The Difference: Dallas Mavericks 99, New Orleans Hornets 87

Posted by Connor Huchton on April 17, 2013 under Recaps | Be the First to Comment

Clouds

Box ScorePlay-By-PlayShot ChartGame Flow

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 2012-2013 Dallas Mavericks’ season ended as it began about six months ago, with a victory.
  • Darren Collison (10-15 FG, 25 points, four assists) led the charge and scored at will over the course of 28 minutes, deftly darting into the lane and finishing at the rim in textbook Collison-y fashion.
  • And yes, he deserves his own adjective.
  • His 10 fourth-quarter points helped silence any chance of a fledgling Hornets’ comeback.
  • When it comes to Collison’s future and the Mavericks, possibilities remain difficult to quantify. When Collison plays like this, on the odd one of three games when his mid-range jumper is working and everything else follows, he fulfills the role of starting point guard without question.
  • But the other type of Collison performance, the one that includes wayward perimeter defense and a frequent disappearing act, makes it difficult to believe in such an idea. Perhaps Collison would function best in a sixth-man, heavy-minutes backup PG role, one in which he could score at will and not be tasked with running an offense for 30+ minutes a night.
  • It’s up to Mark Cuban and Donnie Nelson (as well as Rick Carlisle) to decide if they think bringing Collison back next season in such a role would be a wise course of action. But unless free agency fails the Mavericks for a third consecutive offseason, it’s unlikely Collison will return as the 2013-14 Mavericks as the team’s starting point guard.
  • Shawn Marion (7-12 FG, 15 points, seven rebounds) and Dirk Nowitzki (7-15 FG, 16 points, nine rebounds, four assists) carried the team the rest of the way, as they have done for what now seems like an eon.
  • Marion’s flip shots were in full splendor, and Dirk embraced his old Dirk persona by simply making standstill mid-range jumper after standstill mid-range jumper. Neither of them were at their individual best, but they both played well enough to defeat a young and injured Hornets’ team.
  • “It begins with defense.” Those were my first words after a Mavericks’ victory against the Lakers on opening night, and the same is true 81 games and a lost season later. Disregarding Chris Kaman’s (3-5 FG, six points, five rebounds) slight struggles with Robin Lopez (6-11 FG, 14 points, 13 rebounds), the Mavericks played quite well defensively, especially within the interior, limiting the Hornets to 36.9% shooting from the field.
  • It’s rare that a team out-rebounds another team by a margin of 21 (58-37) and still loses handily, but the Hornets managed it tonight. This was partly due to the Hornets’ 19 turnovers, and partly due to the Mavericks’ typically strong mid-range and three-point shooting.
  • With this final bullet point of the campaign, I’d like to say goodbye for the year and thank everyone here at The Two Man Game for a great season, irrespective of win-loss record and turmoil. Thanks to Rob Mahoney, thanks to Bryan Gutierrez, thanks to my fellow recapper Kirk Henderson, thanks to the rest of the staff, and most of all, thanks to all of our readers. The 2012-2013 season was not one of emotional triumphs and stunning success, but it was one of unwavering resiliency and ever-present hope. For that, I am grateful.

