Tag:Shawn Marion
Posted on: December 30, 2010 2:02 pm
Edited on: December 30, 2010 2:09 pm
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The best in Texas right now? A Maverick answer

The Spurs are great, the Mavs are better this season. Here's why they're the Best in Texas. 
Posted by Matt Moore




Who's the best in Texas? The Dallas Mavericks, that's who. 

Let's start by admitting that this is largely like asking what's better, pancakes or waffles. Done right, they're both pretty awesome with syrup. The Spurs are a deep, talented team that executes with consistency and is led by a smart, capable head coach and an all-world power forward. The Mavericks are a deep, talented team that executes with consistency and is led by a smart, capable head coach and an all-world power forward. Both teams are top teams in the league, both teams are capable of beating anyone on any given night, and both teams are reasonable in having championship aspirations at this point. 

That said, while the Spurs currently entertain a 2.5 game advantage over the Mavericks, it's been the Mavericks who have staked their claim as the best team in Texas this year. Consider this: The Spurs are 6-3 against teams in the top ten in point differential . The Mavericks are 9-2, an absolutely ridiculous mark , including wins over Miami, Oklahoma City, Orlando, and Utah. They swept the Heat in two meetings. They have beaten the Celtics. Now the Spurs have also beaten the Heat, have beaten the Lakers, have beaten the Jazz and the Thunder. But the Mavericks have been just slightly better against elite teams, including ... a November 26th 103-94 win over San Antonio. 

So how did Dallas get this good? Consistency and depth. The Mavericks, more than any team in the league, including the Celtics, Lakers, and Spurs, have played consistently well quarter to quarter. With the improved depth at center as Tyson Chandler turns back the clock, and with a four-guard rotation that will only improve with the return of Rodrigue Beaubois, the Mavericks have solid depth at nearly every position. Jose Juan Barea is always surprisingly good, the annoying player you can't believe is sticking you with daggers. Jason Kidd is still incredibly talented even at his age. Have you ever taken a look at how fast he is in transition? Unbelievable at age 37. Jason Terry is still lighting it up. And DeShawn Stevenson is a well-rounded shooting guard who amazingly isn't a liability under Rick Carlisle's tutelage. 

Small forward, though, may be the best situation for the Mavericks. They're able to combo with Caron Butler and Shawn Marion (who's having a renaissance year).  Marion's physical athleticism and Butler's precision makes for a great matchup combination. Being able to adjust his lineup to whatever the opponent throws at him is a considerable asset for head coach Rick Carlisle. At power forward, Marion is a capable small lineup option, but we all know the real answer is Dirk Nowitzki (who's a gametime decision Thursday night). Nowtizki has played at an MVP-level this season, rebounding well while continuing to be an absolute monster from the elbow down the stretch. Dirk has the ability still to pump-fake and drive, keeping opponents glued to their stance instead of bodying him, and when that big frame rises up at the elbow, it's nearly impossible to defend. The Mavericks only go as far as the Big German takes them, but he's got a track record of going pretty far. The knock on Nowitzki has been about his playoff performances, where he's a career 46% shooter, averaging 25 points and 10 rebounds per game. That he ran into Dwyane Wade going Nova in '06 and a disastrous matchup advantage for vintage Don Nelson in '07 should not confuse the greatness of his career. 

And center has been a huge upgrade with Tyson Chandler playing at a tough level for any Western center. Having Brendan Haywood as your starting center is okay, not great, but having him as a backup is a boon, even if he is struggling this season. That's six more fouls the Mavs have to throw around a night, and that size has been missing for years in the Big D. Redefining the Mavs as an offensive juggernaut that can also defend (currently 6th in defensive efficiency ) changes the game for Dallas, and that's what's happened this season.

The Spurs are a great team and a legitimate championship contender. They're also the last team to knock off the Mavericks in the playoffs. But right now, with the Spurs having some inconsistencies game to game, and with Duncan having a bigger drop-off than Dirk, the Mavericks are the best squad in the Lonestar state. We'll find out if that's true heads-up Thursday night when the two meet.

Yippie-kay-yay.
Posted on: December 21, 2010 2:32 am
 

Mavs control glass to beat Heat as Marion excels

Mavericks' control glass despite eight-shot possession to tame Heat.
Posted by Matt Moore


The Miami Heat held a 16-10 advantage on the offensive glass in their loss to the Dallas Mavericks 98-96 Monday night . The Mavericks secured two huge offensive rebounds down the stretch, both leading to clutch three-pointers from Jason Terry. The real gap between the Mavericks and Heat was rebounding. The Mavs' work on the glass was what won them a huge game against the Triad. How can that be with an advantage on the offensive glass?

Because seven of the Heat's 16 offensive rebounds came on one play. No kidding. From the AP via the Dallas Morning News :

The Miami Heat pulled off something not seen every day in the NBA: A possession with eight shots.

