The Difference: Sacramento Kings 110, Dallas Mavericks 97

Posted by Holly MacKenzie on March 10, 2012 under Recaps | Be the First to Comment

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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 figures that the game I pick to recap is a blowout. Disclaimer before we go any further: I am a huge Isaiah Thomas fan. I will try to temper this as we talk about what went wrong with the Mavericks in Sacramento. It wasn’t pretty, people. Not even a little bit.
  • A rough start really doomed Dallas. The team had five of their 17 turnovers in the first quarter, including four of them in the first four minutes of the game. Sacramento took advantage, scoring nine points off of those turnovers in the opening session. The Kings jumped out to a lead quickly, leaving the Mavs to play catch up all night.
  • After finding himself on the bench at the end of the Suns game on Thursday night, Jason Terry (game-high 23 points, 10-for-18 fgs) was looking to get himself going early against the Kings, and was one of the bright spots for the Mavs offensively in the first half. He kept the Mavs in it by coming up with a bucket to temper the crowd every time the Kings seemed to be on the verge of really blowing things open.
  • While Dirk Nowitzki started off 2-for-2 from the floor, the team didn’t make it a point to get the ball to him in the first quarter and things went downhill from there as Dirk wasn’t ever able to get going. He shot 1-for-5 in the second quarter, 2-for-4 in the third and then 0-2 in the fourth. He finished with 13 points on 5-for-13 shooting in 29 minutes of action.
  • The Mavericks just looked sluggish tonight. Perhaps they were tired from last night’s loss to the Suns, but their defense wasn’t doing them any favours against the Kings. A five-point swing for the Kings: Jason Thompson gets his own offensive rebound, finds Chuck Hayes open under the hoop for an easy two. Next possession:Francisco Garcia steals the ball from Nowitzki (Mavs turnover #6) and finds John Salmons for a three.

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The Difference: Dallas Mavericks 105, Sacramento Kings 103

Posted by Rob Mahoney on December 5, 2010 under Recaps | Be the First to Comment

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Box ScorePlay-by-PlayShot ChartGameFlow

    TeamPaceOff. Eff.eFG%FT/FGORB%TOR

    You know the drill. The Difference is a quick-hitting (or in this case, day after) reflection on the game that was, with one bullet for every point in the final margin.

  • Last night we witnessed something spectacular, and oddly enough, it happened almost completely independent of the Mavericks’ performance. Dallas was present for the first 12 minutes of this game, but they may as well not have been; Sacramento put on a supernatural shooting display in the first quarter, a phenomenal happening given both the magnitude of the Kings’ explosion and how typically miserable the Kings are on every other day of the season. They currently rank 29th in the league in offensive efficiency, but after Tyreke Evans, DeMarcus Cousins, and Donté Greene modified the limits of reason for their benefit, Sacramento scored at a rate of 160.9 points per 100 possessions. Unfathomable. Poor defense certainly played a role, but the Kings had reached a higher state of existence. Evans had a visible aura. Cousins was enlightened, swapping his usually questionable decision-making and fouling for efficient scoring and tough offensive rebounding. Greene clicked from inside and out, as his game finally centered itself.It’s pretty amazing that the Mavs were able to weather such a significant run at all, much less come sneak away with a victory. I know the Kings are still the Kings (and that the Kings who are still the Kings happen to be kings of abject failure this season), but this is a quality win.
  • Dallas was just relentless. After a spirited win against the Jazz on Friday night, it would have been relatively simple for the Mavs to call it a night after enduring that kind of first quarter resistance on the second night of a back-to-back. They endured, and once Sacramento’s offense came back down to earth (though it never quite regressed to the mean; overall, Dallas’ defensive performance was still very much subpar), the better team found themselves in position to make this thing a game. The threes weren’t falling (Jason Kidd’s shooting was particularly hideous), but the Mavs drove, worked inside against a soft Kings defense, and got to the free throw line. Sacramento (11) may have doubled the Dallas (5) in three-point makes, but the Mavs were similarly dominant over their opponents in terms of free throw makes. Dallas finished with 24 made free throws in their 29 attempts, good for a 31.6 free throw rate — far above their season average. Dirk Nowitzki (25 points, 11-15 FG, five rebounds, five assists) was indomitable, but he wasn’t forced to be a go-to scorer (Jason Terry contributed 23 points on 7-of-14 shooting, and the Mavs’ late-game offense didn’t need too many Dirk isolations). The Dallas offense just clicked throughout, and though it would never come close to matching the brilliance of Sacramento’s first quarter, sustained offensive effort and execution came out just two points better than the Kings’ peaks and valleys.Plus, for all of the defense’s troubles throughout the game, the Mavs really locked down in the fourth. They allowed just four points in the game’s final 5:24 seconds, and Tyson Chandler’s (10 points, seven rebounds) interior defense was particularly impressive down the stretch.Check out this beauty:

