Mavs Stats: 'Inside The Unrestricted Area'

With regularity we take a gander – yes, you just read the word 'gander' – at some of the noteworthy stat info as it pertains to your Mavs. What do the coaches know about possessions and creating from the guards? What do the numbers say about Dallas' offensive balance? Who is a surprising turnover flop? Welcome to That's all we have for this foray into 'The Unrestricted Area.'



With regularity we're going to try to take a gander – yes, you just read the word "gander" – at some of the noteworthy statistical information as it pertains to your Dallas Mavericks. Looking everywhere from NBA.com's plethora of information, including the supremely intriguing player tracking from SportVU, to Basketball-Reference to Synergy Sports (oh, and from inside Mavs HQ, too), we'll deliver numbers we find interesting, significant or simply entertaining (at least, to us).

It's well worth our Premium effort and, we hope, useful for you as Premium Mavs content.

(Stats accurate up to and including Tuesday night's game – does not include Wednesday night)

Monta's love of the drive …

As we've discussed previously, with 11.5 Monta Ellis lead's the league in drives per game (drive defined as any touch at least 20 feet from the hoop and dribbled to within 10 feet, excluding fast breaks). He's also first in points per game on drives at 8.9 and trails only Ty Lawson in amount of points his team has scored on his drives (13.1).

Of players with at least six drives per game, Ellis ranks 9th in field-goal percentage when driving (48.8).

Interestingly enough, contrary to his well-earned recent reputation, Ellis is also performing quite well on "pull up" attempts (shots outside of 10 feet where the player took at least one dribble prior to shooting).

Of players averaging at least five pull-up attempts per game, Ellis is currently shooting the sixth highest percentage in the league, 46 percent … better than players like Stephen Curry (43.7 percent), Carmelo Anthony (41.2 percent), or last year's starting shooting guard for the Mavs, OJ Mayo (43.8 percent) … Tony Parker leads the league, converting 52.3 percent of his pull-up attempts.

Vince Carter is the next Mavs player on the list (adhering to the same minimum requirements), hitting 30.8 percent of his pull-up tries … Dirk is hitting 50 percent of his pull-up attempts, but doesn't meet the five-attempt minimum (4.3).

Possessions and Creating from the guards ...

Not surprisingly, the two Mavs players with the most touches are the staring guards. Jose Calderon averages 80.1 touches per game (9th in the NBA), with Ellis not far behind at 73.5 (18th) … the margin narrows, as you might expect, in average minutes with possession of the ball per game. Calderon is at 4.7 minutes, and 4.4 for Ellis.

Ellis has been the primary faucet the offense has poured from, and the numbers bear this out. He leads the team in: assist opportunities per game (passes to a teammate resulting in a shot that would have become an assist had it been converted) with 11.3 (16th in the NBA), secondary (hockey) assists per game, at 1.4 (tied for 15th), and is tied with Gal Mekel with 0.5 free-throw assists per game (players fouled on play that would have been an assist had they converted and end up hitting at least one of the free throws).

Calderon leads the team with 5.5 assists per game, while Ellis leads in scoring, 22.5 points per … both act as the key orchestrators of the league's fourth most efficient offense (offensive rating of 106.4) and fifth highest pace (100.6 possessions per 48 minutes).

Another note on Calderon, despite his slow start, of players taking at least three catch-and-shoot 3-pointers per game, Jose Calderon ranks 20th in the league, hitting 43.8 percent of those chances.

What's the balance of the Dallas offense … The highest percentage of the Mavs possessions have ended via the pick-and-roll ball handler, 21.2 percent … spot-up attempts come next at 17.9 percent (which could be an offshoot of the pick-and-roll plays).

Dallas ball handlers have been middle of the pack on pick-and-roll effectiveness, averaging 0.76 points per possession (ranking 14th), and have turned the all over 20 percent of the time.

The team's highest ranking offensive attack has been in transition, averaging 1.24 points per possession, third best in the league.

