The Difference: Dallas Mavericks 127, Atlanta Hawks 113

Posted by Connor Huchton on March 19, 2013 under Recaps | 2 Comments to Read

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

  • How many teams have lost in NBA history after scoring 127 points in regulation?
  • Not many, if any, and the Mavericks didn’t join that barely existent or nonexistent group on Monday.
  • Dirk Nowitzki (7-11 FG, 2-2 3PT, 22 points, six rebounds, five assists) has been fantastic since the All-Star Break. Nothing emphasizes that more than watching him make difficult, long jumpers that anyone else would have absolutely no chance of making.
  • There are few basketball sights more comforting than seeing Dirk pump-fake, create no separation, wait, and drain a long-two regardless of any normal reality otherwise embodied.
  • As I noted the other day, the success of the Mavericks exists in a purely offensive context at this point, and the key to achieving that context is threes.
  • The Mavericks made 13 of 22 attempts from beyond the arc and did so with some unusual style.
  • O.J. Mayo (7-11 FG, 3-4 3PT, 17 points, four assists, one turnover) took the open looks the defense allowed and smartly rejected the ones they didn’t.
  • Mayo made several uncharacteristic passes to open cutters and used his pump-faking ability wisely. When he flows and decides carefully within the offense, few defenses can contend with the Mavericks’ offensive potency.
  • Tonight also displayed how easily Darren Collison (10-14 FG, 24 points, five assists) can decimate an opponent off the pick-and-roll and in transition when the stars align correctly. Collison’s pull-up-from-mid-range game emanated basketball lethality tonight and duly expressed the importance of transitional space in regards to his skill set.
  • The Hawks radiated listless lethargy tonight, striving clumsily to find consistent stops but failing upon the presentation of nearly every key moment.
  • Teams that don’t get back in transition or defend perimeter opportunities tend to struggle against this iteration of the 2012-2013 Mavericks, and the Hawks’ performance falls nicely in line with that category.
  • The Chris Kaman (7-11 FG, 14 points, seven rebounds) situation remains an intriguing oddity, as Kaman may play virtually no minutes or 21, like tonight, if he’s scoring well and the game trends in an offensive direction.
  • He and Brandan Wright (5-9 FG, 12 points, eight rebounds) are a perfect scoring center tandem for a fast-paced contest like this one – they combined for 26 points and 15 rebounds in 42 collective minutes.
  • Finally, if anyone wants to caption this, I’d love to read such a response. Beard battles don’t get much better than Nowitzki-Johnson.
  • Matt Hulme

    As much as the constantly shifting dynamics of Carlisle’s lineups can frustrate at times (to say nothing of the players who must live within it), I think it can have unforeseen benefits, such as the way both Kaman and Wright have upped their game while sharing minutes.

    Wright’s emergence as a true quality center on both ends is about as bright a spot we’ve had this season (with the possible notable exceptions of Jae Crowder’s upside and Dirk’s return to form), and one would hope his offensive prowess will continue to grow as he learns more and more of the defensive strategies the Mavs employ.

    While Kaman’s increase in efficiency and hard-nosed play could largely be attributed to his discord with the decrease in minutes he’s seen since his return, I don’t care, because it’s working. Now if only one of them was big enough to body up on true “big” centers…

    Oh, and as for the caption, my attempt:

    Dirk: “What happened, Ivan? I thought you guys were way over .500!”
    Ivan: “What’re you talking about?”
    Dirk: “Your beard! It’s so long! How many games under are you?”
    Ivan: “What? No, we’re- Would you just shoot the damn ball?!”
    Dirk: “Oh, right. Sorry about this!” *SWISH*

  • Luzce

    High point of the game was seeing the entire Mavs bench make fun of ex-Mav Dahntay Jones padding his stats in the closing seconds of the game, all in good fun.