by ItsGoTime at 01-12-2021, 12:03 PM
Hey guys, even though the season is underway, we didn't get this thought out till now, so we got a sneak peak at what this team is possibly gonna look like for the rest of the season. Make your predictions on what the team's regular season record will be for 2020/21. Those who get the record exactly, will get a new title (to be determined later, suggestions for the title appreciated!!).

If there is an unfortunate work stoppage, we'll use the closest win % for the winner as long as they are within a reasonable percentage.

Sunday the 17th is the deadline to make your predictions, so get yours in now!!!!
by Kammrath at 01-10-2021, 02:49 PM
9 games into a 72 game season, the Mavs have just reached the 1/8th point of the season. Let's see how they are doing:

Record: 5-4 (4th in the West, 9th in the NBA)
Offensive Rating: 110.7 (15th
Defensive Rating: 106.3 (5th
Net Rating: +4.4 (7th)

Strength of Schedule: 14th
Pace: 26th
Free Throw Rate: 0.305 (3rd)
3 Point Rate: 0.462 (3rd)

Offensive eFG%: 0.537 (15th)
Offensive Turnover %: 12.6% (10th)
Offensive Rebound %: 18.2% (24th)
Offensive FT/FGA: 0.234 (2nd)

Defensive eFG%: 0.513 (6th)
Defensive Turnover %: 14.2% (7th)
Defensive Rebound %: 79.4% (9th)
Defensive FT/FGA: 0.233 (25th)


Take aways?
  • The Mavs are playing GOOD defense other than fouling a lot.
  • The Mavs offense has been middling other than getting to the free throw line.
  • The Mavs are shooting lots of threes and playing at a slow pace.
  • The Mavs are in a good position in the standings and statistically while having played an average strength schedule the first 8th of the season without their second best player who should improve both the defense and the offense.

Big questions moving forward:

1) When does KP come back?

2) How many players (and games) are the Mavs going to lose due to COVID-19 protocols?


[Image: source.gif]
by mavsluvr at 01-10-2021, 12:59 AM
MAVS WIN BATTLE OF SHORT-HANDED TEAMS
HARDAWAY, BURKE ON FIRE

The Mavericks left three players in Denver, got in at five o’clock, and could not conduct a shoot around for protocol reasons. But that didn’t stop them from rolling past the Magic, behind flame-throwing performances from the Wolverines. 


GAME STORY

Orlando had a decimated roster, with Aminu, Carter-Williams, Fultz, Isaac and Okeke all out with injuries. Dallas was short-staffed itself, with KP still out and DFS, Richardson and Brunson in virus protocols. 

We got a look at a new starting lineup, featuring Luka, Josh Green, Hardaway, Maxi, and Willie. 

The Mavs went down 6 in the first few minutes, but came back strong, and finished the first quarter leading 36-27. Dallas lost the second quarter by 3, and went into halftime ahead 56-50.

Our team endured a flat stretch when they came out in the third, with the ball sticking and the Mavs not playing hard enough, per Rick. Halfway through the period, the Dallas 6-point lead had turned into a 6-point deficit, with the Mavs’ having scored only 3 points. At 5:35, the bench came in and flipped the script. The squad went on a 24-10 run to close the frame, and went into the fourth up 85-75. Hardaway went white-hot, and scored 16 of the team’s 29 points, 15 in the last six minutes, and 10 in a row to end the team’s scoring drought. After an especially dramatic long three from Tim, the camera caught Luka cheering from the bench, holding his arms in the air and grinning from ear to ear. 

The Mavericks built as much as a 16-point margin in the fourth, and ended the game with a comfortable lead. 


NOTABLE ITEMS

Numbers. There’s nothing like shotmaking to keep a team in a winning state of mind. The Mavs actually lost the possession game, but were a blistering 20-40 from deep, compared to a dismal 6-3 by the Magic. If one were going to critique our boys’ game, you would have to look at turnovers (18 for 16 points). But 20 made threes covers a multitude of sins, so who’s carping? The defense was also on point, especially in the second half, with the Magic held below 100. Ball movement spurred the spectacular shooting, with 25 of the Mavs’ 39 made baskets assisted. High scorers were Tim 36, Burke 29, Luka 20, and Johnson 12. 

