One might be very concerned when Dallas’ two leading scorers have amassed a total of 4 points in the game and the team amassed another 21 turnovers but there were bright spots for the Dallas Mavericks Withoutski, who dropped their second preseason game to the Phoenix Suns 100-94 and fell to 2-2.
With Dirk and Roddy Beaubois both out with injuries, the Mavericks still managed to put forth a decent offensive effort with another balanced attack, even though Darren Collison didn’t score and Shawn Marion amassed only 2 baskets. Without Dirk in the lineup the initial concerns would likely not be about defense but that and turnovers would cost them the game.
The teams see-sawed through much of the game but the Suns 17-2 run in the third quarter put them ahead for good, although Dallas challenged until late in the game. Jared Dudley (16 points) and Goran Dragic (12 points, six assists) led the way for Phoenix.
Chris Kaman had his fourth consecutive solid outing with 16 points on 8-of-12 shooting. Vince Carter scored 15 points for the third time in four games and added 7 rebounds, followed by O. J. Mayo with 14, Elton Brand with 11 points.
The Mavericks may prove to have the steal of the draft with Jae Crowder who amassed 10 points and 6 rebounds along with 5 steals and 3 blocks. Josh Akognon came in and scored four points on 2-7 shooting but added two steals late in the game to keep the Mavericks close and brought a lot of excitement to the game. He crossed over one of the Suns to score and stole an inbound pass for a layup to draw the Mavs within two late in the game.
As a team the Mavs shot poorly, including 46.3% from the field and 30.8% from downtown.
The defense was also somewhat lackluster and the Mavs didn’t do a great job containing anyone. Markeef Morris largely killed the Suns stat line with a 2-for-14 performance off the bench with but the Suns starting five and first sub Shannon Brown combined to hit 62.5% from the field.
Chris Kaman criticized his own defensive effort, as well as that of his once and future running mate Brand, and Rick Carlisle called out the entire team defense after the game.
Brand’s 11 points all came in the first quarter on a 15-0 Dallas run and he didn’t score a point afterward. Shawn Marion had a very quiet game with only two baskets.
Collison has been scoring and dishing but went scoreless on only two field goal attempts, although he did have six dimes. Brandan Wright also went scoreless on 0-for-6 shooting.
The Mavs once again turned the ball over way too often, a total of 21 times.
The Mavs hit the road to face the Hawks in Atlanta on Saturday and then return home for the visiting New Orleans Hornets on Monday. Dallas has numerous good defenders and should have less of a difficult time stepping up the D than overcoming Dirk’s absence. If they can do that and stop turning the ball over while continuing to have balanced scoring, they should be successful.