Advance Scout: Kings at Mavs

NBA scout Kyle Leath digs into the Kings playbook for The Advance Scout, our exclusive inside-the-game approach to tonight's Sacramento-at-Dallas meeting ... Come inside the teams' playbooks!

The Starting Lineups:

KINGS 19-38 MAVS 31-26

F- Isaiah Thomas F- Shawn Marion

F- Jason Thompson F- Dirk Nowitzki

C- DeMarcus Cousins C- Brendan Haywood

G- Jimmer Fredette G- Vince Carter

G- Tyreke Evans G- Jason Kidd

Kings Offense:

• They like to run and take quick shots. Poor shot selection at times.

• Evans spearheads the break. They run a lot of mid pick/roll with him and Cousins. Their post like to pop and can shoot the 15-18 footer.

• A favorite is the sideline secondary break with Cousins to the block and trailing the post for jumper.

• Sets they like are a double-cross-screen for Cousins at the block and 4-out with Cousins working in the post.

• Iso plays for Cousins and Salmons (at the elbow) are part of the arsenal.

• They will get the ball reversed and pin down for Cousins stepping out for wing jumper.

• Cousins will attack defenders and get them in early foul trouble when he catches the ball deep. He is an enormous physical talent:

Kings Defense:

• They do not guard the ball hard and can be beat with quick ball reversal. The Dallas Mavericks offense is at its best with effective ball movement, something that should be helped with tonight's planned return of Jason Kidd

• The Kings will play behind post and double from help-side elbow when ball is entered to post.

• They will show with post on ball screens, and are slow to recover.

• Will run at 3-point shooters. Can be beat with ball fake and drive. Dirk Nowitzki can get success on the perimter using this technique.

How to Beat the Kings:

• Protect the paint. Make them take perimeter shots then make sure they do not get offensive rebounds.

• Defensive transition. Get back and get ball out of Evans hands. Know that post will trail and shoot. ... and Evans' increasing awareness has him finding the right people:

• Look for weak-side cuts on offense, especially when the ball is entered to the post. Brandan Wright, who has played center all year but will now serve as a backup 4 with the departure of Odom, gives Dallas an extra defender to help with this.

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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