Doncic. Luka had his second triple-double in three games, with 20 points, 11 boards, and 10 dimes. Rick said you practically expect triple-doubles from Luka now, and that he was impressed with his PG’s tone-setting. When Luka was told after the game that Coach had praised his especial focus and concentration, he wrinkled his brow, gave an incredulous laugh, and allowed that he is focused and concentrated in every game, not just this one, lol. 

Hardaway. What a night for Tim! He had a career-high scoring night for the second game in a week, putting up 36 points, including 8-13 threes. He had a nice mix of scoring in his team-high 40 minutes, and Rick complimented him for his rim attacks and finishes, as well as his jump shots. When McMahon referred to Tim as a “make-or-miss” player, Rick bristled, and said there was no “make or miss” about it, Tim is going to be out there, whether he’s hitting his shots or not. He elaborated, describing Tim as a great team player, a guy who gives the rest of the team energy, moves the ball, helps with team defense, and is a leader in the huddle. Really good to see a fine scoring night from Timmy, especially on a night when the team was shorthanded. 

Iwundu. Wes had 32 minutes off the bench against his former team, and came close to shutting down Terrence Ross. Rick described him as “tremendous” off the bench, regardless of his not scoring. Playing against your old team is always special, and it was great to watch Wes so effective in season-high minutes. 

Burke. Trey took on backup PG duties, and performed well, but did his main damage putting the ball in the basket. He was a flying ball of fire, pouring in 29 points in 21 minutes on 11-13 shooting, including 7-8 threes, and earning a team-high plus-minus of +25. Rich commended him as a “weapon,” a great shotmaker who is helping make up for the loss of Seth. A dazzling night, for sure!

Johnson. James had a productive evening, with a nice balance of points, rebounds, assists and steals. With only two point guards available, James performed some of the facilitating. One of my favorites was a Tinker to Evers to Chance type play, with a Luka to Johnson to Burke sequence resulting in an open three and looking like it had all been planned in advance. A good opportunity to step up, and James took advantage. 

Orlando. The Magic put up a good fight, especially considering the key players they were missing. The only one who really went off was Vucevic, who had 30 points and 15 rebounds. Dallas did a good job of containing Aaron Gordon (16) and Terrence Ross (11). Khem Birch also had 12 off the bench. 


OBSERVATIONS

Rick was happy about a number of things in this game, particularly the attention to detail, hard play, and the lift the bench gave the team in the third. He also was pleased with his men performing so well with four key guys out and no practice time. He thought they were helped some by the Magic being on the second night of a B2B, but they had done well to take advantage. 

This was the Night of the Guards, with Luka, Tim, and Burke combining for an astronomical 85 points. I was practically dizzy from watching the ball sailing around the court and into the basket. When your team is built to make threes, any given night can be hot or cold, but when those shots are falling, it’s very, very entertaining, and we were treated to a clinic tonight. 

With this victory, the Mavs go to 5-4, rising above .500 for the first time this season. Three wins in a row!

New Orleans is next up. Go Mavs!
by Kammrath at 01-09-2021, 10:50 PM
Who elevated his game to help the team get the win?
by mavsluvr at 01-08-2021, 10:36 AM
MAVERICKS EARN COME-FROM-BEHIND CLUTCH OVERTIME VICTORY IN MILE-HIGH CITY

WOW-EE! The Mavs have their first back-to-back wins of the season, and in what a fashion! What began as a sleeper finished as a thriller! Very exciting developments for our young team!


GAME STORY

Players missing on the night included Denver’s Michael J. Porter and Dallas’ Trey Burke. 

Before the game, both teams locked arms and knelt at the center of the court for the national anthem. The house lights were dimmed, and stage lighting was employed to create red and blue highlights on the floor and to feature the American flag. Whatever one may think about the sentiment, the visual effect was beautiful.

Rick continued with the new starting lineup of Doncic, Richardson, Finney-Smith, Maxi and Willie. They began the first quarter in drab fashion, with most of their possessions resulting in missed shots and/or turnovers. At the 6:53 mark, Dallas had only 2 points and trailed by 9. The Mavs ground their way back, but the Nuggets closed the quarter on an 8-0 run, and our men trailed 22-28 after one. 

Both sides were dismal to start the second. Halfway through the period, Denver had scored 7 points, and Dallas 4. Yecch. Scoring picked up a little from both sides, but the Mavs couldn’t make any headway, and the deficit was 43-52 at halftime. 

