Setting the Table: Indiana Pacers (Game 10)

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on November 16, 2012 under Previews | Read the First Comment

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For the Dallas Mavericks (5-4), it’s another weekend, another back-to-back against Eastern Conference opponents. They will start it off by facing the Indiana Pacers (3-6). The Mavericks are 1-1 in the first half of a back-to-back and 0-2 in the second half of a back-to-back this season. The Mavericks have 16 back-to-backs in 2012-13, with only one stretch of four games in five nights. In total, 10 back-to-backs are on the road, three begin at home and conclude on the road and three are road-to-home. Dallas played 22 back-to-backs in 2011-12, going 7-15 in the first half and 13-9 in the second half of those back-to-backs.

There will be reunions as Darren Collison, Dahntay Jones and Ian Mahinmi get to see their former teams for the first time this season. More importantly, it appears Shawn Marion (sprained MCL) is going to give it a go and play against the Pacers. He has missed the last five games due to the injury.

Here are some notes to get you ready for the game between the Mavericks and the Pacers.

Series Notes:

The Mavericks have taken 10 of the last 13 overall meetings between the two teams. The Mavericks and the Pacers met once in 2011-12 (on 2/3/12) and Indiana recorded a 98-87 victory on the road. Dallas had won seven straight and 11-of-12 at home before falling to Indiana at American Airlines Center on 2/3/12. The Pacers have won 13 of the last 19 matchups in
Indiana.

It’s a Small World:

Rick Carlisle coached the Pacers for three seasons from 2003-07. He amassed a 181-147 (.552) record with Indiana, while leading the team to three straight postseason appearances. In his first year with Indiana (2003), Carlisle led the Pacers to the NBA’s best record (61-21), the most victories in franchise history, the best winning percentage in team history (.744) and a Central Division Championship. He also led the Pacers to the 2004 Eastern Conference Finals where they eventually lost to the Pistons.

The Mavericks acquired guards Darren Collison and Dahntay Jones from Indiana in exchange for center Ian Mahinmi on 7/12/12. Collison played two seasons with Indiana from 2010-12, while Jones played three years for the Pacers from 2009-12. Mahinmi played two seasons with Dallas from 2010-12 and averaged 4.5 points and 3.5 rebounds in 117 regular-season games (12 starts) with the Mavericks. Mahinmi was a member of the Mavericks’ 2011 NBA championship team.

Mavericks assistant coach Jim O’Brien was the head coach of the Pacers from 2007-11. Mavericks forward Shawn Marion attended junior college at Vincennes University in Indiana before transferring to UNLV. Mavericks forward Brandan Wright was a college teammate of Pacers forward Tyler Hansbrough at the University of North Carolina during the 2006-07 season. Mavericks forward Troy Murphy played collegiately at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana. Murphy also played three-and-a-half seasons for the Pacers from 2007-10. Mavericks guard O.J. Mayo played two-and-a-half seasons with Pacers forward Sam Young on the Memphis Grizzlies from 2009-12. Pacers guard Gerald Green appeared in 38 games (12 starts) for the Mavericks in 2008-09 and averaged 5.2 points and 1.4 rebounds in 10.0 minutes.

Three Keys:

1. Let the big man do his thing. Chris Kaman did well in his starting center role in the game against Minnesota. He scored a season-high 23 points to go along with a season-high-tying eight rebounds, a season-high-tying three assists, one steal and one block in 32 minutes vs. Washington (11/14). He 23-point effort was tied for the most points by a Mavs center since 2000-01 (Tyson Chandler had 23 vs. Washington 2/26/11). It was Kaman’s second 20-point outing of the season (his previous high scoring game this year was 22 vs. Toronto 11/7/12). He is shooting 64.4 percent (47-of-73) from the floor this season. On the season, Indiana has given up an average of 36.0 points in the paint, the third lowest mark in the league. The opposition has scored 39.5 percent of its points from the paint and that is seventh lowest in the NBA. Dallas has averaged 41.9 points in the paint over their last five games. Indiana is 0-3 this season when they have fewer points in the paint than their opponent.

2. Contain Roy Hibbert. With Danny Granger injured (received an injection treatment for left patellar tendinosis on 11/6, and is one week into an approximate 12-week recovery time), the Pacers are going to rely heavily on Hibbert. In the last six games, he has averaged 8.5 points and shot only 31.7 percent from the field. In his first three appearances, he averaged 11.0 points and shot 53.6 percent from the field. Dallas has to be aware of Hibbert as they box out defenders when going for defensive rebounds. Hibbert is sixth in the NBA with an average of 4.1 offensive rebounds/game, which is second in the Eastern Conference.

3. Play with more poise. In their last game against the Wizards, the Mavericks opened up a 22-point advantage (67-45) in the third quarter and led by 18 (85-67) after three. But the Wizards began the fourth quarter on an 18-3 run and cut the deficit to three (88-85) with seven minutes to go in the game. Dallas’ lead never dipped below three points in the second half however, and the Mavericks hung on for a 107-101 win. Dallas has to learn how to win games in crunch situations, but they also need to learn to keep an opponent down and out when they put them in that position.

Bryan Gutierrez writes about sportsmen. He is a contributing writer for Mavs.com. Bryan also attended Ball So Hard University. You can follow him on Twitter @BallinWithBryan.