The Mavericks took a step in the right direction Monday night with an 87-74 victory over the New Orleans Hornets.
Beating the Hornets is not a huge accomplishment but based on some of the Mavericks tendencies this season, anything positive for the work-in-progress is to be celebrated.
Ryan Anderson and Robin Lopez led the Hornets with 14 points apiece and Lopez added 11 rebounds. Number one overall pick Anthony Davis had a terrible offensive night but grabbed 17 rebounds as the Mavs got clobbered on the boards. Fellow rookie and number ten pick Austin Rivers went down with an ankle injury and is listed as day-to-day.
The Mavericks reversed their fortunes in the TO column, committing only 10 for the game. O.J. Mayo led the Mavs with 13 points and Jae Crowder and Vince Carter again put in solid performances as well as the resurgent Roddy B. with 12. Shawn Marion scored 8 and grabbed 12 rebounds.
O. J. Mayo did chip in 13 points but on 4-16 shooting.
There was a lot more good this game but again, very little “bad” that wasn’t really bad, so without further adieu…
The Mavericks continued to shoot poorly, this time 36% from the field and 26.9% on threes. The only thing that kept them in the game was the Hornets’ shooting even more poorly.
Even more remarkable is a Mavericks win despite losing the rebounding battle 62-40. Other than Shawn Marion and Vince Carter’s 7 boards, the Mavs were AWOL around the glass.
Rick Carlisle recognized the struggle after the game. “We’ve made bits and pieces of progress but every time it seems like we’ve picked up ground in one area, we seem to lose in another, ” he said.
Rebounding may be a significant issue without Kaman and even Dirk. Elton Brand is the only legitimate physical big man and he is being forced to play center at 6’ 9” while admittedly not being the All-Star he once was. Brandan Wright has been a decent rebounder but is working on other aspects of his game. Bernard James has shown promise but is a rookie and still developing his offensive game…but isn’t that what the preseason is for?
Did somebody say “backup big man?”
The Mavs travel to Wichita, Kansas to face last year’s Western Conference champ, the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday, October 24, 2012 AT 7:00 PM CDT.