1. The Mavs came into Thursday night’s game against the Charlotte Hornets looking to rebound after falling short against the Toronto Raptors on Tuesday. Despite a strong first half, however -- and despite the Triangle of Trust solidifcation of Rick Carlisle's new five-year deal -- the Mavs shooting went ice-cold in the second half as they fell to Al Jefferson and the Hornets 108-94.
2. Chandler Parsons wasn’t in the starting lineup on Thursday night, with the Mavs plan being to play CP during more meaningful stretches of the game, as opposed to burning all of his limited minutes in the first half. Unfortunately for the Mavs, his presence did little to jumpstart their stagnant offense in this one. CP finished with just two points in 14 minutes.
3. Deron Williams is beginning to look like the Deron Williams that the Mavs were pursuing a couple of summers ago. He looks healthier than ever so far this season, and he’s already developed great chemistry with his teammates. Mavs fans should be very excited about what they are seeing so far from D-Will. Williams finished the game with 15 points, five assists and three rebounds.
4. Dirk got off to a hot start but had a hard time keeping it going into the second half, finishing just four of 12 from the field with 14 points.
5. The Mavs fell behind by 10 early in the first half, but put together a nice run to claw their way back into the game behind strong play from D-Will and Matthews. What was more impressive was the fact that they did it without CP, who didn’t play a minute in the first half.
6. Wesley Matthews still looks a little rusty on the offensive end of the floor. His shot just isn’t quite there yet, but that will more than likely work itself out as the season progresses. The guy hasn’t played meaningful basketball since tearing his Achilles last year, so a little rust is to be expected. Wes continues to look solid on the defensive end of the floor, however.
7. Dwight Powell was once again an important part of the Mavs offensive game plan off the bench in this one. His conferences with Holger seem to be paying off! Moreover, the energy he brings to the glass is exceptional. With out him, the Mavs would have a hard time rebounding against anybody. Dwight finished the game with 14 points and nine boards.
8. Al Jefferson continued the trend of opposing bigs feasting on the Mavs interior, finishing the game with 31 points and nine rebounds. He’s very impressive on the block offensively.
9. Dallas was absolutely mauled in the paint in this one, as they were outscored 58-36 on Thursday. Dallas desperately needs to find a way to (at least somewhat) neutralize opposing bigs or they are going to have major concerns moving forward.
10. Jeremy Lin’s hair was a crime against humanity on Thursday night. Somebody get the kid a mirror. My goodness.
11. The Mavs live and die by the jump shot. They move the ball pretty well as a unit, but some nights the shots just aren’t going to fall. One of their biggest weaknesses offensively however is that, outside of Barea and D-Will, they don’t really have anyone who can consistently take the ball to the rack. Something needs to be figured out there if the Mavs want to be successful.
12. Both the Mavs and the Hornets were abysmal shooting the long ball in this game, shooting 20.7 percent and 22.2 percent respectively. It was just an ugly shooting night all around for both squads in this one.
13. Jeremy Evans seems to be an afterthought in the Mavs rotation. There is still a chance for him to earn his way into playing meaningful minutes, but right now he’s nowhere to be found. One has to think he could help plug some holes defensively on the perimeter if nothing else.
14. J.J. Barea has been one of the consistent things the Mavs have been able to rely on early in the season. He has just had a knack for finding open teammates, and is one of the few Mavs that has the ability to create his own shot. Barea finished with eight points and six assists in 21 minutes.
15. It’s not going to be good news for the Mavs this season when Dwight Powell is their leading scorer through the majority of a game. Not to take away anything from Powell’s performance, but the Mavs have too much talent on the offensive end for that to happen.
16. In the end, Dallas could not overcome their poor shooting and interior defense in this one. Lackluster interior defense seems to be a part of this team’s DNA, and that is not a good thing. It may seem like an obvious statement, but teams that consistently get dominated in the paint do not win very many basketball games in the NBA. They will have to improve inside if they want any chance of success down the road.
Player of the game: Dwight Powell was the only Maverick that was consistent from start to finish in this one. He finished with 14 points and nine boards in this one.
Stat(s) of the night: Points in the paint. The Mavs were demolished 58-36 in the paint, and lost the battle on the boards 48-44 as well. Not exactly a good recipe for success.
This game was over when... Dallas went cold from the field in the third quarter. Dallas just fell off offensively in the second half and were never able to recover.
Should have seen coming... Al Jefferson’s big night. The Mavs have been dominated by opposing big men down low in just about every game this season, and tonight was no different.
Couldn't see coming... Terrible shooting. The Mavs were ice cold from deep in this game, shooting just 20.7 percent from deep. For a team that is built on shooting, its going to be tough to win many games down the road on nights like this one.
Quickie highlights ...
What's next?: The Mavs (2-3) round out their three game home stand on Saturday night against Anthony Davis and the New Orleans Pelicans at 7:30 pm at the AAC. Oh, and also "What's Next'' ... Fish will visit with "Shan and RJ'' on 105.3 The Fan on Friday am to talk Cowboys but also to address his "controversial'' tweet while running the Mavs twitter account last night.
Fish said the Rondo trade was "crappy.'' But ... wasn't it? Here's a sensible take from Boston on the Fish/Rondo "controversy.''