The Rundown is back. Every Monday, The Rundown will chronicle the week that was for the Mavericks, as well as let you know what is coming up for the boys in blue, with a unique spin. Simply put, it is your Monday catch-up on all things with the Dallas Mavericks.
The first full week of the regular season has passed, and the Dallas Mavericks emerged with a 2-1 record. The revolving door that is the back end of the 15-man rotation saw some activity as the newest Maverick left in place of a different option. It’s been quite an eye-opening first week for the Mavericks, so let’s take a look at the week for that was.
Did THAT Really Happen?
- The Troy Murphy Experience began as the Mavericks signed him to a one-year deal officially on Friday. To make room for Murphy, the Mavericks released Eddy Curry. With the Mavericks still needing to protect their depth in the backcourt and needing a change of philosophy in the frontcourt, the Mavericks decided to go away from the scoring option of Curry and go with more of a well-rounded option in Murphy. Murphy has the ability to spread the floor with his range as well as grab rebounds. The rebounding was on display on Saturday as he grabbed five rebounds in nine minutes off the bench.
- After scoring 12 points in each of Dallas’ first two games, O.J. Mayo poured in a game-high 30 points to go along with a season-high six rebounds and three assists in 32 minutes vs. Charlotte on 11/3. He made 10 field goals in a game for the 28th time in his career but the first since 12/18/10, 11-of-19 from the field at San Antonio on 12/18/10. In just his third game as a Maverick, Mayo connected on a career-high seven 3-pointers against Charlotte, previous high: six on two occasions. Last year, Dallas didn’t have a player score 30-plus points in a game until the 21st game of the season, Jason Terry, 34, vs. San Antonio 1/29/12.
He’s starting to find a groove in the offense, after much work before and after practices as well as some late night shooting visits back to the American Airlines Center. He’s definitely finding a way to make things happen. In a weird way, he’s actually doing much better farther away from the basket. Through the first three games of the season, Mayo is 12-of-19 outside the 3-point arc and 5-of-20 inside it. He’s had a couple of plays go against him when he’s tried to attack towards the basket. Foul calls were expected, but they never arrived and he was forced to take difficult shots. He’ll adjust his game over time, but it’s looking like Mayo’s outside shot is really cooking.
- Roddy Beaubois suffered another ankle injury at the end of practice on Friday afternoon. He turned his ankle as practice was coming to an end and wound up being inactive for the game against Charlotte. It has been classified as a minor issue by the team, but it has been frustrating to see Roddy have injury after injury pop up. We’ll see how Beaubois reacts when he gets back out on the floor. He had shown some promise through the first two games of the season he played in.
Box Score Revelations
- Depth will be huge for the Mavericks while Dirk Nowitzki is out. It has been on display in a big way to start the year. Six players scored in double figures for the Mavericks in the season-opening win over the Lakers on 10/30 and the win against the Bobcats on 11/3. Including the preseason, there have been three out of four games that Dallas has had six players in double digits. What’s more, nine out of the 10 players that saw the floor for Dallas against the Lakers had at least seven points apiece, eight players finished with at least eight points. In the preseason finale vs. Charlotte on 10/26, nine out of the 10 Mavericks that saw the court managed at least six points. The Mavericks were 5-2 when they had at least six players in double digits in 2011-12.
- The depth carries over to the bench. The Mavericks have outscored their opponent’s bench in each of the first three games of the season and are averaging 45.0 bench points per game in 2012-13. The Mavericks averaged 41.0 points off the bench in 2011-12, which ranked third in the league.
