2011 NBA Playoffs: 5 Adjustments the Dallas Mavericks Need to Make for Game 2
In what was for sure one of the ugliest Finals wins this league has ever seen, the Miami Heat caused a lot of problems for the Dallas Mavericks, problems that the Mavericks need to fix ASAP if they have any chance of winning this series. The Mavericks held the Heat to 39 percent from the field and still lost; usually Dallas wins in situations like that.
Let's go through a few of those glaring problems.
Ouch, ouch, ouch.
First off, the Mavericks were dead even with the Heat in defensive rebounding with 30. But then came the offensive rebounds, in which the Heat out rebounded the Mavericks by 10.
Now, first of all, anytime you have a team with three perennial All-Stars on the court at the same time, it's hard enough to guard them the first possession itself. When you start giving them second and third chance opportunities, you're in living hell. How are you going to beat the Heat when you're giving them so many opportunities to score? It's all about the number of possessions at the end of the day.
Coach Carlisle and the Mavericks know this very well, the fact that they only reason they lost was the rebounding disparity (and some questionable fouls). Expect some of the most awe-inspiring defensive motivation you have ever seen.
This is the Mavericks' strongest department, and they didn't even show up? Hmmm...how did they even keep the game close? Lucky for us, the Heat were actually having a reasonably terrible offensive night as well, shooting 39 perfcent from the field.
Brendan Haywood had a very decent night on defense, with three blocks. On the offensive end, he could've had a few AND1's...but the Miami Heat used the "Hack-a-Haywood" method to their advantage.
Jose Juan (JJ) Barea and Peja Stojakovic were nowhere to be found. Barea had two points and went 13 perfecnt (1-of-8) from the floor, all eight shots were in the paint/layups.
Jason Terry was actually decent in the first quarter, but started to take wild shots during crunch time and missed very many of them. JET needs to make smarter decisions in Game 2.
The bench players for Dallas just need to show up. Period.
Better Shot Selection/Be More Opportunistic
For some reason, the Mavericks would fearlessly take highly contested shots in Game 1, but were somewhat afraid to take the wide-open shots and step up to the plate.
This was highlighted in the first quarter when Shawn Marion drove the left sideline, turned right and started driving the baseline towards the rim while drawing the double team. After he jumped, but before the double team came, Marion was wide open for a floater. He instead decided to pass it up and throw the rock to the unsuspecting Tyson Chandler (who was open because his man was double teaming Marion), and it flew out of bounds for yet another Maverick turnover. On the way back up the floor, teammate Dirk Nowitzki patted Marion on the back and aggressively (not in a mean way, in a teammate kind of way) told him to take the shot.
Maybe it was the shell shock of just being back at the Finals for Game 1, but the Mavericks really need to start making better decisions when it comes to taking shots.
Dirk Nowitzki Needs to Demand the Ball More
The Mavericks were beginning a comeback (like they usually do) in the fourth quarter. Except this time, Dirk wasn't demanding the ball anymore. I don't know if that had to do with his finger at all but, the man who lead a 15-point comeback with five minutes left in a Western Conference Finals Game, should be demanding the ball more during a close fourth quarter.
Instead we just watched as Jason Terry bricked three pointers and Marion took somewhat decent, but unhelpful floaters.
Dirk Nowitzki knows he is the unquestioned leader of this team, and he needs to be that leader when his team needs him in the fourth quarter.
Look...to be frank, I don't know if it was bad officiating or just flopping (leave your thoughts on the officiating!), but this was just a game filled with questionable calls.
Anywho, Tyson Chandler and Brendan Haywood need to stay out of foul trouble. Tyson Chandler had five fouls, that's a little too close to the edge for me to be comfortable, but hey, he's a center and he's supposed to be prone to picking up fouls.
Look for the Mavericks to keep up the aggressiveness. Also, look for the guards (Jason Kidd, JJ Barea, and JET) to stay in front of their man even better, because they don't want to let Dwyane Wade and LeBron James into the paint.