Mavs Crush Knicks; Your All-Access Donuts
Thank God the Knicks got rid of the locker room cancer that is Tyson Chandler. I mean, just think about how bad their team would be with a guy like that on it. There would probably be fighting between teammates and dudes threatening to shut it down for the season after a 5-22 start, their record after Tuesday's 107-87 crushing at the hands of your Dallas Mavericks.
Whoops. Lookin' sharp there, non-TY Knicks.
The Knicks are a team that are at least two roster overhauls away from being a healthy organization. They only attract free agents that rank the New York life higher on the priority list than winning basketball games (I’m not joking at all).
This might break some hearts but it should be said that Phil Jackson probably isn’t the answer. To me it stinks of a hired gun taking one last giant payday before his earning potential dries up. It probably would have been the best thing for the Knicks if Melo would have left for the Bulls or Lakers. Then they’d have that money and Amare/Bargnani (yeah they still have Bargnani) coming off the books this off-season (roughly $25 mil between them). They haven’t made a good decision since they signed Tyson Chandler away from the Mavericks in the summer of 2011. Here’s a little NBA cheat code for you: If Quincy Acy is playing over 10 minutes a night for your team, then you’re doing something wrong.
This is a group that’s only one season away from winning 54 games and you get the feeling that if they could hit the reset button on the game console they would.
Trust Tree Moment: OK, when you play a team like this and you’re writing the game recap you often times plan extra material to have in the chamber. You’re lucky because I have done just that so after our brief game recap we’ll get to some of that. Hang tight.
Chandler Parsons is shooting 53.1 percent from three in his last five games. That, alongside a nifty 21.2 points per game of that stretch, makes this a downright high-water mark for the season.
Look around, smell the air.
This 13/6/3 was enough after he started blazing hot with an eight-point, five-assist first quarter. The question remains, what’s different with our little jeans model (who apparently now has an endorsement deal for socks)?
I’ve said it a few times: nothing looks different except that he’s knocking down his open looks. But, there has to be some kind of traceable data-driven difference in what we’re seeing. I found it.
Prior to his last five games (six overall games because he missed the Golden State game), 20 percent of his threes and 44 percent of his shots overall were coming in the middle of the shot clock (15-to-7 seconds remaining) ... but in his last five games only 14 percent of his threes and 35 percent of all his attempts are coming in that time frame. They’re happening earlier in the shot clock. He’s had a 15-percent jump in field-goal attempts early in the shot clock. What that looks like is less than two attempts per game (1.8) early in the shot clock turning into four. He’s hitting 70 percent on such shots compared to 45.7 percent on similar looks prior to the last five games.
Who’s to thank for this quick-trigger mentality that has taken hold? I’ve got to think it’s Rick, because as a player I don’t necessarily think you’d consciously say “I need to get looks earlier in the shot clock.” It could also be natural. Just a general realization that chunking a good look early is not the worst thing in this offense. It leaves no room for indecision or second-guessing which felt like it was a large part of Parsons' first month here.
The offense overall just felt a lot less Monta-centric on Tuesday in NYC and that’s a good thing. He still led the team in field-goal attempts with 14 but it’s nothing close to the 20+ attempts he’s been averaging over his last eight games. Yes, it was a game that never saw the Knicks legitimately threaten the outcome as the Mavericks held them at arm's length, but Monta’s one field-goal attempt in the first quarter seemed to emphasize the need to let the other kids play in the sandbox. The Mavericks need to get away from putting their entire offensive burden on Monta’s shoulders. They may be able to gut out a handful of games that way but that’s not how you contend in the West. This is just the game the Mavericks needed on the front end of a back-to-back on the road. Two things were achieved; a comfortable win and not leaning on Monta.
I love the "Bow-Tie Play.'' That’s what I call it. (I'll make Fish go ask Rick what they call it. So Coach can get all prickly again.) It’s the one where Tyson receives the ball at the top of the key and sets a screen for Monta diving to the basket and sets another for a second cutting guard by staying in the same spot as he drops the ball to the second guard.
Here, it led to a wide-open Parsons three waiting on the opposite wing but it regularly leads to alley-oops or easy layups for the second guard. They’re running it even faster than earlier in the season and initiating it before the other team has a chance to set up a defense or even knows what’s going on. It starts similar to most of their sets with Tyson looking like he’s going to set a ball screen and that’s why it works.