    Rick Carlisle won’t be asking for seconds of an outing like this one, but Dallas got away with a win. We’ve seen Dallas beat good teams and bad, and both convincingly. Games like this happen, and though it would have been nice to see the Mavs play better defensively, take the W and move on.

Looking for Love in All the Wrong Draft Ranges

Posted by Rob Mahoney on May 30, 2009 under xOther | 5 Comments to Read

The Mavs don’t have a very good track record when it comes to finding value late in the draft, though selecting Josh Howard with the final pick in the first round back in 2003.  But the stakes have never been higher, with the Mavs’ few young assets weighing their options in free agency and the Mavs’ 2010 pick in the hands of the New Jersey Nets.  This one counts big time, and it’s up to the management and the scouting team to find the diamond in the rough.

It’s tough, but hardly impossible.  Quality players pass right under the noses of many a team year after year, leaving latent value late in the draft.  The Mavs pick at 22, which is just a shade closer to the lottery than to the Mavs’ customary position at the draft’s tail.

Here are the picks at 22 this decade:

2008 – Courtney Lee
2007 – Jared Dudley
2006 – Marcus Williams
2005 – Jarrett Jack
2004 – Viktor Khryapa
2003 – Zoran Planinic
2002 – Casey Jacobsen
2001 – Jeryl Sasser
2000 – Donnell Harvey

Three of those players (Courtney Lee, Jared Dudley, Jarrett Jack) have shown rotation player chops.  Lee is the most notable as the starting 2 guard of an impressive Orlando team just one win away from the Finals.  In fact, if the Mavs could magically re-draft Lee this year, they’d be in pretty good shape.

Just for fun, here are picks in the late first round (20+) :

Courtney Lee (22)
Nicolas Batum (25)

Wilson Chandler (23)
Rudy Fernandez (24)
Aaron Brooks (26)

Renaldo Balkman (20)
Rajon Rondo (21)
Kyle Lowry (23)
Shannon Brown (25)
Jordan Farmar (26)

Jarrett Jack (20)
Nate Robinson (21)
Francisco Garcia (23)
Jason Maxiell (26)
Linas Kleiza (27)
David Lee (30)

Jameer Nelson (20)
Delonte West (24)
Kevin Martin (26)

Boris Diaw (21)
Travis Outlaw (23)
Kendrick Perkins (27)
Leandro Barbosa (28)
Josh Howard (29)

Tayshaun Prince (23)
Nenad Krstic (24)
John Salmons (26)

Brendan Haywood (20)
Gerald Wallace (25)
Jamaal Tinsley (27)
Tony Parker (28)

Morris Peterson (21)

It’s certainly worth noting that even the 2005 draft, predicted to be a weak draft class among pundits and largely looked at as a failure in comparison to its contemporaries, still produced productive players late in the first round.  Blake Griffin is no Tim Duncan and the consolation prizes may have their flaws, but that doesn’t mean true commodities can’t be found late in the first.

Next week I’ll start examining potential picks for the Mavs, starting with those rumored and confirmed to have scheduled workouts with the team.  Some of those players seem poised for success on the pro level, and others may not even be top competitors in the D-League.  As fans, we can only hope that MGMT not only makes the right decision in assessing the talent of a potential pick, but also in picking talented players to fill holes in the Mavs’ rotation.