The Difference: Dallas Mavericks 97, Memphis Grizzlies 103

Posted by Kirk Henderson on April 15, 2013 under Recaps | Read the First Comment

Grizzbear

Box Score — Play-by-Play — Shot Chart — Game Flow

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

  • Memphis out-rebounded Dallas 22-20 in the first half, a respectable difference, given the talented Memphis front line. However, the second half saw the Mavericks get out-rebounded 28-16. Losing the rebounding battle by 14 makes it exceptionally difficult to win any game, particularly one as adept at grind-it-out basketball as the Grizzlies.
  • At the 8:18 mark in the fourth quarter, O.J. Mayo entered the game with it tied 77-77. Over the next two minutes and fifteen seconds, Mayo missed a bad long three point attempt, committed a turnover, fouled a shooter, and committed another turnover, all while the Grizzlies built a six point lead which they would carry with them to the finish line. I’m convinced there’s a good, consistent basketball player inside Mayo, but his tendency to play his worst basketball when Dallas needs him most isn’t going to build a case towards keeping him (if he opts out of his reasonable contract, and he should). He wasn’t the lone reason Dallas lost this game, but posting a state line of two points on 1 of 6 shooting with four turnovers isn’t very helpful.
  • Ed Davis, acquired in the mid-season trade of Rudy Gay, ate Dallas alive on the boards. Seven of his game high 11 rebounds came on the offensive end. Memphis has been accused of no longer possession a “go to” scorer, but one thing they do not lack is front line depth. Every single rotation big for Memphis is a better rebounder than any player Dallas has, possibly excluding Brand who has not been himself for weeks.
  • The late season rally candidacy of Vince Carter for Sixth Man of the Year continues. Shooting 8 of 11 for 22 points on the tail end of a back to back for a 36 year old basketball player is incredible. He’d probably be starting if Shawn Marion wasn’t a Maverick and I’ve been delighted with his play for almost the entire season.
  • Dallas was unable to pull out a win despite Memphis not playing a single starter more than 24 minutes. The Memphis bench contributed 20 more points than Dallas, outscoring the Mavericks 64 to 44 in this department.
  • The ball control issues for Dallas caught up to them in the second half. After posting four turnovers in the first half, Dallas coughed it up 11 times in the final 24 minutes of regulation. Mayo and Mike James were the primary culprits, posting three each for just over half of the Maverick total.

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. 

 

The Difference: Dallas Mavericks 107, New Orleans Hornets 89

Posted by Kirk Henderson on April 14, 2013 under Recaps | Be the First to Comment

25k

Box Score — Play-by-Play — Shot Chart — Game Flow

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

  • Point 25,000 and 25,001 for Dirk Nowitzki came in classic Dirk fashion: he caught the ball on the left wing against Robin Lopez, faced up, jab-stepped, then released a high arcing jumper that touched nothing but net.
  • Dirk was so ready to be beard-free that he actually ran to the locker room and started trimming his mane immediately. Rest in peace, Dirk’s Beard. We’ll miss you, though not what you represented.
  • The Hornets were unable to connect around the rim, shooting just 40% in that area. The Dallas defense played well enough, but New Orleans mainly saw a large number of shots take bad bounces around the rim.
  • One of the better developments of the season has been Brandan Wright learning to challenge shots with his length without necessarily leaving his feet. Early in the season, Wright would jump at anything, often allowing dribble penetration or offensive rebounds because his attempt to block a shot would force a rotation cascade effect. In the first half Wright challenged a number of long jumpers simply by getting his long arm up in he vicinity of the shooter.
  • Dirk became the 17th player to hit the 25,000 point mark in NBA history. He also became just the 9th player in NBA history to tally 25,000 points and 9,000 rebounds. Not bad for a soft European who “only” shoots jump shots.
  • The leading scorer for Dallas, Shawn Marion, did his work quietly, putting up a fantastic line of 21 points, seven rebounds, and six assists. Eight of his 10 made baskets came around the rim, including two nifty fading hooks in the first quarter.
  • Chris Kaman doesn’t collect many assists due to his style of play, but he helped Marion get two points off of an excellent pass from the free throw line when Marion’s man left him in the corner. Seeing the double team, Kaman passed over the top of two Hornets to a cutting Marion for the slam.
  • The Mavericks shot a blistering 52% from the field, which helped hide the 20 offensive rebounds Dallas surrendered.
  • The league is lucky that Ryan Anderson is on a lottery bound team. He needs virtually no time or space to get off a three pointer and is incredibly effective. I’m always shocked when Dallas leaves him alone behind the three point line, as three of his four long ball makes came on defensive breakdowns.
  • It’s always surprising to see a defender close out hard Shawn Marion when he gets a pass in the corner. Though he’s shooting a respectable 33% from the corner this season, he’s taken less than 50 shots. Whenever a defender challenges him, he seemingly always puts the ball on the floor and drives middle, which causes a number of problems for an opponent’s defense. Late in the second quarter, Anderson closed hard on Marion and Marion drove middle and was able to fling up an odd left lay up which bounced in.
  • To continue my trend of piling on O.J. Mayo, not a single one of his six shot attempts were within 15 feet of the basket. Whereas his New Orleans counterpart Eric Gordon attempted seven of his 17 shots in the area near the rim. It’s not that Mayo had a bad game (eight points, four assists); rather he’s invisible, so much so that the New Orleans announcers made it a discussion point.
  • With the departure of Tyson Chandler, it’s become clear how much more effective the Mavericks can be with a defensive minded center paired with Dirk.  A player like Robin Lopez is a solid example of such a player. He is a large body, defends the post reasonably well, and has enough offensive skill to keep opposing defenses honest.
  • To be fair, Mayo was involved in my favorite fundamental basketball play of the game. In the second quarter, Shawn Marion grabbed a rebound and threw a bounce pass to the streaking Darren Collision. Collison took one dribble and fed the cutting Mayo, who left the ball for the trailing Marion for an and-one. It’s always delightful to see the ball move while rarely hitting the floor.
  • The differential in bench scoring, 42 to 23, was nearly the same as the final margin.
  • The Mavericks did something rare to start the fourth quarter after a small rally from New Orleans in the third: they went to their superstar. Dirk made Al-Farouq Aminu look silly, first by drawing fouls on jump shots on back to back possessions. Then he received a pass after slipping a screen and immediately fed it to a cutting Chris Kaman for a dunk. He finished his one-man show by hitting another jumper after getting Aminu off his feet with a pump fake. The Hornets never seriously challenged Dallas the remainder of the game.
  • Vince Carter was once again a difference maker, putting up 15 points to go along with seven rebounds and six assists. Dallas has finished too far out of the standings for any Sixth Man of the Year consideration, but it’s safe to say that Carter has become the third most indispensable Maverick behind Dirk Nowitzki and Shawn Marion for the 2012-2013 season.
  • With the game well in hand, recently signed guard Josh Akognon saw some playing time. He managed to shoot the ball three times in three minutes. It’s unclear what future, if any, Akognon has with the team.
  • Elton Brand recieved a “Did Not Play – Coach’s Decision” after returning Friday against the Nuggets. One can hope it’s to give him rest as Dallas will need him tomorrow night against the big and talented Memphis front line.

