Monday Morning Mavs Donuts: Player Reviews
DONUT 1: Shawn Marion – Marion started slowly in this one, but then again, who didn't? Marion ended the day with the type of stat line that we are used to from him: 12 points on 6-of-10 shooting, plus six rebounds and three assists to go with three turnovers. He didn't play a minute of the fourth quarter, partially because the game was so out of hand.
Speaking of hands, after the game it became known that Marion fractured his left pinkie finger during the third quarter of Sunday's blowout. Yes, it's this finger.
Trix was also a part of the most effective Mavericks' lineup with Odom/Dirk/Kidd/Terry. However, that lineup didn't get to spend nearly enough time together before Odom got tossed.
Speaking of which…
DONUT 2: Lamar Odom - Maybe Odom doesn't like his team getting blown out. Maybe he isn't over being traded by the Lakers. Maybe he is trying a little too hard to be Tyson Chandler. Whatever the reason, in both preseason games vs. OKC and in the opener last night, Odom has seemed to be putting a little extra mustard on his fouls.
"Usually after 13 years, a couple of rings, seeing my face and now playing with the champs, you usually get a warning or something like that," Odom said. "I guess I was out of character a little bit.
Some of that is good, but too much emotion results in what you saw Sunday: Odom getting tossed and no longer available to help his teammates.
Odom only played 13 minutes due partially to his ejection and seemed to struggle with his shot wherever he launched. He was 1-of-6 overall, 1-of-2 from the arc and 1-of-3 from the line for four points. He also ended with four rebounds, one assist, and a steal.
He wasn't the only Mav to struggle with fouls as Haywood, Mahimi, and Dirk all had four fouls. Most of these were the result of defensive rotations not being quite ironed out yet. But LO stands out in that department because if any Mav understands the value of "presence,'' it should be him.
DONUT 3: Dirk Nowitzki – Nowitzki was one of two Mavs to break the 20-point mark (his 21 joining Jet's 23), but was held back by the overall poor play of his squad. Nothing out of the ordinary here, as we've become accustomed to Nowitzki's dazzling array of jumpers and unconventional shots. He also displayed a nifty layup on the left side of the basket, a shot the Heat no doubt remember. (Games 2 and 4 of the Finals anyone?)
This game also featured one of the rarest of sports feats: a blocked Dirk Nowitzki shot. To be fair, it was from behind, but you won't see many of those this year.
Dirk was asked to play defense on Bosh, something that a year ago was TY's job. Ah, the trickle-down effect.
DONUT 4: Jason Kidd – Jason Kidd managed to score the first Mavericks points of the season yesterday, going 3-of-3 at the line after a very Kidd-like foul-drawing on the perimeter. Overall he finished 2-of-5 from the field, with all shot attempts coming from behind the arc. He also finished with three assists, two steals and two turnovers.
Said Kidd: "Chemistry is big. We've got a lot of different pieces out there. We're going to work everybody in, and everybody is going to get used to one another. It's going to take time. For the guys who have been here, we've got to do a little bit more.''
DONUT 5: Brendan Haywood – In a game marred by ugliness, Big Wood's play ranks near the top.
In 14 minutes of action, Big Wood did not score on two shots, pulled down three rebounds (two offensive) and totaled two turnovers and four fouls. He looked a step slow on defense, rotating a half-step late on too many Heat possessions that often resulted in fouls.
Offense was not much better as Haywood struggled with entry passes to the post. "A day late and a dollar short,'' you might say, on both ends of the floor in this one and was eventually benched in favor of The Carlisle Grab-Bag. To be fair, the Heat played without a center for much of the game. And Rick said some positive things afterward. But it was a bummer to not see Haywood assert himself more in this one.
"You can't worry about what anybody else is saying or trying to prove anything to anybody else,'' Big Wood said. "You're trying to help your team. It's about the guys in this locker room. It's not about the outside world.''
We're here on the outside, yes. And we're a tad worried.
DONUT 6: Vince Carter – The newest addition to the Mavs starting lineup, Carter took the first two shots of the Mavs' afternoon but struggled with his shot in this one, both in terms of shot selection and shot conversion. On more than one occasion yesterday, we found ourselves shaking our heads at the shots Carter was putting up, continuing the sad trend from the preseason.
