Dallas Mavericks: 5 Complete Overreactions From Game 1
Carlisle Doesn’t Like the Mavs New Defensive Look
When the Mavericks formed their new starting five of Deron Williams, Wesley Matthews, Harrison Barnes, Dirk Nowitzki, and Andrew Bogut, people looked at that lineup and thought man the Mavs are finally gonna be good at defense. With above average to great defenders like Barnes, Matthews, and Bogut in the game Dallas should be able to give opponents a very difficult time putting the ball in the hole. This isn’t false, I think. This should be a good defensive group, but on paper it isn’t a great scoring unit.
Aside from Dirk, no one is a true scoring threat. As far as shot creating goes, D-Will is too old and slow to consistently get to the rack and create offense. Barnes and Wes Matthews are primarily role players who haven’t grown into a legit offensive focus. There just isn’t much offensive prowess in the Mavs starting group this year. What I’m afraid of is that Rick Carlisle knows this, and doesn’t like it.
Last night after a rough start, Coach Carlisle quickly abandoned the Mavs first unit and inserted JJ Barea. Barea is a shifty guard who knows how to score, but can be a liability on the defensive end. As the game waned on Carlisle continued to use less and less of our defensive-minded guys and used a three guard lineup for a large part of the game. Barea played more minutes than both of the Mavs new defensive additions Barnes and Bogut, with Bogut only logging 20 minutes. Quincy Acy and Salah Mejri, both good defenders, saw little or no time on the floor last night.
It seemed that Carlisle didn’t want to commit to winning the game in a new way, by grinding out a low scoring defensive matchup. He was determined to win the game his way, by outscoring the opponent in a flurry of 3 guard lineups and a literal truck load of 3 point attempts. As a result, the Mavs lost in a shootout 121-130.
Carlisle is a mastermind at getting the most out of his players, but he will have a new challenge this season in getting them to be productive defensively, not just scoring-wise. He did a poor job with the adjustment to a defensively talented team, and will need to strategize according to a new style of Maverick basketball. The Mavs play the offensive juggernaut Houston Rockets Friday, and Dallas needs to win this game with their defense, as they likely won’t be able to beat the James Harden led offense in a shootout.
Next: Wesley Matthews Still Hasn't Found His Stroke