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. 

 

The Difference: Dallas Mavericks 108, Denver Nuggets 105

Posted by Connor Huchton on April 13, 2013 under Recaps | Be the First to Comment

Sunrise

Box ScorePlay-By-PlayShot ChartGame Flow

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

  • Mark Cuban may love Vince Carter (9-19 FG, 22 points, 12 rebounds, seven assists) more than I do, but I too admire the aging guard’s resolve. Carter had regressed a bit over the last month or so, but tonight reminded me why I was so enamored with his vitalized play in late-February and early-March. His performance was one of immense substance and resolve for a team no longer fighting for the playoffs, no longer fighting for much of anything other than a .500+ record and a lower lottery pick. Thank you for a season of stalwart professionalism, Vince Carter, and I hope to say the same as next season ends. 
  • When Corey Brewer (6-20 FG, 18 points, five steals) scored off a steal as regulation dwindled to a close, I did not expect the Mavericks to rise up and control the overtime period. But so they did, mostly thanks to O.J. Mayo (7-13 FG, 5-7 3PT, 20 points, six assists, two turnovers), who made a late bid for changing Mavericks’ fans perceptions with a commendable scoring performance. Mayo’s ability to find rhythm and function as a key offensive weapon in the Carlisle offense seems largely dependent on his ability to limit turnovers. With an offseason and another season in Carlisle’s system, it’s a problem Mayo may be able to address and quell to some extent. There’s no guarantee of that essential improvement, but Mayo is still only 25 years old.
  • Though he tired a bit down the stretch, Dirk Nowitzki (9-17 FG, 22 points, 10 rebounds, four assists) provided a very resilient and potent 40 minutes tonight. He’s not the Dirk of old – he’s the old Dirk – but he’s still capable of charging an offense and bringing rebounds down with the most tenacious of elbows. Time has been the Mavericks’ bane for the last two years, and while it may be presumptuous of me, I’d like to ask time to freeze until next season, and allow this basketball Dirk to begin and end the 2013-2014 campaign in the same impressive form of recent months. 

Thermodynamics: Week 24

Posted by Travis Wimberly on April 11, 2013 under Commentary, Recaps | Be the First to Comment

Thermodynamics (n.) – the science concerned with the relations between heat and mechanical energy

The Mavs have been officially eliminated from playoff contention, but they say they won’t quit on the season. In that case, neither will we. We’ve got about one more week before most of our regular columns here at The Two Man Game go into offseason hiatus, so let’s make it count.

