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 seeds of a close loss are often sewn in little details throughout a game. One might not notice them at first, but then, upon reflection, it becomes easy to pick out a few things which might have turned the tide. The major reason tonight was turnovers, 27 of them to be exact. In 58 minutes of basketball, Dallas managed to turn the ball over nearly once every two minutes. That 16 of them were spread between the primary ball handlers in O.J. Mayo (24 points, nine turnovers) and Darren Collison (20 points, seven turnovers) is frustrating because each played remarkable basketball during key moments to make the game close. When playing a team as adept as Boston at blitzing the pick and roll (the Rajon Rondo-Kevin Garnett trap was devastating), unforced turnovers usually kill a team’s chances early. Instead they came back to haunt Dallas as the Mavs never got a handle on taking care of the ball, even late in the second overtime.
- The lack of a solid spot up shooter for Dallas is resulting in less efficient offensive attempts during stretches of play. Outside of Mayo and Vince Carter (10 points, eight rebounds, five assists) there really isn’t a shooter capable of hitting the open corner threes that are available within the Dallas offense. Mayo and Carter rarely get these chances as they are often the play maker or facilitator within the offense. Over the past few games I’ve see Dahntay Jones, Collison, and Marion all end up with the ball the corner as a result of great ball movement only to pass up on an open three or brick them badly (the main recent exception was Collison’s three in the third tonight when Dallas fought to make the game close again). When Dirk returns I expect the team to see even more of these looks as he draws so much attention while operating in the center of the floor and hopefully Mayo and Carter will be the main beneficiaries.
Kirk is a member of the Two Man Game family. Follow him on twitter @KirkSeriousFace for ranting about Dallas basketball, TV, movies, video games, and his dog.