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A Few Thoughts on Mavs 149, Rockets 153
#21
(08-01-2020, 09:26 AM)hakeemfan Wrote: The team is young.  At the same time, I would like every possession in the last 5 mins to be a designed two man play with Kp and Luka. Everyone else’s shots should feed off that. Having that plan in mind makes it simpler also.  If we lose due to that strategy, I am fine with it. Right now the last 5 mins always seems haphazard.
Agreed, especially KP, who MUST get the ball in his hands.  He is a foul magnet and is pretty reliable in making his FTs.  If we make just one more of our FTs in regulation, we win this game.

Edit:  Also, why not play Boban on the late possessions in both regulation and overtime?  The Mavs were ineffective at that point against Houston's defense so why not change the paradigm?  There's no way the Rockets' small ball roster should have been able to keep the Mavs from getting the ball to Boban on the block.  Lots of good things can happen from that point, all of them much better than Luka dribbling out the shot clock on the perimeter.  And Boban also tends to draw fouls and shoots his FTs decently as well.  I just don't get RC at all, never have. 

I'd be tempted to say I'm glad the Mavs lost this game so that RC and the team would learn their lesson, but they've already lost so many of these games that it starts to look like they either don't care that much about losing these games, or that they are incapable of learning from them.
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#22
(08-01-2020, 01:32 PM)mtrot Wrote:
(08-01-2020, 09:26 AM)hakeemfan Wrote: The team is young.  At the same time, I would like every possession in the last 5 mins to be a designed two man play with Kp and Luka. Everyone else’s shots should feed off that. Having that plan in mind makes it simpler also.  If we lose due to that strategy, I am fine with it. Right now the last 5 mins always seems haphazard.
Agreed, especially KP, who MUST get the ball in his hands.  He is a foul magnet and is pretty reliable in making his FTs.  If we make just one more of our FTs in regulation, we win this game.

Edit:  Also, why not play Boban on the late possessions in both regulation and overtime?  The Mavs were ineffective at that point against Houston's defense so why not change the paradigm?  There's no way the Rockets' small ball roster should have been able to keep the Mavs from getting the ball to Boban on the block.  Lots of good things can happen from that point, all of them much better than Luka dribbling out the shot clock on the perimeter.  And Boban also tends to draw fouls and shoots his FTs decently as well.  I just don't get RC at all, never have. 

I'd be tempted to say I'm glad the Mavs lost this game so that RC and the team would learn their lesson, but they've already lost so many of these games that it starts to look like they either don't care that much about losing these games, or that they are incapable of learning from them.

I've posted this adnausem, so sorry, but again, Carlisle is somehow too much of a basketball genius for his own good.  He won't do the simple thing.  There were at least 2 players that the Rockets defense were helpless to stop, Burke because he was just on fire shooting and Boban because he is just far too big for anyone they play to guard near the rim. 

Now you're closing the game in the 4th with a LEAD.  I get it that those guys are bench support normally, but you have the LEAD and time is running out on the Rockets.  You don't have to defend your way to a victory at that point. Just keep scoring! 

The Rockets just BARELY caught the Mavs in regulation.  The difference was ONE point.  Burkes was brought in too late, after the momentum and lead were evaporated.  Boban, sure he's not your defensive stopper but you didn't need that.  You just needed to keep scoring another bucket or so at high efficiency.  

Coach's offensive acumen is generally genius most of the game.  No doubt about it but ... 
Rick is too smart to do that simple thing and seal games at the end.  It's so predictable, saw it coming a quarter away, frustrating to watch the wreck.  Huh
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#23
(08-01-2020, 01:32 PM)mtrot Wrote:
(08-01-2020, 09:26 AM)hakeemfan Wrote: The team is young.  At the same time, I would like every possession in the last 5 mins to be a designed two man play with Kp and Luka. Everyone else’s shots should feed off that. Having that plan in mind makes it simpler also.  If we lose due to that strategy, I am fine with it. Right now the last 5 mins always seems haphazard.

Edit:  Also, why not play Boban on the late possessions in both regulation and overtime?  The Mavs were ineffective at that point against Houston's defense so why not change the paradigm?  There's no way the Rockets' small ball roster should have been able to keep the Mavs from getting the ball to Boban on the block.  Lots of good things can happen from that point, all of them much better than Luka dribbling out the shot clock on the perimeter.  And Boban also tends to draw fouls and shoots his FTs decently as well.  I just don't get RC at all, never have. 
Yeah, I would have been intrigued to see that tried. Carlisle only used Boban in the five minutes that James Harden was off the floor. He doesn't usually play KP and Boban together, except when he is trying to load up on rebounders after a free throw, and I understand why he didn't want to take KP off the floor to put Boban on. 

