Mavs Power Points: Another West-Power Loss

DALLAS - What did the Mavs learn after Saturday afternoon's 105-98 loss to the Warriors that means Dallas is now 0-6 against the top eight teams in the West? 'We've got to play better in the first quarter,' said Rick Carlisle, an opinion supported by Mavs Power Points.

The Big Lead

The Dallas Mavericks doomed themselves in the first quarter Saturday, leaving themselves with thoughts of what could have been.

The Mavericks really struggled mightily coming out of the gate, falling behind very early and by what proved to be an insurmountable deficit. At the end of the first quarter, the "Splash Brothers" of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson had 23 points while the entire Mavs team had 18. Other Warriors teammates pitched in 16 points to put the Warriors up 39-18 after one quarter.

The 105-98 loss is more of what could have been for the Mavs than a straight beat-down because if the first quarter is taken out of the equation, the Mavs actually outscored the Warriors 80-66, winning by 14 points instead of losing by seven the way they did. But this game was just proof that to beat elite competition, there needs to be a complete 48-minute performance; 36 minutes won't cut it.

Said coach Rick Carlisle: "The first quarter did us in. ... We dominated in the second half."

The Parsons factor

Chandler Parsons sat out the contest to rest his back, and his presence was deeply missed by the team. Aside from the fact that Parsons has been on an absolute tear as of late with three consecutive 20+ point performances and shooting better than 60 percent from the floor, just his mere presence on the floor creates opportunities for others on the floor by spreading out the defense. The passing windows, particularly in the post were very small.

Offense as a whole struggles

The Warriors, not a shabby defensive team as it is, was playing much tighter around the arc as there really didn't prove to be a legitimate 3-point threat on the floor for the Mavs with Parsons' absence.

Aside from that, the Mavs were outdone by the Warriors in the three primary offensive categories: Field-goal percentage (Warriors 44.6 percent to Mavs 40.4 percent), 3-point percentage (Warriors 31.2 percent to Mavs 20 percent), and free-throw shooting (Warriors 77.8 percent to Mavs 70 percent). The Mavs also failed to score triple digits for the first time since November 22nd when they fell to the Rockets 14 games ago.

Not the best formula to beat the hottest, and maybe the best, team in the NBA.

Carlisle queries

Did Carlisle out-coach himself? Out-think himself?

Early in the game, particularly in the first quarter when the Mavs seemingly lost their way, it seemed like the void of Andrew Bogut in the post for the Warriors along with the absence of Parsons on the wing for the Mavs made coach Rick Carlisle get too creative ... Maybe when it wasn't necessary. The Mavs have been a team that creates points with its guards and power forward, with the center just getting some quality points on put-backs or alley-oops.

Coach Carlisle tried to expose the Warriors down low and feed Tyson Chandler the ball and try to let him create his own offense. That didn't work out as planned as Chandler finished with 11 points, and Brandan Wright finished with seven points.

What's next?

The Mavs get a two-day break before they play their first of two back-to-back road games at Madison Square Garden against the New York Knicks Tuesday night at 7:00 p.m. It will be Tyson Chandler's and Raymond Felton's first return to The Garden since they were traded to the Mavs, and the second overall meeting between the teams this year. The Mavs won the first meeting at the AAC in an overtime thriller the day before Thanksgiving.

Tyson will be inspired there ... maybe to block more shoes, as he did Saturday.

The Final Word

"I will do everything to try to win. I don't care what it is. If it's hitting a shoe or whatever it is. I just want to win." - Tyson Chandler.

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