Week 24 (@Nuggets, @Kings, @Blazers, Suns)

FIRE

1) The Matrix

The 2012-13 Mavs have a handful of younger players whose grit and tenacity are sometimes easy to question. Meanwhile, they have a few older players for whom those traits are indisputable and unwavering. Shawn Marion is one of those guys in the latter category, and this week was the quintessential example. With the Mavs’ playoff hopes dwindling further and further, the Matrix rose to the occasion. After a respectable 10-point night in Denver, he produced 25 points against Sacramento, 20 against Portland, and 22 against Phoenix. It was the first time since 2007 that Marion has scored 20-plus points in three consecutive games. Not only that, he scored very efficiently — 34-of-58 (59%) shooting on the week — and contributed 8.5 rebounds per game to boot. I’m not going to say the Mavs have quitters on their roster, because I don’t think that’s true. But I will say this: Shawn Marion is the polar opposite of a quitter.

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The Difference: Dallas Mavericks 102, Phoenix Suns 91

Posted by Kirk Henderson on April 10, 2013 under Recaps | 3 Comments to Read

shave

Box Score — Play-by-Play — Shot Chart — Game Flow

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 a playoff hopeful like Dallas gets blown out by a team like Phoenix, who had lost their previous ten games,  is beyond understanding. The final score may not indicate a game which one team dominated, but there were signs early on, like the Mavericks trailing 28-14 after a mere ten minutes of action.
  • I believe it’s time to issue a verdict on O.J. Mayo: despite his early season play, I feel that the Dallas Mavericks front office should let him go or use him as an asset in a sign and trade deal. Consider his stat line against the Suns: six points on 2 of 10 shooting, six assists and four turnovers. Compare that to his counter part, former University of Texas product and journeyman P.J. Tucker: 17 points on 6 of 9 shooting, 10 rebounds, one turnover. It would be one thing if Mayo had a bad game, but simply look at his game log; he’s not had a truly game altering performance since the March 3rd victory over the Rockets. To be fair, he often hasn’t hurt the team, but the role of a second option should be that of a catalyst, a player who can spark the team during an off night from the superstar. Mayo has not been that player and I cannot see him developing in that direction.
  • The veteran pride of Dirk Nowitzki, Shawn Marion, and Vince Carter is something to behold. The team looked flat and disinterested from the opening tip, yet these three players willed Dallas into the game despite it feeling rather hopeless. The Vince Carter run to end the first and start the second was rather inspiring. He finished a missed Dirk three with a monsterous tip dunk then closed out the quarter with a transition three. He then opened the second with another big three pointer to push Dallas back within four points.
  • Watching the Dallas guards get abused by Goran Dragic (21 points, 13 assists) was at once maddening and fascinating  Working with a talent-depleted team, Dragic set up his defender perfectly on a number of pick and roll opportunities.  Considering how often Dallas guards improperly set up defenders when attempting to use a screen, seeing Dragic lull his defender into complacency before exploding past a pick was exciting to watch. His early penetration resulted in easy baskets for Phoenix which would put the team onto a path for success in the paint throughout the game.
  • As the season has wound down Mayo’s seemingly complete aversion to contact has come to light. Against the Suns he took two shots in the paint: a fast break floater from 7 feet over Dragic (when a lay up was possible) and a fourth quarter lay in attempt during his one man fast break. He missed both and looked to avoid contact on both.  In the past month, Dallas has played 17 games with Mayo playing every one. He’s averaged .88 free throws attempted per game despite playing an average of 35 minutes and being the primary ball handler for large stretches.
  • During the game, Tim MacMahon of ESPN Dallas tweeted “Jermaine O’Neal just hit a jumper and patted Rick Carlisle on the butt. Carlisle, who coached O’Neal in Indy, didn’t seem amused.” O’Neal finished the game with a strange line; four points on 2 of 12 shooting and six rebounds. However, he punished Dallas on the offensive glass, awarding the Suns two or three extra possessions late in the game as the Mavericks were attempting a comeback. He also managed a whopping six blocks.
  • The joy in watching Shawn Marion (22 points, nine rebounds) is challenging to put into perspective. Though Dirk Nowitzki is the engine, Marion may very well be the steering wheel. Without his constant movement on offense, rebounding and energy on defense, the Mavericks could very easily have been 15 games under .500 this season. Though Dirk has the patented shot for Dallas, watching a Marion floater has become a delight. In the first quarter, he kept the Mavericks afloat early with a number of nifty moves including a 12 foot runner from the right elbow that most players would have a problem converting more than one try in ten in a game situation.
  • Surely the Maverick front office has grown weary of Darren Collison’s inability to stay in front of stationary objects. Perhaps if he’s willing to be a change of pace back up Dallas should consider re-signing him (his qualifying offer is rather low), but he’s so atrocious defensively that it’s impossible to hide his short comings without a solid paint protector. I’m sure I sound like a broken record, but he runs into each screen like it is his first and his defensive recovery angles are that of someone who is very, very bad at Brick Breaker.
  • We can log the Brandan Wright to Jae Crowder back door lay up as one of the few evening bright spots. Dirk set a pick along the left wing three point line for Crowder who cut to the basket. Wright, who held the ball at the top of the key, threw an on point pass to Crowder, who finished despite the Phoenix presence at the rim.
  • Wesley Johnson (14 points, three rebounds) shot 54% against Dallas. Some games, a team just runs into the Johnson buzz saw (he’s shooting under 40% in the 2012-2013 season).
  • The Mavericks have just four games remaining to rid themselves of their beards. Two of the four games come against playoff bound squads in Denver and Memphis. The other two games are against the New Orleans Hornets, a team which has fought Dallas hard in each of the prior match ups. Dallas faces a real possibility of finishing under .500 for the first time since the 1999-2000 season. With the Laker win in Portland, Dallas is officially out of the playoffs.