But. Stan Van Gundy said recently that one of the main things he regrets from his Pistons days is that he didn't play Boban more. He said that, as a coach, he was always very wrapped up in the defensive end of the floor, where Bobi could be a problem. But considering how unstoppable Boban was offensively, Stan wishes he would have gone ahead and played him anyway, and just dealt with whatever defensive issues arose. 

I think a lot of times coaches in general, including but not limited to Carlisle, get very involved in trying to neutralize the opposition, even at the expense of failing to take advantage of their own strengths, and BM might be a case in point. Playing him late would have been a gamble, but, as you point out, the Rockets would have been unlikely to be able to stop him on the block, and given that both the offense and defense were collapsing anyway, it might well have been a gambit worth taking. 

Anyway, I hope we get to see Bobi more in the bubble. He is truly a phenomenon around the basket.
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#24
Didn't Luka say something in the postgame interview about "getting it all together when the games matter?" That probably encapsulates why we lost this game right there. Not only were the scrimmages over, but this was by a pretty crushing margin (in its impact on the seedings and the Mavs' opportunity to avoid the Clippers and thus have a realistic possibility of advancing in the playoffs) the most important single NBA game Luka has yet played in his life. If it didn't matter, neither has any other NBA game he's ever played. SMH.


#25
(08-01-2020, 03:40 PM)Scott41theMavs Wrote: Didn't Luka say something in the postgame interview about "getting it all together when the games matter?" That probably encapsulates why we lost this game right there. Not only were the scrimmages over, but this was by a pretty crushing margin (in its impact on the seedings and the Mavs' opportunity to avoid the Clippers and thus have a realistic possibility of advancing in the playoffs) the most important single NBA game Luka has yet played in his life. If it didn't matter, neither has any other NBA game he's ever played. SMH.
Hey, Scott. 

Believe this was the quote --

"We're a young team. We've got a lot to learn. We'll get better for sure. I know we're going to get together when it matters most, so I'm not worried about that."

I didn't take it as a statement that he thought the Rox game didn't matter. More as a rebuff to what could have been interpreted as a question inviting a diss of his teammates for collapsing in the clutch. 

I really think that Luka is trying hard at the ends of games. Fighting off swarms of defenders and getting beaten up every time down the floor takes a lot of effort and commitment. However, it seems that he is expending a lot of energy in ways that are not effective at those times. I can imagine that Rick may sit down with him in the offseason and help him to see that the team needs to play in a different way when the defense bears down on him like that. Even the great Dirk had to learn how to deal with that. I think it is more growing pains than poor attitude. Hope so, anyway!
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#26
If you are an athlete you better have a short memory or dismiss a loss as not that big. Else you will never move past crushing losses. While Luka needs to play a bit smarter, his competetive spirit is not in question. I would not read too much into his post game words.
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#27
I want to be mad bc of how that game ended but man that was entertaining. Mavs are a fun team. Hopefully the late game execution stuff goes better as the years go on. I also like Brunson as a guy who I think will be a clutch player. He has had his issues as well being a young guy but I think he's a gamer who's going to help this team close out games in the future.
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#28
(08-01-2020, 08:04 AM)Hypermav Wrote: Good write up, thanks.

Putting aside the painful collapse, this was really fun to watch and am happy the season was able to restart.

I agree the unicorn was the best player.  

Will Burke ever play that well again?  He wasn't a ball hog shooter either as he had 6 assists.  It would be great to have him consistently take JJB's minutes.

Seth, please fix whatever happened.  

I hate losing to the Rockets and their cartoon character lineups, but maybe the young Mavs will learn from this.
Good remarks. 

I think reason for optimism lies in the RAZOR-thin margin of loss here. At the end of regulation, the teams had combined for an incredible 278 points. And out of all that offensive performance from both teams, ONE more bucket, ONE more made free throw, ONE more stop -- any of those things would have changed the result, and the narrative, completely. Heck, some people would probably be plotting out the parade route.

