Dirk Nowitzki finally looks great, though Dallas doesn't use him like the used to from 2006 to 2011. He mainly catches the ball on the wings and goes to work from the short corner area. This is due mostly to the fact that the guard rotation for Dallas (Mike James, Darren Collison, O.J. Mayo) have zero idea how to use passing angles in a half court set. Dirk's supposed wing man O.J. Mayo changes between brilliant and invisible, and since he's coming off yet another national stage disappearing act, I expect him to do well against the young Cavs guard rotation. The Dallas bench of Vince Carter and Elton brand are fun, at the least. Neither played well against the Spurs and I expect Brand in particular to be out for blood after a really ineffective game against the Spurs. Dallas is still capable of running and gunning on the break, which is where they do most of their damage, but half court they have a maddening tendency to stumble into long twos and turnovers. Brandan Wright has been really fun as of late as well. Can't wait till someone throws money at him despite the fact that he weights 35 pounds.
Defensively, the Mavs are a wreck. Far too many players on the roster (hey there, Darren Collison, O.J. Mayo, Mike James, and yes, Dirk) are incapable of guarding anyone. The younger players in particular are terrible on rotations, usually helping the helper. Crisp ball rotation and some penetration kills the Mavs, as they foul a LOT. Elton Brand tends to help settle things down when he's in there and Brandan Wright is a great shot blocker and a competent help defender, but with a slew of guards who don't move laterally well, teams can easily exploit the Mavs. They also don't defend the three point line at all, particularly from the corners.
Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Dallas Mavericks: Neither of these teams are very good
Fear The Sword | Mar 15