The Difference: Dallas Mavericks 97, Golden State Warriors 100

Posted by Connor Huchton on February 1, 2013 under Recaps | Read the First Comment

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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.

  • For years and years, the Mavericks prided themselves on winning close games, often on the heels of a Dirk Nowitzki (DNP; injury) fadeaway. With Dirk out of the lineup and this year’s Mavericks’ team performing dreadfully in close games, the team’s sputtering finish against a deep Warriors’ squad shouldn’t surprise. But it still does, and it acts an originator of a thousand “What if’s?” What if O.J. Mayo (8-13 FG, 3-5 3PT, 6-8 FT, 25 points, six assists, five rebounds) makes both of his free throws in the final minute? What if the possible foul on Brandan Wright (4-8 FG, nine points, three rebounds) is called? What if _______? In the end, that blank space can only be filled by disappointment.
  • Like so many other Mavericks’ losses of the same brand, it’s difficult to find much issue with any aspect of the Mavericks’ game plan beyond the team’s execution in the final minutes. The Mavericks battled back and forth with Golden State all night, and fought bravely to give themselves a chance to win, albeit one which they did not ultimately take. All the same, Mayo played brilliantly and nicely utilized his transition abilities, Shawn Marion (8-11 FG, 18 points, 17 rebounds) rebounded like it was 2006, and the rest of the Mavericks collectively provided acceptable play, despite struggling with help defense on Klay Thompson (11-18 FG, 3-7 3PT, 27 points) and allowing David Lee (6-13 FG, 15 points, 20 rebounds, nine assists) to corral seven essential offensive rebounds.
  • The potency of Lee’s game appeared in full force tonight. The Mavericks did a fine job of assessing and guarding Lee in the post-up situations he often thrives on, but also at times overcommitted or lost help defense awareness, leading to Lee’s nine assists (often from passes to open shooters) and a weighty rebounding total of 20 for the All-Star power forward. Lee’s offensive game is vast, and the Mavericks were quite often an audience to the power of that vastness on Thursday night.

The Difference: Dallas Mavericks 112, Golden State Warriors 103

Posted by Rob Mahoney on April 13, 2012 under Recaps | 4 Comments to Read

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Box ScorePlay-by-PlayShot ChartGame Flow

TeamPaceOff. Eff.eFG%FTRORRTOR
Dallas92.0121.755.122.730.410.9
Golden State112.051.228.433.317.4

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

  • Considering that every NBA team should be expected to make a run at some point or another, this game went quite well. One could demand better maintenance of a double-digit margin, want particular players to score more effectively against such lackluster defense, or pick nits here with Dallas’ occasionally odd execution, but in a general sense it’s hard to look down on an effort where Jason Kidd (nine points, 12 assists, 10 rebounds, three steals, two blocks, two turnovers) made a real impact, Rodrigue Beaubois (11 points, 5-9 FG, five assists, one turnover) was among the more constructive forces on the floor, the reserves managed 57 points, and Dirk Nowitzki (27 points, 10-23 FG) was Dirk Nowitzki. This certainly wasn’t a spotless performance, but it was another quality outing at a time when Dallas can’t afford anything less.
  • For the pessimists out there: the Mavs’ execution of the pick and roll seemed fairly lazy at times, as Kidd and Delonte West in particular were completely derailed in their pocket-pass attempts. Things will certainly have to get crisper in that regard, and the transition defense could still use plenty of improvement. Neither of those shortcomings was enough of a problem to put Dallas’ efforts in serious jeopardy, but they could prove more costly if they persist against better competition.
  • In their current form, the Warriors are a perfectly miserable basketball team. There were some decent individual efforts on Thursday, but overall the team’s operation is reminiscent of a confined gas; they’re objects floating within the limits of a particular space, toward no end in particular and without any coherence of movement or purpose. The Mavs’ defensive inattentions afforded the Warriors the space to make their random bounces seem constructive, but this is a team in disarray, to say the least.

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The Difference: Golden State Warriors 111, Dallas Mavericks 87

Posted by James Herbert on March 11, 2012 under Recaps | Read the First Comment

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.

  • There aren’t a lot of positives to take from a loss like this, except for the fact that it’s probably not all that representative of anything. The reality: the Mavs are now the third team this season to lose all three games of a back-to-back-to-back. At 23-20, they’ve dropped eight of ten and would occupy the West’s final playoff spot if the season ended today. Fortunately, the season doesn’t end today. This brutal stretch of nine games in 12 nights is over and I’m closer to the Mark Cuban “these losses are meaningless” school of thought than the “Dallas is a disaster” stance that clean-shaven Sam Mitchell took on NBA TV Friday night. Brendan Haywood will be back soon, Delonte West after that, and we’ll look for incremental improvements over the next month or so.
  • Oh, Jason Kidd will be back soon, too. He was a late scratch. No need to play the soon-to-be 39-year-old on three straight nights. This meant we were treated to a starting backcourt of Jason Terry and Dominique Jones, with Rodrigue Beaubois and Vince Carter theoretically adding scoring punch off the bench. For JET, it was his first start since last January. For Jones, it was the first of his career. Also, this was Terry’s 1000th career regular season game.
  • For the second night in a row, Dallas looked old and slow and fell behind early to a non-playoff team. The Warriors scored the first six points of the game and Rick Carlisle took his first timeout with 6:31 left in the first, down 11-5. The Mavs’ legs were dragging from the opening tip, while the Warriors, who hadn’t played since Wednesday, were full of energy, even if it wasn’t always channeled correctly. The Mavs started the first quarter shooting 2-13 and finished it 6-22.
  • That energy I talked about? Much of it came from Ekpe Udoh, who was running and jumping and contesting shots all over the place. Early in the first, he challenged a Dirk Nowitzki jumper, then blocked Ian Mahinmi’s follow attempt. He blocked a Nowitzki shot a few possessions later. He should become a Serge Ibaka-like league-wide fan favorite as soon as the Warriors are relevant.
  • The first quarter wasn’t all one-sided and it wasn’t just the Mavericks being sloppy — both teams had six turnovers in the opening frame. After that timeout with 6:31 left, Rodrigue Beaubois and Lamar Odom checked in. Both immediately hit threes and tied the game at 11. But in the last 3:31, Golden State went on a 13-2 run. For the rest of the game, Dallas was playing catch-up.

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