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. 

 

The Rundown, Volume XIX

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on April 8, 2013 under Commentary, Recaps | Be the First to Comment

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The Rundown is back. Every Monday (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.

As the season is starting to wind down, the odds look incredibly bleak for the Mavs and extending their playoff streak to 13 years. With five games left, they still trail the Utah Jazz by 2.5 games. Utah owns the tiebreaker over both Los Angeles and Dallas, so it’s essentially a three-game lead Utah owns over Dallas. The dark number for Utah is 2 and 3 for Los Angeles. That means Dallas needs to avoid any combination of actual losses and Utah wins equaling out to two to stay alive and three for Los Angeles. It’s going to take a miraculous run, and some luck, for Dallas to sneak into the playoffs. With a win against Portland, Dallas will have the chance to accomplish something they’ve set out to do since late January – shave their .500 beards.

Let’s take a look at the week for that was for Dallas.

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The Difference: Dallas Mavericks 96, Portland Trailerblazers 91

Posted by Kirk Henderson on April 7, 2013 under Recaps | Be the First to Comment

WindingRoad

Box Score — Play-by-Play — Shot Chart — Game Flow

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

  • Another bizarre game for the Dallas Mavericks. On the one hand, Dallas built a 20 point lead in only 16 minutes of action; on the other, the Mavericks managed to let Portland fight back within three points after a furious fourth quarter rally led by two rookies, Damian Lilliard and Will Barton. Dirk Nowitzki did not play in the fourth due to his foot bothering him, but it is still frustrating that Dallas was unable to win comfortably against a young team like Portland that is also dealing with a variety of injuries. Dallas is now 14-19 in games decided by 6 points or less.
  • The early Maverick lead was primarily due to Chris Kaman (26 points, 11 rebounds). His first quarter work out of the left wing pick and roll with O.J. Mayo was very effective, scoring three different times in the period. The Blazers elected to hedge the screen with J.J. Hickson, but Mayo was able to split any attempt at a double team with a simple bounce pass which resulted in a Kaman jumper. When running a similar pick and roll with Dirk later in the first, the Blazer defender went under the screen and Dirk’s defender did not leave his side, forcing Mayo to drive and take an awkward floater which didn’t connect.
  • I’m now firmly in the camp that believes the Mavericks must make a competitive offer to keep Brandan Wright (12 points, nine rebounds) for next season. His progression has been one of the few success stories to come out of Dallas in a season filled with disappointment. He’s managed to survive the ebb and flow of Carlisle’s ever changing rotations to contribute in a variety of ways. Against Portland he finished the half with two tough baskets, a block , and awarded Dallas an extra possession after fighting for a rebound after a missed Darren Collison floater. His fourth quarter help defense on LaMarcus Aldridge was huge. His game has limitations, mainly due to his lack of strength and body weight, but athletic big men with touch out to 15 feet are uncommon.
  • Outside of the fourth quarter collapse, this was a solid defensive game for Dallas. After Wesley Matthews left the game with a sprained ankle, the Mavericks put some form of pressure on the ball handler every time up the floor, knowing Portland had limited options at the guard position. Portland was not able to get into an offensive set until late in the shot clock, resulting in rushed shots. Only after Portland went very small in the fourth did they negate this ball pressure, and they stormed back as the Dallas offense stalled.
  • My favorite play of the game came with 2:30 left in the second quarter. Vince Carter tried to get the ball to a posted up Shawn Marion on the left side of the floor. Marion’s defender fronted him, so Brandan Wright flashed to the free throw line. Instead of passing to the open Wright, Carter opted to skip the ball cross court to Dirk Nowitzki on the right wing. Marion sealed the fronting defender and simply rolled to the open spot in the paint behind Wright’s defender where Dirk fed him for two of his twenty points.

