<
>

Mavs still struggling to defend point guards

10/28/2009

You often hear the term "cut the head off the snake" in conversations about defending elite point guards. Washington's Gilbert Arenas delivered a venomous bite to the Dallas Mavericks in the season opener.

Arenas carried the Wizards to a 102-91 win with a 29-point, nine-assist performance, making it clear that he's returned to All-Star form after being limited to only 15 games over the last two seasons.

Getting scorched by an opposing point guard is an all-too-familiar experience for the Mavericks.

Flash back to the 2008 first round, when Chris Paul killed the Mavericks, for a prime example. The struggles to contain explosive point guards continued last season, when the Mavericks allowed a league-high six 30-point, 10-assist games.

This isn't just a Jason Kidd issue, although the future Hall of Famer is better suited to defend wings that point guards these days. That'd work well if Jason Terry and/or JJ Barea were at least average defensive players, but that isn't the case, as evidenced by Arenas consistently attacking the smaller Mavs guards.

First-round pick Rodrigue Beaubois, who has a rare combination of length and quickness, could help solve the Mavs' problems defending point guards at some point. But the rookie isn't ready to play a significant role yet.