- The Mavericks shot the lights out in their home opener against the Bobcats. The Mavericks outshot the Bobcats 61.3 percent, 49-of-80, to 42.9 percent, 39-of-91, from the field in the win on 11/3. It was the highest field goal percentage the Mavericks recorded in a game since 11/25/09, shot 65.5 percent, 55-84, at Houston. The Mavericks defeated the Bobcats 126-99. It was their highest scoring game since 3/10/11, defeated New York 127-109. The most points the Mavericks scored in a game in 2011-12 was 122 at Phoenix on 1/30/12. They defeated the Suns 122-99. The Mavericks also went 16-of-25, 64.2 percent, from beyond the arc in the win over Charlotte. It was the most 3-pointers they made in a game since 3/27/10. 16–of-30,
53.3 percemt. Dallas is living well from beyond the arc as they are shooting 32-of-62, 51.6 percent, from 3-point range on the season.
Check Your Calendar
Late March brings a heavy dose of reunions, but this week is an underrated grouping of matchups that bring unique reunions to the forefront.
- Dallas will host the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday evening. They will get to see a familiar nemesis in LaMarcus Aldridge. They will also see a new star in the making in Damian Lillard. The electric young guard will be a force in the league for years to come. It will be a good first look for many Maverick fans. It should be a great matchup at the guard positions between Damian Lillard and Wesley Matthews v. Darren Collison and O.J. Mayo. Rick Carlisle will be able to see his former assistant Terry Stotts operating as the head coach for the Trail Blazers. Stotts was the offensive coordinator for Carlisle from 2008-2012. He was with the Mavericks during their championship run in 2011.
- The final game of the three-game homestand will take place on Wednesday as the Mavericks host the Toronto Raptors. Another former assistant will be in town as Dwane Casey comes into Dallas for the second time since leaving to take the Toronto job. Casey was an assistant with Dallas from 2008-11 and was on staff when the Mavericks won the 2011 NBA championship
- Dallas heads out on the road over the weekend as they face the New York Knicks in New York on Friday. It will be the first chance for Maverick fans to see Jason Kidd in a Knicks uniform. They will also get to see former Maverick Tyson Chandler in action. It should be interesting to see how the Mavericks handle the firepower the Knicks have at their disposal. The Mavericks used to be one of the oldest teams in the league over recent time, but the Knicks surely take that title now. With players such as Marcus Camby, Jason Kidd, Pablo Prigioni, Kurt Thomas and Rasheed Wallace, that’s five players over the age of 35.
- Dallas will head straight to Charlotte after Friday’s game as Saturday’s game against the Bobcats marks the second game of their back-to-back. It’s been well documented the success the Mavericks have had over the Bobcats. Simply put, Dallas needs to take care of business against Charlotte.
[Three up, Three down has been taken over by someone who can do it much better than me. Be sure to check out Travis Wimberly's Thermodynamics column. Be on the lookout for a new feature within the rundown next week.]
BG’s Baller of the Week
Baller status has been granted to Darren Collison. We’ve seen quite the transformation out of the young point guard over a span of three weeks. He’s topped it off with three quality performances to start the season. He recorded his first double-double with the Mavericks, 22nd career, with 18 points and a game-high 10 assists vs. Charlotte on 11/3. He’s showing a great knack for scoring consistency as he has now scored 17-plus points in each of Dallas’ first three games of the season. He’s using his speed and athleticism to pester opponents with a full-court press. He’s also using those assets to cause havoc as he drives to the lane. Layups are definitely high-percentage opportunities and he’s getting his fair share of those. The Mavericks’ point guard has shot 61.1 percent, 22-of-36 from the field. To top it of, Darren is showing range as he’s shooting 4-of-5, 80 percent, from 3-point range through the first three games.
Collison is a night and day difference for the Mavericks at the point guard position. He is a major breath of fresh air. The guard is showing that his time in Indiana just led to him being a system that didn’t play to his strengths. We’re seeing the Darren Collison that took the NBA by storm as he replaced an injured Chris Paul during his rookie season. Collison will be one of the most coveted restricted free agents this next summer. It appears that Mark Cuban will get the best-case scenario as Collison, and O.J. Mayo, are playing as well as the team had hoped they would be coming into this season. They’ll have the money to retain them and make them the new star pieces for the future. Collison has shown great improvement over the last three weeks. It’s quite scary to imagine how good he could actually be.
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.