The Difference: Dallas Mavericks 94, Utah Jazz 113

Posted by Kirk Henderson on November 1, 2012 under Recaps | 3 Comments to Read

Waves Crashing2

Box Score — Play-by-Play — Shot Chart — Game Flow

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

  • Rebounding is going to be a bugaboo for Dallas this year. While the team can live with getting out rebounded (it happened last night against the Lakers) losing the rebound margin by 61-40 is unacceptable.  Giving up 20 rebounds on the offensive end is atrocious. Part of those particular statistics can be attributed to the fact that the Utah Jazz front line rotation is formidable (more on them later). The other aspect is that Dallas was out hustled and out of position with alarming frequency. While we all value the contribution Brandan Wright has given Dallas this season, he collected 3 rebounds in 25 minutes. It has to be a team effort against a front line as physical as Utah’s.
  • The third quarter was where the game was lost. Giving up offensive rebounds, sloppy play, and poor shot selection sealed the Mavericks fate fairly quickly. That Dallas only managed to put up 13 points to Utah’s 37 didn’t help either. The team fell in love with the long two point shot due to the  extended defensive pressure of the Jazz. We all know is the most inefficient shot in basketball for players not named Dirk Nowitzki is the long two. Dallas hit these shots last night against LA (Vince Carter comes to mind), but its not a shot that is going to help Dallas consistently win games. Attacking the basket with consistency is the best bet for a successful Dallas offense.
  • 12 turnovers in the second half obviously didn’t help things either.
  • Darren Collison (17 points, 7 assists, 4 rebounds) really is a breath of fresh air. While he struggled in the 3rd and 4th quarters, his attacking mentality early in the first quarter and then later again in the second is what kept Dallas in this game early on, despite the rebounding advantage from Utah. He also has posted on 3 turnovers in 65 minutes of playing time this season.
  • Brandan Wright (15 points, 3 rebounds, 2 blocks) is 12 for 13 from the field this season. His confidence on the offensive end is impressive against two great front lines. He’s also developed fast chemistry with all of the guards in the Dallas rotation, particularly the aforementioned Darren Collison.
  • Let us pause and admire the Utah Jazz frontline rotation. Al Jefferson, Paul Millsap, Derrick Favors, and Enes Kanter were responsible for 46 of Utah’s 61 rebounds. Favors managed to grab 10 in only eighteen minutes of action. There aren’t enough minutes for that much talent.
  • Coach Carlisle managed to play his entire team tonight. Coming off the Laker game where only 9 Mavs saw significant action, 11 different Mavericks had seen action by halftime.  Looking at the distribution, it was clear he was trying to buy rest for Brand and Marion, each of which played heavy minutes against LA.
  • That lead to some interesting line ups.  The Eddy Curry experiment did not go well or last long this evening. He didn’t stand much of a chance against any member of the Jazz front line on the defensive end and I am a bit confused as to why Dallas insisted on force feeding him the ball on offensive.
  • Bernard James saw action tonight, posting totals of 8 points and 6 rebounds. While he was largely ineffective against the Utah front line, so was the rest of the Dallas rotation. I was pleased to see how active he was around the basket.
  • I’m curious as to why Roddy Beaubois (8 points, 1 rebound, 2 steals) didn’t get more time while the game was still in reach. His shot selection was good, his defense was outstanding, and he ran the offense with competence. I’ve not always been a supporter of Roddy’s, yet I do think he deserves more of a chance to prove himself in the rotation.
  • This was Jae Crowder’s (8 points, 3 rebounds) first disappointing game as a Maverick.  His shot selection was questionable at times and he really didn’t affect the game defensively, which has been a hallmark of his in pre-season games. But it’s important to remember he’s a rookie and honestly outside of Collison and Wright, no Maverick particularly shined tonight.
  • Elton Brand (5 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 steals, 2 blocks) looks to be really struggling offensively. He’s yet to look comfortable and really floats away from the basket at times. Moving forward it will be interesting to see if this is just an issue against tall front lines or if Brand’s game has yet to adapt to his declining athleticism.  I’d like to chalk it up to the former. He’s played some really solid post defense over the last two games.
  • O.J. Mayo (12 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists) is a puzzle. He’s shooting just under 33% total, he’s 2-13 from two point range.  H’s only gotten four shots in the paint and has missed them all. The other seven misses have come from near the three point, the previously mentioned long two point shot.  I don’t know what to make of any of these stats. But I do know that Mayo must improve his shooting if Dallas is to have any chance of weathering the storm sans Dirk.
  • Dahntay Jones had a rough go this evening. Vince Carter’s foul problems forced Carlisle to use Jones in a way that really doesn’t play to his strengths. There will be more opportunities for Jones to show Mavs fans his worth as the season goes along.
  • To be fair to Mr. Mayo, he wasn’t the only Mav to shoot the ball poorly tonight. The team might have shot 37.5% from the floor, if you take out the three point shots, the Mavericks only shot 33% from inside the arc. Taking that even further, if you remove Wright’s 7-8 from the floor, Dallas was stuck shooting 14 for 55 inside the arc. That’s 25.5%. Impressively bad, really. Part of that was solid defense from the Jazz and part of that was poor shot selection.
  • The Jared Cunningham sighting during garbage time was fun. He probably will see little action this year, but he already seemed to have a knack for attacking the basket fearlessly. It didn’t work out very well, but that was part of the already mentioned trend.
  • How Carlisle steals minutes of rest here and there for his main rotation players has been very interesting to watch. The Mavericks got pounded in the third with their starters on the floor, but seeing Roddy, Jae, Bernard James, etc. get playing time and be contributors has been fascinating. I would not have pegged depth to be a strength of Dallas, but given Dirk and Kaman’s injuries, it looks like something Carlisle is intent on developing.
  • Roddy picking the pocket of a veteran guard for the second straight night was just delightful.
  • Going 1-1 on a West Coast road trip against two probable playoff teams while dealing with two significant roster absences is nothing to scoff at. While tonight’s game may have been frustrating the goal for Dallas is to stand against the tide while waiting for Dirk to heal. If they see certain players earn minutes and others fall out of the potential rotation, so be it.  All in all, I’m very pleased with how the season has started.

Kirk Henderson is a member of The Two Man Game family. You can follow Kirk on Twitter @KirkSeriousFace


  • Ryan

    Can we chalk this one up to playing on the road on the 2nd night of a back-to-back against a playoff team having their home opener? Probably one of the toughest situations in sports to win in, and the fact that we were ahead at the half was promising.

    • Christian Carbajosa

      not to mention it was IN Utah! great showing and promise. Just got tired, no doubt man.

  • Moses

    Not a bad two-game road swing, but “frustrating” was the word of the day. I’m already sick of seeing opposing players yank rebounds out of the air directly in front of EVERY Maverick. Try to find a Mav that put consistent effort and detail into cleaning the glass – I didn’t see it.