Quoteboard: Denver Nuggets 106, Dallas Mavericks 85

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on December 29, 2012 under Interviews | Be the First to Comment

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The Dallas Mavericks’ losing streak extended to five games after suffering a 106-85 loss to the Denver Nuggets. The loss was the eighth for Dallas in their last nine games. The Nuggets asserted themselves early used a 15-2 run from the 8:17 mark of the first quarter through the 5:27 mark of the period to go up, 21-8. Dallas used an 11-3 run from the 8:20 mark of the third quarter through the 5:37 mark of the period to trim a 13-point deficit (64-51) down to five (67-62). Denver closed the third quarter on a 20-8 run and led, 87-70, after three.

Danilo Gallinari scored a career-high 39 points against Dallas on Friday. His previous high was 37 at New York on Jan. 21, 2012. He added eight rebounds and three assists in 34 minutes.

In his home debut, Dirk Nowitzki couldn’t quite get it going against the Nuggets. He scored just five points, all in the first quarter, on 2-for-10 shooting. With the game getting out of hand, he played only 17 minutes. Though the shots weren’t going in, a lot of them rattled in and out.

Here is the quoteboard for the loss to the Nuggets.

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The Difference: Dallas Mavericks 85, Denver Nuggets 106

Posted by Connor Huchton on under Recaps | Be the First to Comment

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Box Score – Play-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.

  • Despite the somewhat lopsided final result, the Mavericks had several chances to make this a very competitive game, all the way up until the Nuggets’ final run in the middle of the fourth quarter.
  • The Mavericks grasped none of those chances, leading to another uneven loss.
  • Danilo Gallinari (14-23 FG, 7-11 3PT, eight rebounds) scored an incredibly quiet 39 points. The Mavericks left Gallinari open for a variety of corner threes, and he seized his opportunties.
  • Andre Iguodala (7-12 FG, 4-6 3PT, 20 points, eight rebounds) served as the other central Nuggets’ offensive threat, and capitalized on his own three-point chances.
  • Iguodala is not a historically strong three-point shooter, but his jumper can tend to be streaky.
  • The Mavericks were treated to the unfortunate type of streaky from him tonight.
  • As for the Mavericks’ offense, the performance was largely dismal with brief spurts of exciting passing and transition play.
  • So, quite similar to the Mavericks’ offense we’ve seen all season.
  • There weren’t many individual moments or performances to remember for the Mavericks, either.
  • O.J. Mayo scored acceptably (6-13 FG, 15 points, five steals) for the first time in five games, but also recorded a dismal six turnovers.
  • Like I wrote last night, Mayo’s turnovers often seem entirely avoidable. Mayo could likely reduce his turnovers by simply waiting for a few more moments before passing when ball movement stalls.
  • Dirk Nowitzki’s (2-10 FG, five points, one rebound) performance exuded tepidity after a few easy jumpers (for Dirk, that is) fell in and out of the rim.
  • Struggles are expected from an aging player just returning from injury, but time is running out for the Mavericks to right the proverbial ship in a very competitive Western Conference.
  • In all likelihood, the Mavericks will now need to win about 33 of their last 52 games to compete for a playoff spot, after a 12-18 start against a mediocre schedule.
  • That’s a tall and unlikely order, but the Mavericks have an accomplished seven-footer capable of rising to great heights.
  • (That wasn’t a great joke.)
  • The Mavericks are talented enough to make such a run, but it would take a near return to 2011 form from Dirk and a return to early-season form from O.J. Mayo to do so.
  • But the individual play of Mayo and Dirk is likely less integral to future success than overarching team chemistry, something which the Mavericks lacked for long stretches on Friday night.
  • One significant barrier currently blocking the Mavericks’ defensive chemistry is the struggle of Elton Brand (0-2 FG, 0 points, three rebounds) to find his role on the court.
  • Brand has missed quite a few easy scoring opportunities this season, and it’s neutralized his still-effective defensive ability at times. If Brand can’t provide acceptable finishing in a pick-and-roll dominated offense, it negates the defensive boost he’s capable of bringing the Mavericks.
  • Sunday’s opponent, the rival San Antonio Spurs, are stronger than tonight’s opponent and have played very well recently, including an impressive offensive victory tonight against an emerging Rockets’ team. If the Mavericks can indeed begin a much-needed turnaround, a win Sunday would be a terrific way to start.

