The Rundown, Volume XX

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on April 22, 2013 under Commentary, Recaps | 2 Comments to Read

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The Rundown is back. Every Monday during the regular season (unless there’s a better feature to run with), The Rundown will chronicle the week that was for the Mavs, 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 end is here. The 2012-13 season for the Dallas Mavericks is officially over. There is some solace that the Mavs were able to finish the season with a record of 41-41. They became the 13th team in NBA history to be 10 games below .500 in a season and finish at .500 or better. The most recent team to achieve that feat before the Mavs was 2010-11 Philadelphia 76ers. The last Western Conference team was 1980-81 Portland Trail Blazers.

That’s a great accomplishment for a team that looked dead in the water back in December and January. That being said, there’s a lot of work to be done this summer for the Mavs if they want to get back to where they were just two years ago. They don’t need to be the number one overall seed in the Western Conference, but they need to get into a spot where they’re not having to scratch and claw just to have a chance to make the playoffs. There will be plenty of time to dissect what the Mavs can do this summer to fix what is ailing them. For now, let’s just look at what exactly happened this season.

Did THAT Really Happen?

- The team crumbled in a big way in the clutch. Dallas played the second most amount of minutes with the score within five points in the final five minutes at 208 (Boston first at 221). Dallas played the second most amount of minutes with the score within three points in final three minutes at 100 (Boston first at 115). The Mavericks played 11 overtime games in 2012-13. Along with Boston, Dallas played the most overtime games in the season. Prior to the 2012-13 campaign, the franchise record for the most overtime games in a season was eight (in 1995-96, 1997-98 and 2009-10).

They went 3-8 in overtime games during the season. Dallas was 5-8 in games in games decided by three points or less. Also, they were 8-24 in games decided by five points in the final three minutes. They certainly weren’t resilient in the form of their ability to come back when being down after three quarters. They were 5-33 in games when they were down going into the fourth quarter.

- It seemed like no one could hold on to a rebound to save their life. Once again, Shawn Marion led the team in rebounding at 7.8 boards a night. That’s a great thing that he’s so tenacious on the glass, but it leads to a bigger issue for the Mavs. As a team, they were 16th in the league in rebounding at 41.9 boards. They weren’t very good at attacking their own misses as they were the fourth worst team in terms of second chance points at 10.7 per game. They gave up the 10th most second chance points allowed at 13.6 per game. It all goes back to rebounding. They were 21-9 in games where they outrebounded their opponent and 19-32 when they were outrebounded. They’ll certainly need to address that issue.

- The Mavs were not very stout on the defensive end of the floor. They had the 11th worst defensive rating in the league at 104.0. Dallas was vulnerable in two spots: the paint and the corners. They allowed the 11th most shots attempted in the restricted area at 27.4 per game and the 10th most shots in the paint (non-restricted area) at 12.4 per game. When it came to the easiest perimeter shot, Dallas allowed the 5th most shots on corner 3s at 6.4 per game.

The first two numbers seem to suggest they had an issue with their interior defense, which is true. But including the last number with the corner 3s really opens up the issue that they struggled with their perimeter defense. It was essentially a swinging gate to the paint. They weren’t a juggernaut on defense the year they won the title, but they were able to have core fundamentals in place and stepped up to the challenge in timely situations. With Dirk Nowitzki and Vince Carter ideally expected back next season, offense won’t necessarily be an issue. They’ll need to work on their team defense.

Box Score Revelations

- O.J. Mayo was a totally different man in the team’s wins opposed to their losses. Mayo shot 49.6 percent from the field, 52.2 percent from 3-point range and scored 17.1 points in wins (+350). Mayo shot 40.2 percent from the field, 28.1 percent from 3-range and scored 13.5 points in losses (-454). That goes along the lines of Rick Carlisle’s comments of team’s having tangible evidence correlating to Mayo’s efficiency relating to the team’s overall success.