And yes, eight was enough.

It all started with 2:47 left in the first half against the Mavericks on Monday night, when Dirk Nowitzki missed a 3-pointer and Mike Miller got the defensive rebound for Miami.

Chris Bosh missed a jumper, Miller got the rebound to extend the possession ... and the Heat were just getting started.

Mario Chalmers missed a 3-pointer, Dwyane Wade misfired on a 3, Miller then couldn't connect on yet another try from beyond the arc, Wade missed a layup, Bosh missed another jumper, Miller came up short again on a 3 - before Chalmers, finally, connected on a 3 with 1:53 left.


via How about boxing out? Heat pull off eight-shot possession against Mavericks |The Dallas Morning News .


So in reality, outside of one bonkers play in the first half, the Mavericks did control the offensive glass 10-9, and held an overall advantage on the boards 48-37 versus 48-44. It speaks to a concern many have, about the ability of Miami to rebound in key situations. The truth is, Miami's been solid on the boards. They're currently eleventh in offensive rebounding differential and fifth in total rebounding percentage .

So what got it done for the Mavs, who are ranked 25th in offensive rebound rate and 18th in opponent offensive rebound rate allowed ? Shawn Marion.

Marion finished with only 7 points on 2-7 shooting, but had 13 rebounds, five offensive, with four in the fourth quarter. Marion's numbers are all down, except in per-minute figures and PER. Watching him, though, Marion alongside Tyson Chandler have given Dallas a tougher, physical face that can also work inside the offensively versatile system designed by Rick Carlisle. Marion is tied for the second best defensive rating among Mavericks rotation players. What's more, Synergy Sports has Marion allowing a 39% FG percentage which is pretty solid.

In short ... he's exactly the kind of player the Heat could use. Too bad they shipped him out for Jermaine O'Neal over a year ago.

The Mavericks meanwhile continue to find hybrid ways of winning games. And Monday night, it was Marion on the glass, with some JET fire from the outside.
Posted on: December 8, 2010 2:22 am
Edited on: December 8, 2010 9:34 am
 

Mavericks breaking out with more than front five

Mavericks excel with more than the starting five, as their win streak reaches ten. Posted by Matt Moore



The Mavericks have always been able to gunsling with the best with them this decade. Having a seven-foot Hall of Fame, former MVP legend will do that for you, alongside one of the top point guards of all time and a former sixth man of the year. But as was evident in the Mavericks' tenth straight win , it's not just the starters for Dallas that are getting the job done. 

After the Mavericks outran the Jazz on December 3rd, Dirk Nowitzki said this is the deepest team he's been on . The numbers are bearing out that this is at least a very good team depth-wise, and not just on the offensive end. 

Dallas' bench entered play Tuesday night averaging 33.6 points per game and allowing just 28.7 per game. It's that kind of advantage when your starters come off the floor that leads to starters being able to rest more, and coaches like Rick Carlisle not having to throw starters back out into weird rotations in order to plug leaks as a lead drops or a deficit widens. 

Tonight's contributor was Ian Mahinmi, who provided his first career double-double against the Warriors with 12 points and 10 rebounds to go with 2 steals and one very nasty block. Mahinmi being a viable backup center when Tyson Chandler and/or Brendan Haywood can't go gives a whole new dimension to the Mavericks, allowing them to play big against opponents. That's something that will be crucial to keep an eye on as the playoffs approach, even if the Mavericks aren't as hot as they are now (and odds are they won't be). 

It should be noted that Jason Terry is a big reason for the bench points as DeShawn Stevenson has been starting in his stead at shooting guard. Still, there's not an absence of production for Dallas off the pine as Mahinmi, Jose Juan Barea, and Shawn Marion are all capable of putting in solid to great nights if they're feeling on. That's a pretty big set of weapons to account for, and that's part of the reason Dallas has been so unstoppable thus far this season. 

Oh, and have we mentioned Rodrigue Beaubois isn't even back in action, yet? 

The Mavericks aren't just stocked at each position, they're capable of throwing together combinations to specifically counter what their opponent puts on the floor. With Rick Carlisle at the helm, the team is willing and able to adjust on the fly to problems presented, which is partially responsible for Dallas' remarkable ability to close this season. 

When Beaubois returns, the Mavs will feature a stellar four-guard rotation, a solid punch-counterpunch at small forward with Caron Butler and Shawn Marion providing contrasting approaches, and a three-headed center system with veterans Haywood and Chandler backed up by young buck Mahinmi. Quite simply, when the Mavericks are healthy, they are not a team you want to run into on a dark and stormy night. And unlike the Hornets, this success doesn't seem to be the product of a hot streak. 

Get past all that? 

You've still got Dirk Nowitzki in effect. 

#1 (for now ) indeed. 
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com