10 Things Mavericks need to do to gain respect in West with the help of Jim Varney

AJ Smith
Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic
Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic / Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
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5. Dallas Mavericks need to improve film study

With a minute left in the first half, the Spurs set up a double screen for Devonte Graham. Josh Green opted not to switch and made the mistake of splitting the screeners. Because he was then trailing Graham, the 6’1” guard was able to get off an easy three. Green was charged with a foul as well.

This kind of double-high ball screen is pretty typical of the Spurs offense; making quick decisions in those moments is something that will be all the more important should the Mavs find themselves playing Nikola Jokic and the Nuggets in a few weeks, which means they should expect plenty of high ball screens from two-time MVP.

How they navigate those screens will come down to an understanding of where the ball is going afterward. The Mavs should know that play isn’t run for 19-year-old Dom Barlow, and Powell should be in position to come up on Graham. With the high-powered Denver offense, it’ll only be tougher.

There is no “brain accelerator” for the Mavs like there was in the 1994 masterpiece Ernest Goes to School; like Ernest in the film’s climactic scene, they must trust their film study and recognize where the logical threat lies.