Overall, the Mavs average 0.94 points per possession, sixth best in the NBA.

More on the Pick-and-Roll …

Of the Mavs 190 possessions that ended via the pick-and-roll ball handler, 63.2 percent have been at the hands of Ellis (91) or Calderon (29). The bulk of the rest have come from Vince Carter (29) and Gal Mekel (22).

Ellis has easily been the most effective in this role, ranking 7th best in the NBA in points per possession as the pick-and-roll ball handler.

PlayerPPPFG%Score%TO%
Ellis0.9551.648.418.7
Calderon0.76 38.127.6 27.6
Mekel0.64 35.731.8 27.3
Carter0.62 25.031.0 10.3


PPP: Points per possession

Score%: percent of plays resulting in a score


At a glance, the difference between Ellis and the rest is blatant across the board. Carter has the lowest turnover percentage, but see's that ball safety countered by being the worst of the four in every other category.

Surprisingly, Calderon has the worst turnover percentage.

Offensive defensive guards …

Player PPP AllowedNBA RankFG%3PT%TO%
Ellis1.01208 48.648.615.4
Calderon0.6116 28.827.3 15.3
Carter0.77 6741.2 46.718.2
Mekel0.89143 37.9 35.720.5
Crowder0.84 11136.6 25.010.0
Marion0.9618440.040.97.0


A few things jump out from the individual defensive numbers above, some expected and some a surprise.

First, Ellis appears to be doing little to prevent the man he is defending from … well, doing whatever they want to.

Second, Calderon is apparently one of the best defenders in the league … we'd have to imagine these numbers will rise as time, and chances, piles on. They eye test certainly doesn't agree with what they portray.

Finally, it's always hard to judge Shawn Marion by these numbers, knowing that he's often drawing the greatest offensive weapon on the opposing roster, but these don't "feel" right. Worth noting, Marion's defensive rating (104.5) currently falls right in line with where he's finished in two of the past three season: 103.9 in 2010-11, 104.3 in 2012-13.

Marion may not be the defender he once was, but remains the best perimeter defender the Mavs employ.

Statsellaneous …

*Gal Mekel continues to show growth, and a glimpse of the potential that caused Dallas to pass on Nick Calathes in favor of Mekel. Of all rookies, Mekel ranks fourth in assists per game (3.1) … and though he has slipped slightly over the last few games, Mekel is 7th in the NBA of all players averaging at least 14 minutes with 27.0 points created by assists per 48 minutes.

*Only five teams in the league have yet to play a game that was decided by three points or less: Dallas, Indiana, Milwaukee, New Orleans and Portland.

Dallas has played only 6 minutes of "clutch" basketball spread over three games (a game within 5 points in the final five minutes), the third least in the league. For what it's worth, which is almost nothing with such a small sample size, the Mavs offensive rating in these six "clutch" minutes is 95.3, their defensive rating is 91.1.

*Four of the eight games Dallas has played were decided by 10 points or more. The Mavs are 3-1 in these games.

*In part due to the numerous "catastrophic turnovers'' (speaking Carlislese), the Mavs rank 29th in the league in fastbreak points allowed at 20.125 per game, which ranks as the highest percentage of opponents total points: 19.5 percent.

Though, when looking just at points-off-of-turnovers allowed per game, Dallas ranks in the middle, 16th, giving away 18.25 per.

*Dallas has also had trouble limiting opponent's second-chance scoring opportunities, allowing 16.25 second-chance points per game, ranking 27th.

*To this point, Shawn Marion has been a more efficient catch-and-shoot player than Vince Carter. Marion on catch-and-shoot tries has a field-goal percentage of 42.9, a 3-point percentage of 38.8 … compared to 36.4 and 36.8 percent respectively for Carter.

That's all we have for this foray into "The Unrestricted Area.'' ... We look forward to seeing how weekend visits to Miami and Orlando impact the numbers -- especially in the won/lost column.

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