Of course, the reason it was so disappointing is that they came so close to what could have been. If you consider the odds against losing a game when you are 7 points up with 45 seconds left, pretty much everything has to go south for that to happen. Unfortunately, pretty much everything did. That 45-second period was just a walking freak accident, in some ways. 

Anyway, in the grander scheme, there are worse things for a team in the second year of its incarnation than being on a par with the 2020 version of the Rockets. 

Hopefully, we'll see improvement in their shortcomings over time, and not just more of the same old, same old. Thanks for the views.
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#29
Was geht so, guys, hope y'all fine during these trying times!

While the ending to last night's game was frustrating to watch for sure, we shouldn't treat it as some sort of Game 7 in the WCF...

So, I'd rather share some non-Mavs related thoughts:

- The league has done a great job for tv audiences, I really like their set-up. Having previously watched German BBL as well as Bundesliga soccer finish their seasons without any fans in attendance, the NBA obviously took some pointers.

- NBA refs need to calm down, as they're on the verge of ruining these games. Foul calls are through the roof in basically every single game, disrupting any game flow. They have to adapt to these circumstances as well, so I'd like to give them the benefit of doubt.

- Having said that, Harden is pretty close to being a manufactured superstar. He's a great player, don't get me wrong, but a lot of his scoring comes down to defenders being scared of getting the whistle blown. Sometimes to no avail...

- Doris Burke is super irritating to listen to. She's a highly knowledgeable color-commentator, and yet she always sounds like an aunt talking about her nephews, totally in awe all the time with that soft inflection of hers.
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#30
Thanks folks, this thread helped me to step back from the ledge a little
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#31
Youssuf Saad did a pretty deep dive on this game for the Athletic. 

Since the article is behind a paywall, I probably shouldn't copy the whole thing, but here are a few points I thought were interesting --

Carlisle wants to improve the defense to  to top-10

"Carlisle [said] that improving the defense was the primary focus throughout training camp. He said the goal was to elevate from middle-of-the-pack to a top-10 unit. News alert: Giving up 153 points is not going to do that."

   But at least Carlisle has told us what the goal is. 


Mavs cannot allow role players like House and McLemore to go off. 

   This drove me crazy during the game. 

   Saad includes a picture before House's first three-pointer (out of six). All five Mavs are clustered around Harden and Westbrook on the strong side of the court. House is just relaxing all alone in the weak-side corner, and hits a wide-open three when he gets the pass. This sort of thing happened over and over. Dang it. 


Trying to Manage the Clock When They Don't Know How

Porzingis' comments on that --

“I think we should have stayed probably more offensive-minded, the way we were the whole game. At the end, we tried to slow it down and the pressure was up obviously. We tried to slow it down and kind of just cruise and win the game. Or maybe not to lose the game. That was maybe our mindset a little bit. We just have to go out there and keep playing aggressively (and) attack.”

   Saad advises that the team badly needs to learn how to manage the clock while still managing to get off a good shot. Until they figure that out, maybe they should just keep playing. 


What Were the Odds?

"This stat courtesy of ESPN Stats and Info on Twitter was jarring: Entering Friday, teams were 2-711 when trailing by seven or more points with less than a minute to go in regulation. The Rockets were down by seven points with 45 seconds left."

   Yikes! Not sure whether we should conclude that bad luck played a role in a perfect storm of things going wrong, or whether we should deem the Mavs astronomically bad at the end. Maybe somewhere in the middle?

https://theathletic.com/1967093/2020/08/...eeklyemail


#32
(08-01-2020, 09:12 PM)Davevoid Wrote: - Having said that, Harden is pretty close to being a manufactured superstar. He's a great player, don't get me wrong, but a lot of his scoring comes down to defenders being scared of getting the whistle blown. Sometimes to no avail...

Lot of truth to that although I'd say Harden is a legit NBA superstar but the blatant way he's able to draw phantom fouls turns him into an otherworldly Hall of Famer.   

It would have been nice to see just how good Harden would have been without the crazy help from refs. 

I suspect he'd still be pretty great, but we'll never know because he's too smart to not parade to free throw line as many times as the refs will allow.


#33
(08-01-2020, 11:19 PM)Dahlsim Wrote:
(08-01-2020, 09:12 PM)Davevoid Wrote: - Having said that, Harden is pretty close to being a manufactured superstar. He's a great player, don't get me wrong, but a lot of his scoring comes down to defenders being scared of getting the whistle blown. Sometimes to no avail...

