Mavs Power Points: Holiday Blues
The Dallas Mavericks reach Christmas with a 20-10 record through 30 games and currently would hold the fifth seed in the Western Conference if the season were to end today. Which leads to the next Power Point. ...
You heard it. Calm. Down. Phoenix 124, Dallas 115 on Tuesday was pimpled with problems. The Mavs, on the second night of a B-2-B and on the road against a quality foe, certainly looked tired and confused. But ... The season does not end today and we are currently at the eve of the playoffs in the NFL, not the NBA. There is panicking on the part of some Mavs fans and it is premature. Now is not the time to start second-guessing the Rajon Rondo trade and point to a 1-2 record with him in the lineup. There have been two shootarounds and one practice since he has been a Maverick. In professional sports, that is an eye-blink of time.
Patience is also required for another Mavs "splash" acquisition that is being questioned: the signing of Chandler Parsons. Yes, his last two games are stinkers, as he scored four and seven points, respectively, but he was on one hell of a run earlier this month and has proven to be a potent scorer.
It's sensible at this time for Mavs fans not to jump ship and stick with a team that only has FOUR players on the roster from last year, one which is Ricky Ledo who has bounced between the D-League and the Mavs. So really, only Dirk Nowitzki, Monta Ellis and Devin Harris are returning Mavericks. These guys need some time to mesh, and they have time right now. And there's this: What is gained by audience panic?
Once again, all of the starters were above the 30 minute mark or just knocking on the door. A night after playing extensively in a loss to the Hawks, Monta Ellis logged 35 minutes, Tyson Chandler had 34 minutes, Rondo played 31 minutes (before fouling out), Dirk had 29 minutes, and Parsons logged 25 minutes.
The highlight reel:
Some rest is coming, though. The Mavs take the next couple of days off from games (not from workouts) before hosting the Lakers on Friday at the American Airlines Center.
The Mavs actually won two of the three categories, besting the Suns in field-goal percentage 46.6% to 45.4% and getting them on the free-throw line, shooting 82.8% to the Suns' 71.9%. The Suns had the edge from the 3-point line, 39.4% to the Mavs 36%.
A stat to note here, though, as to why the Mavs fell short: Mavs had a season-worst 20 turnovers to the Suns 12.
Point guard woes for a second straight night? We had 'em. Once again, we have a headline where the opposing point guard is winning the battle against the Mavs. Rondo didn't have a terrible night, 13 points on 6 of 14 shooting (which is still too many shots) and six rebounds along with eight assists. The problem is he had five turnovers, which indicates a lack of chemistry (lobs to Dirk won't fly.) Meanwhile, his opposition, Eric Bledsoe was sensational. Bledsoe posted a triple-double, scoring 16 points, grabbing 10 rebounds and dishing out 11 assists.
Dallas needs to eventually win some of the PG head-to-heads.
We had another Charlie V sighting. Villanueva had a stretch midway through the third quarter in which he dropped in two consecutive three pointers and followed them up with a two-point field goal to score eight straight points and close the Suns' gap to 10.
For the game, Villanueva had 18 points on 7 of 13 shooting. Nine of his 13 shot attempts were from beyond the arc and he also pitched in four rebounds.
Meanwhile, Greg Smith is also getting a chance to show he can be part of the answer? Somebody has yet to to step up and help assume the role that Brandan Wright had on this team, particularly on offense. Smith showed some flashes, scoring six points and grabbing six rebounds in very limited playing time.
But in the end, as we believe this roster will undergo further shuffling? Check out "The Mavs Center Philosophy and Jermaine O'Neal'' for answers.
“We’re three games into this. When you have two games like these last two, it looks like you’re light years away. But we’re a lot closer than it feels. We just got to stick with it.” - Rick Carlisle.
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