It's almost as if he hasn't yet convinced himself that he's no longer "Half-Amazing," and he earned what we would term a "benching'' in the second half of this one.
However, he like the rest of his squad, has much to figure out, and if Carter can learn to play within the offense and not go shot-hunting early in the clock like he did, he can serve this season as a Peja/Caron hybrid. At this point, that's probably Carter's ceiling as the athleticism that made him "Half-Amazing" looks like a memory.
Said Rick: "Game-to-game, we could have some variance with our lineup at the 2-spot, which is nothing new around here.''
Which makes us wonder if we'll see something "new'' and "variant'' tonight against the Nuggets.
DONUT 7: Jason Terry – The Jet turned in perhaps the best performance of any Maverick, scoring 23 points on 9-of-18 shooting (4-of-10 from 3-point territory) and adding three assists and two steals in 29 minutes of work. He ignited a rally in the third quarter that brought the Mavs to within 19 and brought the crowd to its feet.
On Jet's feet were those "24-carat shoes.'' Atop his head was his "Seah-Hawk,'' a haircut tribute to his Pacific Northwest hometown. In between was the same level of play we last saw from him, in the NBA Finals.
DONUT 8: Brian Cardinal – The Custodian finished this one with the type of blue-collar effort we are accustomed to seeing from him: four points, an assist and a steal. He did not convert a field goal, instead going 4-of-4 at the line in 14 minutes of duty.
It is with full respect that we say that we don't generally like games in which Cardinal is asked to play 14 minutes.
DONUT 9: Delonte West – West turned in the best performance of the newcomers, scoring 10 points in 25 minutes of work. He was active and effective on both ends of the floor, providing the type of scrappy defense and heady offense that NBA junkies have become accustomed to. He added three assists and three steals, but was held back by three turnovers, clearly still adjusting to his new surroundings. We like that he didn't back down from LeBron and Wade, and Rick apparently liked him, too, as West got the second-half start in place of Vince and alongside Kidd.
DONUT 10: Ian Mahimi - The Ianimal still doesn't quite seem ready for the increased workload that will be demanded of him this year. As Carlisle is fond of saying, "you defend with your feet," and unfortunately, Mahinmi still defends with his arms too much, earning four fouls to go along with two points and four boards in 15 minutes of work.
Like Big Wood, he gave way to Wright and to combos that didn't include a center. So maybe the search continues, Przybilla and Fesenko and Dwight and everybody in between.
DONUT 11: Brandan Wright – The new Mav saw limited action in this one, only earning 11 minutes of playing time and looked like most of the newcomers: still adjusting to his new habitat. His line was an unimpressive 0 points on 0-of-1 shooting, with one rebound and a steal. However, his play was encouraging as he was active on the defensive end of the floor and contributed in ways that don't show up in a box score. His development will be something to track as he fights for limited minutes in a crowded frontcourt. ... and maybe, surprising us a bit, at center.
DONUT 12: Roddy B and DoJo – We group these two together because they both saw limited time. ... disappointingly limited time.
DoJo fared slightly better of the two, scoring 4 points on 1-of-3 shooting. He displayed the aggressiveness we've seen from the preseason, getting to the rim multiple times in his four garbage-time minutes of work. Roddy B saw eight minutes of time and missed all four of his shots, including 0-of-2 from the arc. Roddy was active from the guard spot, turning in three rebounds and three assists.
It was disappointing that these two didn't see more burn in this game, especially since this game was a blowout from the second quarter onwards. Carlisle once again displayed his distrust of rookies, and near-rookies like these two. Hopefully they can play their way into the rotation and provide the type of defensive energy that fueled last year's championship run. We agree with the Mavs scouting department in beieving there is not a lack of talent here. They just have to make the most of their limited opportunity. ... and they failed to do that Sunday -- pretty much like everybody else on the roster.
So you get your banner-raising ...
(And if you like the ABC version, you should see the Premium Mavs Fans version shot from the floor by DB.com!)
And then ...
"You gotta throw this one out,'' Jet said, and now we can do so. "I like our pieces,'' Jet said. "I think we're loaded talent-wise.''
And while we think the same, we'd like to see some of that talent unload on somebody. Maybe tonight against the visiting Nuggets ... and remember, coming up later today and every gameday, NBA scout Kyle Leath provides DB.com with a "The Scout,'' a real NBA scouting report of the opponent ... stay tuned!
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