Game On: Mavericks @ Hornets

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Published: February 22, 2013
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The Mavericks roll into New Orleans having won 4 of 5.  Will the Hornets slow their roll?

The Mavericks struggled mightily through December, but since the new year has rung, their team has been improving steadily.  Starting from season lows in December, Dallas has improved its eFG%, Free Throw Rate, Turnover Rate, Opponent eFG% and Opponent Offensive rebound rate each month.  They are now at the point that they are only below the league average in two of Dean Oliver’s Four Factors (8, really) – offensive rebound percentage, and opponent free throw rate.  Those two things, of course, feed off one another.  If a team crashes the offensive boards, they usually get fouled.

As odd as it seems to say it, a lot of the improvement for this team is being generated by Vince Carter, the Half-Amazing/Hardly-Cares man of mystery.  Quietly, he’s been putting up a surprisingly good season for the Mavericks, who receive spikes in free throw rates and three pointers made and attempted when he takes the floor.  Combine that with a bench that continues to get solid contributions from Brandan Right and – bizarrely – Mike James, and the team makes a fight of it every night.

Keys to the Game

  • Crash the offensive glass.  Like I said above, the Mavericks don’t control their defensive rebounds.  The Hornets actually have five guys posting offensive rebound rates that are better than average for their position.  If they perform, this will be a big advantage for the Pelicans.
  • Hate the Concussion policy.  It will probably prevent Chris Kaman from playing and turning the ball over.  Sad Face.
  • Don’t match our Bench with their Bench for too long.  Wright, Brand, Carter, Mike James – and now Anthony Morrow after the trade – these guys form one of the most effective bench mobs out there.  C’mon Monty – no six-minute runs with all subs, please.

6 comments
Jason Calmes
Jason Calmes

This preview failed to predict the Davis' Globetrotter-like return to lead to the defeat of the scum of all sports: The Dallas Mavericks. I blame this for it not happening.

mateor
mateor

Okay, I know everyone around here loves Jason Smith....and I know he had a good, efficient game. But there is zero long term value to our team having him shoot 15 times in ten minutes.

bywas2008hornets225
bywas2008hornets225

I cant understand your comment sir, Its obvious he was hot and one of the elite mid-range shooters on our team, how about we credit this lose to a lucky, bad, well defended shot by an aging, desperate, lonely, "never won anything" vince carter. and it is what it is, they made timely shots, i understand there is someone to blame, but its not Jason Smith. if anyone its eric gordan, vasques, others, not hime Sir.

mateor
mateor

I don't really care about the loss. This season is a sunk cost, and one I happily accept, in that I feel pretty good about the hornets direction in general (with a couple of variables in the air). But I think any player attempting a shot every 45 seconds (!!!) is a bad idea, for all situations, but especially your fourth big man, and doubly especially when he is a jump shooter. Jannerro Pargo had hot nights too, it doesn't mean he should get the green light to monopolize all the reps. Wouldn't the Pelicans (see what I am doing here) be better off letting Davis take a couple chances in the post, or letting Rivers work on a drive? What is the value, that is my question.

504ever
504ever

Perhaps the problem has more to do with giving up two straight 3 pointers in the last minute, and having three 20 point scorers but no other offensive options on the floor tonight. If the Hornets can't guard the 3 point line and Dallas says we won't let Anderson or Gordon beat us, what are the Hornet's options besides Smith shooting?

504ever
504ever

No one besides Smith, Anderson, and Gordon shot close to 50%. So who did you want shooting that Dallas didn't focus on?