Lot of truth to that although I'd say Harden is a legit NBA superstar but the blatant way he's able to draw phantom fouls turns him into an otherworldly Hall of Famer.

It would have been nice to see just how good Harden would have been without the crazy help from refs.

I suspect he'd still be pretty great, but we'll never know because he's too smart to not parade to free throw line as many times as the refs will allow.

The thing that gets me about Harden is how angry he gets when people criticize his offensive game as bad basketball. Methinks the lady(Beard) doth protest too much.
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#34
A lot of people seem to be complaining about the Maxi/KP combo, but I was super glad to see them together for so long at the end.
Isn't even more likely that a guy like Covington flies in around a slower Boban? Maxi and KP HAVE to be able to handle that situation. Especially against that tiny frontline.

And for the loss in total this rides on KP and Luka. They need to be better in these situations. Hard for me to blame anything else.


#35
(08-02-2020, 03:33 AM)Jym Wrote: A lot of people seem to be complaining about the Maxi/KP combo, but I was super glad to see them together for so long at the end.
Isn't even more likely that a guy like Covington flies in around a slower Boban? Maxi and KP HAVE to be able to handle that situation. Especially against that tiny frontline.
Agreed.

Those plays where a Rocket dashes in ahead of the Mavs for a rebound aren't just opportunistic strikes. One of the players after the game said they practice that move. Shame on Carlisle/Maxi/KP for not being alert to it. 

Hopefully, they'll live and learn.


#36
(08-02-2020, 05:02 PM)mavsluvr Wrote:
(08-02-2020, 03:33 AM)Jym Wrote: A lot of people seem to be complaining about the Maxi/KP combo, but I was super glad to see them together for so long at the end.
Isn't even more likely that a guy like Covington flies in around a slower Boban? Maxi and KP HAVE to be able to handle that situation. Especially against that tiny frontline.
Agreed.

Those plays where a Rocket dashes in ahead of the Mavs for a rebound aren't just opportunistic strikes. One of the players after the game said they practice that move. Shame on Carlisle/Maxi/KP for not being alert to it

Hopefully, they'll live and learn.

This is true, but its not just one play.  The pattern of blown leads shows that the Mavericks should not have been in a situation to lose on that one play.  The game was theirs to lose once the clock wound down to a certain point and they have built a significant lead.  

Good teams have to be able to hold those leads.
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#37
(08-02-2020, 05:12 PM)Dahlsim Wrote:
(08-02-2020, 05:02 PM)mavsluvr Wrote:
(08-02-2020, 03:33 AM)Jym Wrote: A lot of people seem to be complaining about the Maxi/KP combo, but I was super glad to see them together for so long at the end.
Isn't even more likely that a guy like Covington flies in around a slower Boban? Maxi and KP HAVE to be able to handle that situation. Especially against that tiny frontline.
Agreed.

Those plays where a Rocket dashes in ahead of the Mavs for a rebound aren't just opportunistic strikes. One of the players after the game said they practice that move. Shame on Carlisle/Maxi/KP for not being alert to it

Hopefully, they'll live and learn.

This is true, but its not just one play.  The pattern of blown leads shows that the Mavericks should not have been in a situation to lose on that one play.  The game was theirs to lose once the clock wound down to a certain point and they have built a significant lead.  

Good teams have to be able to hold those leads.
Agree with your point, dahl, both specifically and generally.

I thought of you immediately when I saw Stan van Gundy's comments about wishing he had used his offensive machine Boban more. Also, recalling the 67-win season and first round exit, when the Warriors said they knew they were in the Mavs' heads when they saw Avery roll out his small lineup. You have been saying for a long time that there is a place for coaches to make the opponent match up to them, rather than vice versa. They definitely need to get smarter about managing a lead. 

That said, that process includes being very attentive to not letting the opponent have ANY extra possessions. Specifically, avoiding turning the ball over, avoiding unnecessary fouls, and not letting the opponent grab offensive boards. Boban is a better and more alert rebounder than Kleber, and arguably should have been put in for that last rebound, knowing Harden was going to intentionally miss the free throw.

I'm all for pressing their advantage when they have a lead in late-game situations, in many of the ways you have mentioned across the seasons. I also think that the players can't go to sleep on the glass in those situations, no matter who they are. They just can't. That's one of the only ways they can surrender a significant lead in short order. I imagine you are in agreement with that.
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