity only improves from here.
- If you’re in the mood for a scapegoat, it’s tempting to blame Jason Kidd, who allowed Chauncey Billups to throw an inbound pass to Blake Griffin, plod to the three-point line, and nonchalantly drop in a game-winner. It’s an understandable assignment of blame, truly. But I’m more inclined to point the finger at the other Jason Kidd — the one who actively looked as if he were trying to sabotage the Mavs for lengthy stretches of Wednesday’s game. He threw a backdoor feed to a photographer. He blew defensive assignments against players he was more than capable of covering. He made perfectly placed passes to opposing defenders. He finished with 10 assists after some impressive damage control, but played miserably for the majority of this game. At least Terry’s mistakes were the results of well-intended aggressive play; Kidd’s errors came through poor effort or careless mistakes, and it’s a wonder that Rick Carlisle kept him in the game as long as he did. I’m normally not one to question Carlisle’s rotation, as the man has done more than enough to earn trust and leeway in his management of the team’s minutes. But the decision to play Kidd and marginalize Delonte West — who scored 17 points on 6-of-11 shooting in the first half before fading out of the picture in the second — was a fairly baffling one.