The Difference: Dallas Mavericks 112, Denver Nuggets 95

Posted by Rob Mahoney on March 20, 2012 under Recaps | 11 Comments to Read

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Box ScorePlay-by-PlayShot ChartGame Flow

TeamPaceOff. Eff.eFG%FTRORRTOR
Dallas99.0113.159.517.914.314.1
Denver96.047.024.111.113.1

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

  • Kenneth Faried (nine points, five rebounds) is a good player and an incredibly active defender, but he had the incredible misfortune of being pitted against a most dominant Dirk Nowitzki (33 points, 12-19 FG, 11 rebounds, six assists). What, precisely, would you have any defender do against Nowitzki at the top of his game — much less one with relatively limited NBA experience and far less matchup-specific experience? Dirk maneuvered too well to be blanketed, shot too accurately to be stopped, and passed too effectively to be doubled. Faried was damned before he even had a chance to consider his options, as Nowitzki triggered his usual array of fades and jumpers en route to one of his most spectacularly efficient performances of the season.
  • Dallas’ 33 assists were a season high, and the furthest thing from an empty total; the Mavs’ ball movement was the most successful and consistent force in this game, and sustained even during the roughest offensive stretches. The shots didn’t fall, but to the Mavs’ credit, they never abandoned the process. That commitment is more important than any series of makes or misses, wins or losses — it’s the backbone of successful offense, and that the Mavs are relying on a replicable formula to generate points bodes well for their future this season.
  • This particular matchup made for a fascinating watch due to the fact that size was a uniquely irrelevant factor. Nowitzki demands a certain size and length in defensive response, but Dirk aside, both teams were free to play whichever players gave them the greatest chance for success, regardless of the opponent’s configuration or traditional positions. The Mavs largely stayed “conventional,” if you could really term their usual lineups so ridiculously. The Nuggets, on the other hand, toyed with all kinds of combinations, most of which used Denver’s army of wing players in a futile (in retrospect, anyway) effort to get the jump on Dallas. Faried split time with Al Harrington as the only big on the floor for long stretches of the game, and though Denver couldn’t use their wing-heavy lineups to create any in-game leverage, it was still a hell of a sight.

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The Difference: Dallas Mavericks 105, Denver Nuggets 95

Posted by Rob Mahoney on February 9, 2012 under Recaps | 4 Comments to Read

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Box ScorePlay-by-PlayShot ChartGame Flow

TeamPaceOff. Eff.eFG%FTRORRTOR
Dallas95.0110.553.910.026.811.3
Denver100.052.137.518.616.9

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 Mavs played active defense on Wednesday night, but that shouldn’t be mistaken with good defense. Denver’s ball movement understandably puts a strain on any opponent, but Dallas’ defenders were over-rotating like crazy, content to make sure that if they were beaten on a particular possession, it wasn’t due to a lack of defensive activity. That’s an admirable aim, I suppose, though not as admirable as a defensive approach that simultaneously brings both energy and restraint. That happy medium is where the Mavs have lived for a good portion of the season thus far, and where they should aim to be come playoff time. It’s also where they weren’t in this particular game, but alas, these things happen.
  • Apparently, the only thing that can keep Jason Terry off the floor at the end of a competitive game is a minor hip flexor tweak.
  • Turnovers weren’t even remotely a problem, as Dallas managed to stabilize its offense without grinding the play action to a halt. The ball was moving from side to side freely, the Mavs used simple elements of their offense to create favorable mismatches, and the shots were falling. That’s an incredibly simple recipe for offensive success, but it was the crisp consistency of Dallas’ execution that made this an incredibly straightforward exercise.