Dallas was 8-3 this season in games in which O.J. Mayo scored at least 25 points, and 3-1 in games in which he scored at least 30. The Mavericks were also 15-10 in games in which Mayo was their leading scorer (includes ties), and that includes five overtime losses. Mayo had 22 games with 20-plus points this season (Dallas was 15-7 in those games), after he recorded only six 20-point efforts with Memphis in 2011-12. Dallas was 18-9 in games in which he scored 19-or-more points. Mayo was the only player to appear in all 82 games for Dallas in 2012-13 (he started all 82). He came off the bench in all 66 games for Memphis in 2011-12.

Mayo went the final 21 games of the season without attempting more than two free throws in a game. Mar. 8 against the Detroit Pistons was the last game of the year where he had more than two attempts (he had four). I know his usage and everything went down as Dirk Nowitzki returned, but that’s a terrible number. With Mayo becoming a free agent over the summer, the Mavs will have to look long and hard at what they want to do with him.

- Brandan Wright emerged as a huge bright spot for the Mavs this season.Wright scored in double figures a career-high 28 times in 2012-13 (18-10 record). Prior the 2012-13 season, the most double-figure scoring games he recorded in any one year was 16 with Golden State in 2008-09. Wright began the season strong and finished the season even stronger. He scored in double digits in each of Dallas’ first six games of the year and averaged 12.0 points on 70.5 percent shooting in that stretch. Prior to the 2012-13 season, Wright hadn’t scored in double figures in more than three consecutive games.

He averaged 11.3 points, 5.5 rebounds, 1.7 blocks and 23.8 minutes in the final 24 games of the 2012-13 season. He shot 57.8 percent from the field in that span. With Brandon Bass and Ian Mahinmi being former projects that have moved on, the Mavs will have to decide what they want to do with Wright. All signs point to them wanting to bring him back, but it always comes down to money and timing.

Check Your Calendar

- From May 16-17, the NBA draft combine will go down. It will be a good opportunity for everyone to observe the potential candidates the Mavs could potentially draft this summer.

- On May 21, the draft lottery will take place. Dallas is pretty much locked in to have the 13th pick in the lottery. There is a very, very, very slight chance the Mavs could move up to the top 3 in the lottery (6/1000 or 0.6 percent chance of winning lottery), but the odds strongly suggest that they’ll possess the 13th pick.

- June 27 is the official day of the draft. It is considered to be a weak draft, but Dallas needs to find an impact player of sorts in the draft. There’s always the possibility the Mavs could wheel and deal during that night. They’ll have players in the final year of their deals (Shawn Marion and Vince Carter) who might be of interest to teams. One thing is for certain, you can never correctly predict what the Mavs will do on draft night.

- The craziness of free agency will begin once the league moratorium begins on July 1. Free agents become free on July 1, but the salary cap is not set until the league’s audit is completed later in the month. Teams and players must wait for the salary cap to be set before trades and most free agent signings can commence. Teams may negotiate with free agents beginning July 1, but they have to wait until the moratorium ends before signing a contract.

- Teams will officially be able to put pen to paper on free agents on July 10.

BG’s Baller of the Year

The staff here at the Two Man Game. Everyone who contributed to the site did a tremendous job by bringing diverse and entertaining information to the masses. Also, I want to thank everyone who visited the site. Hopefully we provided you with content that you found enjoyable.

That’s a wrap on the 2012-13 season. Things will not go quiet here at the Two Man Game, though. Be sure to check back frequently as we’ll look into what the Mavs need to do as another pivotal summer is on the horizon.

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.

  • Isaac

    Thanks for the fantastic commentary throughout this down season of the Mavericks, Bryan and TMG staff. Bar none, this is the best site for Dallas Mavericks news and analysis.

    Looking forward to hear your thoughts on where the Mavericks can go from here heading into the off-season.

  • http://twitter.com/FromWayDowntown FromWayDowntown

    Thanks for the good work! Appreciate it very much!