Things looked bleak at the interval. Dallas was 4-21 from deep, Luka was limping and clutching his ankle, and nothing about the way the boys were playing suggested a dramatic comeback. 

The third quarter initially looked like more of the same. Denver gradually built their lead to a game-high 12, and it was still 10 at 3:08. With three minutes to go, the Mavs really picked it up, and ended the frame with a 12-4 scoring blitz. The scoreline read 76-78 after thirty-six minutes, so our team was within two. 

The fourth was played very close, with 9 lead changes, and the score difference never exceeding 4. The clutch period was tense. The game was tied at 1:59. Jovic hit one of two free throws, putting Denver ahead by one at 0:59. Luka turned the ball over, and the Nuggets had a missed three, an offensive rebound, and a missed long two. By the time the Mavs regained possession, there were only 8 seconds left. After a Dallas timeout, the Nuggets double-teamed Luka, who flung a perfect pass to an open Maxi, and he came through with the three, putting the Mavs ahead by 2, and setting off soccer-style goal celebrations among the Mavs. Alas, there were 2 seconds left, and Jokic sent the game to overtime. 109-all.

The additional period was Luka Time. This was the clutch performance we have been waiting for. He had more points in the period (9) than the entire Denver team (8). Josh, who had struggled offensively throughout the game, came through with 5 points. The team went on a scoring spree of 15 points, while holding Denver to 8. Final score: 124-117. Hooray!


NOTABLE ITEMS

Numbers.  Dallas found their shooting boots in the second half, hitting a blistering 10 of 14 three-point attempts. Over the game as a whole, they put up 10 fewer shots than the Nuggets, but shot a better percentage. They also had ten more free-throw attempts, and managed to survive missing seven of their 31 freebies. Defense was good to very good throughout the game, and Dallas earned a whopping 23 points off Denver turnovers. The Mavs’ high scorers were Luka with 38 points, DFS and Josh 14 each, Bobi 12 and Tim 11. 

Doncic. It was an outstanding night for Luka. During the first half, I worried that the altitude might be getting to him, and that his ankle might be seriously hampering him. Somehow, he shook off whatever the problem was at halftime, and gave an MVP performance after that. He had season highs in points (38) and assists (13), to go along with 9 assists and 4 steals, and managed to survive missing five free throws and committing 8 turnovers. 

What a passing  and game-management performance!! In both clutch periods, he was fantastic, and said that he had learned from all the painful lessons of the last two seasons. In terms of individual highlight plays, I’ll select a possession where he split a double team and executed a reverse layup in a manner that appeared to violate the laws of physics. Questions about his conditioning were shaken off with a 41-minute stint a mile in the air.  Ever the leader, he credited the whole team for the win in his post-game interview. What an exciting young player!

Richardson. Josh didn’t have an especially great shooting night (5-15), but he hit two huge shots in overtime, and played a critical defensive role, especially against Jamal Murray. Coach stuck with his starting units in the clutch segments, and Josh, along with the rest of the group, performed admirably. 

DFS. Doe-Doe filled up the stat sheet with 14 points, 4-8 threes, 8 boards, 3 steals, and 2 blocks in 36 minutes. At one point, he showed off his hops, elevating practically to the ceiling to throw down a thunderous putback dunk. The young fellow was his usual dependable defensive self, and it was exciting to see him take a step forward on the other end of the floor, especially after his early struggles from long range. 

Kleber. Maxi had 9 points, 8 boards, three assists, and 2 blocks, and earned a team-high +/- at 15. He came through late with 3 enormous threes. 

WCS. Carlisle trusted Willie on the floor in the critical clutch periods, and Trill exceeded expectations against Jokic. He got into foul trouble, and Carlisle saved him for the fourth quarter and overtime, where he did not disappoint. 

Bench. The second unit scored 44 points, and only two players were in negative territory. Tim had 11 points and 4 assists in 25 minutes. He was an important pillar of the Mavs’ catch-up effort, leading the team with 8 points in the third quarter. We were treated to 16 minutes of the Bobi Show, as Rick searched for size and length against Nikola. My man Bobi contributed 12 points on 5-7 shooting, and pulled down 3 boards. His deadpan standstill dunks had me laughing. Powell played only 10 minutes, but I thought he had some good moments, and elevated well on a couple of dunks. James Johnson sported a new look, having sheared off his blond thatch. Josh Green had an unusual cameo early. 

