Dallas Mavericks: Containing Thaddeus Young Key to Beating Nets
By Jay Knodell
The Dallas Mavericks host the Brooklyn Nets Friday, hoping to avoid a fourth loss in give games. To do so they will need to contain Thaddeus Young.
The Dallas Mavericks return to the American Airlines Center after a three-game road trip to host the Brooklyn Nets. Dallas currently sits in sixth place in the Western Conference standings, but it took a game-winning jumper from Dirk Nowitzki against the second-worst team in the league to help the Mavericks avoid a four-game losing streak.
But as shaky as Dallas has looked recently, things are much worse for the Nets. They’ve lost 11 of 13 coming in to this one, are on to a new head coach, and have a heck of a time scoring the ball. Still, Brooklyn has some pieces that could give the Mavericks some trouble.
Brook Lopez and Joe Johnson are both capable of filling it up on any given night, but the key for the Mavericks will be containing Thaddeus Young. He’s starts alongside Lopez at the power forward spot, and he’ll be an issue for Nowitzki and the Mavericks. The 27-year old is athletic, mobile, and, well, 27-years old. That makes him a full decade younger than Dirk, and a tough matchup.
Nowitzki just doesn’t have the foot speed to keep up with Young these days, and that was evident in the first matchup on December 23rd. The Mavericks escaped New York with a one-point victory in that one but Young had himself a ball game.
The Georgia Tech product scored 29 points on 14-20 shooting, grabbed 10 rebounds, and collected four steals in over 43 minutes – scoring inside off the dribble, on second-chance possessions, and in transition.
Nowitzki, and the Mavericks in general as one of the most un-athletic teams in the league, have a really tough time with guys like Young. To limit his impact Dallas will need to figure out a way to stick with him in pick-and-roll situations and in transition, and box him out on every single defensive possession. Of his 10 rebounds against the Mavericks last month, six of them came on the offensive end.
Brook Lopez garners most of the media attention in regards to the Nets, and Joe Johnson remains one of the more lethal isolation scorers in the league, but the Mavericks’ main focus must be slowing down Thaddeus Young to record their 27th win of the season.
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The game tips off at 7:30 CST. Make sure to follow us @thesmokingcuban for in-game updates, highlights, and analysis.