Pros and Cons from Golden State – on to Sacramento for the Mavericks
By Brian Gosset
For the first 18 minutes, Twitter was blowing up with one simple question – “Is this real life.” The Dallas Mavericks went up 24-4 and 40-18 in the opening quarter before falling in Oakland, 128-114 in front a national audience. For one quarter, it seemed like everything was clicking, going Dallas’ way. The Mavericks led 47-27 before the Warriors closed the first half with a 31-15 run.
Again, Twitter was off the hook, but not in a good way.
Second-half defense has to be on the top of the list of things to improve on – or maybe composure because once the Oracle Arena crowd started to go wild, the Mavericks fell apart. It’s tough to say that 3-point defense needs to improve, it was pretty bad to start the season and this is one of those games where you miss Rajon Rondo, but seriously – how many times is a team going to knock down 19 of them, other than Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and the Warriors. Same goes for Curry’s 51 points, may not see that again on the Mavs this season.
Yes, Wednesday’s loss is one of those losses where it might have been too good to be true, but three players really stood out: Chandler Parsons, Al-Farouq Aminu and Tyson Chandler. We know what Tyson does for this team day in and day out, he’s the workhorse and the vocal leader of the bunch. Chandler had six early rebounds and you already knew he was going to have a great game (finished 21 points 8/9 field goals and 17 boards).
“It’s disappointing to get off to the start that we had,” Chandler said. “In their building, you can’t ask for a better start. We’ve just got to capitalize on it. And the start really doesn’t matter if you lose the game, so we’ve got to maintain that for 48 minutes.”
Parsons finished with 24 points and a few assists that made you say WOW, but it was really one to say that he’s finally earning his cash. Everyone should know Aminu’s story by now. He had a stretch there where he just wasn’t seeing the court enough to make an impact, but for the last five games or so, Rick Carlisle has to figure to play him even more in certain situations. He should’ve been guarding Curry last night, I mean his specialty is guarding smaller players.
Parsons is averaging 20.5 points on 59.3 percent shooting over his last four games, though he’s shot 37.2 percent in his last three versus Sacramento.
But with all that said, it snaps Dallas’ three-game win streak, but by now, the Mavs (33-18) have well forgotten about it and are focusing on the Sacramento Kings tonight, a team that has struggled of late especially against the Mavericks.
Sacramento isn’t nearly as threatening as Golden State from the perimeter, shooting 29.1 percent from deep over its last 10 games and ranks 29th in the NBA with 5.2 3-pointers per game.
Dallas doesn’t expect to have Rondo back before the All-Star break. Point guard play has been a problem, defensively while J.J. Barea, Devin Harris and Raymond Felton combine to shoot 5 of 18 against the Warriors.
The Mavericks have won 20 of the last 22 meetings with Sacramento, including 106-98 at home Nov. 11, and 108-104 on the road Jan. 13.
The Kings (17-30) have struggled defensively during a 1-9 stretch, surrendering 109.8 points per game on 46.8 percent shooting in the losses. They let Golden State shoot 50.5 percent in Tuesday’s 121-96 home loss and gave up 30 fast-break points while being outscored in the paint for the seventh time in eight games. The Kings bench was outscored 61-12.
The Mavericks rank 13th averaging 34.2 bench points while the Kings bench is averaging a minus-21.7 scoring margin over the last seven games.
All-star DeMarcus Cousins, who had 26 points and 11 rebounds in Tuesday’s loss, is averaging 25.0 points while shooting 53.9 percent in his last five meetings with Dallas.
Chandler, 24 of 30 (80.0 percent) over his last four games, is averaging 14.8 points and 14.2 rebounds in his last six against the Kings.
Sacramento is in danger of losing six straight at home for the first time since an eight-game skid from Nov. 11-Dec. 6, 2008, while the Mavericks have a league-high 18 road wins.