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.

 

The Difference: Dallas Mavericks 117, Sacramento Kings 108

Posted by Connor Huchton on April 6, 2013 under Recaps | Read the First Comment

Clouds

Box ScorePlay-by-PlayShot ChartGame Flow

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

  • I appreciate a good Shawn Marion (10-17 FG, 25 points, 12 rebounds) game, always. This was one of those.
  • The most relevant remaining Mavericks-related question is whether the team will finish the season bearded or beardless. Against a Sacramento Kings they should always beat when healthy, the Mavericks performed well enough to move towards that seemingly unreachable goal of .500.
  • A decent performance against a rarely impressive Kings’ interior (or perimeter, for that matter) defense serves as a small comfort against the grim reality of the imminent draft lottery.
  • This Mavericks’ win did not come about in the typical fashion – by perimeter excellence or an overwhelming Dirk Nowitzki (6-14 FG, 16 points, six rebounds) exultation.
  • Instead, Dallas achieved the rare award of dominating the lane, generally through the excellence of a cutting Marion or a waiting Brandan Wright (9-14 FG, 20 points, six rebounds).
  • Given what I’ve written in the past, I assume it’s quite clear that I enjoy Wright’s game. I think he will be one of the players the Mavericks may miss most if he leaves in the offseason, especially as Wright grows into himself as a player and post presence.
  • His athleticism conjoins with a growing skill near the basket more and more all the time, and when that combination reaches his peak, I expect he’ll already have established himself as a reliable starting center in this league.
  • Darren Collison (7 -10 FG, 18 points, 8 assists) also played with the fresh continuity and weaving motion that defines his better games, a feat made easier against the lax Kings’ defense but a feat still impressive nonetheless.
  • When Collison darts with this alacrity, he personifies the sudden fun and spontaneity of the point guard position, and makes one wonder what could have been if that relaxed personification had appeared with more frequency over the course of a long season.

The Difference: Dallas Mavericks 94, Denver Nuggets 95

Posted by Kirk Henderson on April 4, 2013 under Recaps | 3 Comments to Read

mountains

Box Score — Play-by-Play — Shot Chart — Game Flow

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

    • It’s somewhat fitting that the playoff hopes of the Mavericks were squashed with finality against the Denver Nuggets due to the same exact issues that have plagued Dallas all year: dribble penetration and offensive rebounding. When Kenneth Faried grabs more offensive rebounds (nine) than the entire Maverick team (eight) it’s incredibly hard to win. Dirk Nowitzki ended up with only ten shot attempts again, but Andre Igoudala did his defensive work early, making it hard for Dirk to get the ball in his favorite spots. In fact, Dallas was lucky to be in this game at all, let alone ahead for almost the entire second half. The Nuggets shot 39% from the field, well below their season average of 47%. Denver was terrible around the rim against Dallas (see charts below), making just under 22 of 54 attempts, an incredible 17% under their season average of 58%. As much as I’d like to credit the Dallas defense, the Nuggets missed a lot of easy shots. However, Denver made up for this shortfall by shooting 20 more free throws than Dallas, a byproduct of their rim attacking style. That former Maverick Corey Brewer, who was traded to Denver for cap space and the possibility of limited playing time, and 37-year-old Andre Miller put up a combined 45 points on Dallas only makes this loss harder to swallow.

Denver Shot Chart vs. Dallas

Den Shot chart

Denver Shot Chart 2012-2013

denver shot char year

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.