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 starting front court of Shawn Marion, Dirk Nowitzki and Chris Kaman doesn’t make a lot of sense. The spacing offensively is really rough, and defensively neither Dirk nor Kaman can play very good man to man defense or recover well on pick and rolls (though I’d argue each is a competent help defender). The Carter, Dirk, Elton Brand front court, however, has good spacing, and Brand seems to fit better defensively with Dirk, particularly as a rim protector. It was understandable that Carlisle went with Marion on that final possession since the Vasquez pick and roll meant a switch would be to the Maverick’s advantage, but the leaving Marion in as the “center”, along with Collison, Mayo, Carter, and Dirk for the second straight overtime simply didn’t work. I really don’t get why Carlisle went away from the line up from the last four minutes of the game. Then again, had Mayo hit any of the wide open shots he had in the overtime, we’d be having a different discussion.
- In the third, Dirk Nowitzki (20 points, six rebounds) had back to back threes coming as the trailer for the transition offense. Any other trailer in the Dallas offense immediately continues swinging the ball around the perimeter. The threat of Dirk literally opens up the entire Dallas offense. He has the green light to shoot, drive, or reverse the ball, and is also a threat to make an interior post feed as he did to Kaman for a lay up later in the quarter after a Mayo ball reversal.
- It feels like ages since O.J. Mayo (14 points, five rebounds) played a complete game. Tonight he kept his turnovers down, but couldn’t hit the broadside of a barn and failed to notch a single assist. As Mayo has improved throughout the first half of the season, it’s become easy to nit pick aspects of his game. Lately, it’s been his propensity to turn the ball over. However, I’d like to see him stop biting on pump fakes on long jump shots. In the second quarter, he bit on a Ryan Anderson pump fake, which led to a give and go lay up for Anderson. With Anderson being 6’10″, Mayo isn’t going to block his shot. All he can do is challenge with a hand up. Defensively, Mayo is a liability far too often.
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.