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The Difference: Dallas Mavericks 113, New York Knicks 97

Posted by Rob Mahoney on February 3, 2011 under Recaps | 4 Comments to Read

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Box ScorePlay-by-PlayShot ChartGameFlow

TeamPaceOff. Eff.eFG%FT/FGORB%TOR
Dallas97.0116.556.521.425.615.5
New York100.045.519.310.28.2

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

  • Not every game goes according to the script, but this one went just right. The team that plays good defense played good defense, and the team that regularly fails to rotate and exposes a hollow interior did so splendidly. Most teams — even those at the bottom of the rankings in defensive efficiency — don’t give up quite as many wide open looks as the Knicks do. It’s just part of a run-of-the-mill Knick game these days. Part of their charm, I suppose. They certainly have their games where they really dig in defensively, but on the whole this is what you get with New York post-Felton’s drop-off. They’re good, but push the right buttons on D and they’re imminently beatable.
  • Dallas went to work on the offensive glass, grabbing 25.6% of the available boards on that end. Typically these things even out for Dallas; they’re a poor defensive rebounding team, and even on their better offensive rebounding nights, allow their opponents to break even on the glass. Not so on Wednesday, as New York posted a lowly 10.2 offensive rebounding percentage.
  • If you look at the offensive rebounding distribution, you’ll find that while Tyson Chandler had three offensive boards, you’ll find that the rest of the Mavs stepped up to grab a board here and there: DeShawn Stevenson had two, and Jason Kidd, Dirk Nowitzki, J.J. Barea, Jason Terry, and Shawn Marion each grabbed an offensive rebound of their own. This is a bit misleading; Tyson Chandler was a tap-out machine on the offensive end, and had the opportunity to swat a mess of loose balls toward open teammates. Credit to the rest of the Mavs for hustling and not giving up on those opportunities, but it was Chandler that really created them.
  • Dirk Nowitzki finished with 29 points and 11 rebounds, but his 10-of-16 shooting is the far more notable mark. One would expect Dirk to capitalize on a cast of undersized defenders, but that’s a level of efficiency we really haven’t seen out of Nowitzki since he rushed back from injury. There should be no mistaken declarations that Nowitzki is “BACK!”, but he’s inching closer, looking more and more himself by the day.
  • Brian Cardinal again started for Dallas, and made but a single field goal in his 10 minutes of play. Not terrific, but this wasn’t his game; Cardinal isn’t on the team so he can hustle up and down the court to keep pace with New York. Cardinal was replaced to start the second half, and that turned out to be a pretty smooth move by Rick Carlisle.
  • Shawne Williams blocked one of Dirk Nowitzki’s jumpers solely for the irony.
  • I’m pretty sure Brendan Haywood airballed a baseline hook from the low right block. Foul or deflection aside, I’m not even sure how that happens.
  • Barea (22 points, 7-12 FG, 3-4 3FG, three rebounds, three assists, three turnovers) was a monster. This is the second 3-of-4 shooting night Barea has had from beyond the arc in about a week, but it’s his ability to get deep into the paint and generate points that keys his value. The Mavs’ defense acted as a catalyst for their periodic runs, but Barea was just as influential. He energized and produced like none of his teammates could, and is as much a reason why Dallas won as anyone else.
  • One more note about Barea: even on his lesser nights, Barea forces the action. Cardinal is a fairly passive offensive player; he doesn’t put pressure on the defense in any meaningful way, and tries to limit his defensive assignment rather than hound them. Barea drives and explores the paint, and on defense he tries to draw offensive fouls constantly. That means something, and in this particular game, it meant quite a bit.
  • Wilson Chandler’s absence was a pretty big deal. Amar’e Stoudemire (21 points, 10-20 FG, five rebounds, four assists) and Danilo Gallinari (27 points, 7-14 FG, six rebounds) were the only Knicks who could score with any frequency, and Chandler can create a bit for himself and bank on spot-up/slashing opportunities. Toney Douglas did what he could to act as a stopgap, but the trickle down from Chandler’s absence was pretty damning.
  • Felton’s (11 points, 9-14 FG, nine assists) fall back to Earth is as much his fault as it is the basketball gods’. He takes some really horrible shot attempts, and though that habit was bearable when he was making a ton of those questionable jumpers early in the season, his tendency to launch long, pull-up twos has bitten these team quite a few times in recent weeks.
  • The lulls in the Mavs’ offense were of their own fault. Believe it or not, there is comfort in that; when given the choice between a team like the Knicks halting the Mavs in their sets or Dallas simply blustering their execution, I think most would prefer the means that allows the Mavs to maintain their agency.
  • What more could I possibly add about Tyson Chandler (15 points, 6-9 FG, 11 rebounds)? He’s become this season’s constant. He’s been fantastic over the last seven games in particular, during which he’s been exactly the kind of crutch the team has needed him to be.