Advance Scout: How Mavs Can Beat The Suns

We take you inside tonight's Suns-at-Mavs game with an Advance-Scouting look at OKC ... The Suns' pet play, why to watch out for SLOBS, and a how-to on beating the Suns, all from Nuggets scout and long-time Mavs staffer Kyle Leath!

Phoenix Suns at Dallas Mavericks 7:30 p.m.

Probable starters:

SUNS 2-3 MAVS 2-4

F- Channing Frye F- Shawn Marion

F- Grant Hill F- Dirk Nowitzki

C- Marcin Gortat C- Brendan Haywood

G- Jared Dudley G- Delonte West

G- Steve Nash G- Jason Kidd


• The more things change, the more they same the same as Phoenix's offense is still centered and triggered Steve Nash. They are not that much of a transition team but still want to open up the floor for Nash to penetrate and create.

• Run a lot of high pick/roll with Gortat/Lopez and Nash.

• Favorite set is a high post/mid post look with two wings. Will set back screens for Hill and also down screens for Dudley/Shannon Brown.

• Post will flash from weak side elbow to low post on ball reversal.

• Will isolate Hill and Hakeem Warrick in low post.

• Against a zone, they will run a high/low attack with a baseline runner to try and overload a side of the floor upon ball reversal

• Also vs. zone will set in a high post with forwards on each block. Upon a strong side being established, ball side forward will pop to corner, hi post will drop to block and weak side forward (most dangerous player) will flash to high-post.

• On SLOBS (sideline-out-of-bounds) will run side pick/roll with center and point guard.


• Good transition team in getting back, but soft in the post on secondary break.

• Do a good job, fundamentally, of playing off ball screens. Will go over off ball screens on baseline and over off ball screens at FT line and above. Do not chase screens very often.

• Post will show hard on high pick/roll action, especially Gortat.

• If Mavs will use effective ball reversal, they can attack the post upon reversing the ball because Phoenix' post will get caught behind.

• Go after their point guards Nash and Price. Post them when can.

• From time to time they will show full-court pressure off their made free throws therefore guys like Marion (who by the way is not feeling well today) must take care to not get lazy inbounding the ball.

Stat Check:

• Statistically, the Suns are middle of the pack in virtually all categories, thus their 2-3 record.

• Suns are 1st in the NBA in FT% at .825

• Suns are 27th in the league opponents Def. Rebs/Gm. However their rebound differential is only -3 per game where Dallas' is -7/gm.

How to Beat the Suns:

• Keep Nash under wraps. One way to do this is by attacking him when Mavs on offense. Post him and make him guard the ball. He had a sore wrist (among other ailments) so really looking to get the ball to the rim first on offense

• Brown and Warrick are good scorers off the bench so Mavs second unit has to be ready to defend with intensity. Warrick is certainly capable of contributing with some level of intensity.

• All in all they are a fairly unremarkable team, similar to a year ago. Go to work early with Nowitzki and do not let Nash get going.

• Push the ball when can. Outside of Gortat (who is playing with a thumb injury), they are soft in the post and Mavs offensive players can take them deep into the lane.

Kyle Leath, a long-time Mavs staffer, former college head coach and now scout for the Denver Nuggets, provides you with an NBA-style scouting report before Mavs games.

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