Nuggets. Denver was a more than worthy opponent, and I was relieved to see them fade a bit as the game wore on. Jokic laid 38 points and 11 boards on our guys, and Murray added 21 points and 9 assists. Whoo-ee. Gary Harris got into the act with 15 points, and Monte Morris and JaMychael Green were deadly off the bench.  


OBSERVATIONS

This was such an important game. Denver is a difficult place to play, with its talented team and thin air. The Mavs did an outstanding job of sticking it out through a rough start and being rewarded for their persistence when their shots started falling. Their defense was on a string throughout the last ten minutes, and we saw a demonstration of the visions dancing in Carlisle’s head, as his squad translated those into reality on the court. The second half and overtime were most impressive, and the indications of the team’s progress for the future are enticing. 

As a side note, we received news during the game that former Mav Seth Curry tested positive for the virus, and apparently sat with his team during the entire first quarter. Not sure what happened with that, but we surely wish Seth the best. 

And with this game, the Mavs reach .500 for the season. What a lovely experience!

Orlando is next up. 
by Kammrath at 01-08-2021, 12:54 AM
Who was the player of the game who stepped up to help the team get the win?
by DanSchwartzman at 01-06-2021, 08:32 AM
Interesting data from Tim Cato's piece on the lineup change.  It kind of highlights the "eye test vs. data" debate that often rages around here.  Cato starts out talking about whether things were really that bad defensively with Powell as a starter:

     
  "Powell has conceded 85% of shots he's defended, per the NBA's stat site".


Well, that explains the eye-test part.  If it appears that every player who takes a shot against Powell makes that shot it is because that is exactly what is happening.  Then Cato goes on to say:


  "but the starting lineup with him (Powell) has only allowed a 100.9 defensive rating - almost 10 points better than last season's                average and six points better than the team's overall rank."

This is somewhat backed up by D-Rating where bigs so far this season have the following ratings:

Johnson 99
Powell 103
WCS 104
Maxi 106

All of those are actually really good numbers.  Dallas is 6th in the league in Opponents PPG and 11th in the league in Defensive Rating.  Dallas is playing better D and it wasn't just this one game against Houston.

Rebounding was abysmal with a non-rebounding C like Powell playing as a stand-alone big.  You might get by with that if Powell's well established lack of board prowess was surrounded by Luka and another big.  But it was a killer when he was run out there by himself.  Powell's rebounding is off this season compared to his pedestrian past, but at least part of the team's putrid rebounding has to be laid at the feet of the decision maker who thought we could get by with him as your single big.  As I've said before, none of our bigs is well equipped to run out as a stand-alone big against the starting bigs from other teams.  Running out WCS AND Maxi is not apples to apples compared to what we did for six games.

The most interesting point Cato made was that our historic "O" is really what killed us.  Six games in we were only managing 90 PP100 with the starters in.  Ouch.  It was easy to see WCS's electric athleticism on finishes compared to the still recovering Powell (despite the fact WCS sets really sloppy picks).  It is also in the numbers.  Powell has averaged an O-Rating of 132.6 the last 3 seasons.  Through seven games he's at 113.  He's not alone here.  Luka is down from 116 last season to 108.  THJ is down from 116 to 112 and DFS is down from 122 to 109.  To me, the question is chicken or egg.  Was Powell's lack of lift killing Luka's game or was Fat Luka's poor play killing the "O" (or both).  At least through one game you have to tip the scale more heavily toward Powell being the issue, because the moment he sat, Luka looked like Luka again.

I realize this isn't like my usual defense of Powell.  I've consistently complained about the single big approach and have said neither Maxi or WCS would work any better than Powell (I've not seen anything to disprove that).  I've preached patience and been surprised that people are so down on him.  He's had seven fewer months to recover than KD.  It is a miracle that he's playing at all.  My main objections come when people make sweeping statements about Powell's past.  The team has done very well with him on the floor the last three seasons despite what our lying eyes tell us.  The main reason for going through all of this was to have the real data out there a week or a month from now when posters try to create a narrative that the team was horrendous defensively with Powell as a starter.  Number one, Powell alone isn't comparable to playing two bigs and number two, it isn't true.  Team D was actually very good despite Powell's inability to guard anyone or secure a defensive board.  Hopefully in a week or two this will all be a long forgotten memory and the debate will rage as to who is the best pairing with KP.
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