Of course, TY at the rim, in any form, is a good thing.
Same goes for this guy ...
Just an update on Brandan Wright’s quest to break Wilt Chamberlain’s record for highest field-goal percentage in a season. Wright is currently shooting 74.6 percent from the field. The record is 72.7 percent in a single season. What’s funny is DeAndre Jordan is on pace to break the record as well with a 73.4-percent clip.
Oh, Shane Larkin. What could have been if you didn’t break your ankle on the last practice before summer league! Then again, maybe the unknown value of Shane helped in trading him last offseason. I’d genuinely like to see at least one Mavericks draft pick be capable of contributing in the rotation consistently this decade. But, that’s always been my bugaboo with this front office.
Screw Derek Fisher. I mean that with all of my heart. I wish the worst for you. After that bullsh he pulled here in 2012 I hope the Mavericks beat the Knicks by 20 points every single time they play them and he’s on the sideline looking like a bro that would use proximity to his family as an excuse to bail on an organization and then return a month later with a team that’s a two-hour car ride north. You’re an idiot and a quitter. You’re faker than some Sweet-N-Low.
Really cool hockey substitution in the first quarter. I’m sure your squad is really behind you. ...
Derek's explanation: “I thought the start was not the right way to start a professional basketball game. It’s not the way to start a game. The guys who started the game were a disappointment to their teammates. Guys who start a game have to be physically and mentally ready to play. We got five guys in there who played hard.’’
Gonna be hilarious when you get fired before next year’s All-Star Game.
*Dallas gets out of NYC and onto Detroit tonight with Dirk Nowitzki having to play only 23. That's how this is supposed to work, y'all.
*Why was Rick Carlisle singing "Bad To The Bone'' after the game? Mavs Power Points explains.
*You know the drill: The Mavs win the game, and Mavs fans like you choose the Player of the Game. Who deserves "The Dirkie''? Vote here! And discuss the game on DB.com Boards, too!
*Hey, I do a podcast. Give it a go if you’d like.
*Fish has the Premium scoop here on Dallas' interest level in trading for Greg Monroe, who we'll see tonight.
*Want an All-Access Pass to Mavs Practice? It's pennies-a-day goodness with DB.com hanging out with Monta, Dirk, B-Wright, Carlisle and the team ... with insights, analysis and even video you can only get here!
*I couldn’t give you 30 seconds on Travis Wear. He might be the only guy in the league averaging 10 minutes a game that I genuinely couldn’t tell apart from any other systems analyst at a fortune 500 company.
The Mavericks haven’t beaten a team that’s currently in the top seven in the West (haven’t played the Clippers yet and the Mavs are currently sixth. So, five teams and five losses).
"I'm just concerned about who we play next,'' Carlisle said after the game. "I leave that other stuff to you guys to write about.''
OK. we're writing. It’s concerning despite the fact that we’re only a quarter of the way through the year. Why is this happening? It could be as simple as the Mavericks not being a top-five team in the West. (Like Fish said on TV last night while wearing that toupee last night, maybe it's a good thing Dallas is getting fat on the East because Dallas isn't good enough right now to have success on this side of the map.) That’s very possible.
There’s no shame in being the sixth-best team in the West this season. With that in mind, my explanation (not an excuse) comes from the fact that the other five teams all have the same exact core as they’ve had for the last year-plus, at least. Think about it. The only team that’s had a major roster shakeup is the Rockets with Dwight missing 10 games and that’s the only game that the Mavericks probably should have won. The Warriors, Grizzlies, Rockets, Blazers and Spurs are in Year 2, at least, of their Western Conference-contending rosters. The Mavericks, on the other hand, have three new starters and a completely revamped bench.
Does this mean that they won’t compete this year? No, I don’t think so. I assume it means it’ll just take some time before they’re on the same level as those other elite teams. The real question is, can they reach that level before the playoffs start? You can still have a damn good season without beating a single team in the top five of the Western Conference.
“Tyson’s a pro. He’s not a good player. He’s a great player. He wanted to win bad, but he wanted to win because he wanted the team to win. ... To get 14 rebounds in 25 minutes, that’s a man’s game.”
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