Mavericks mixing up the defenses

June, 11, 2011
6/11/11
2:00
PM CT

MIAMI -- In the first game of the NBA Finals, the Mavericks used a zone defense early in the game to confuse the Heat. As this series has moved on, the Mavs mixed up the coverages with positive results.

Instead of just calling for the zone defense and staying with it for a few possessions, the Mavs are using it in the flow of the game so that the Heat are off balanced when they try and set their offense in the halfcourt. The Heat are not quite sure what defense they're seeing when it gets up court.

"It's bothered them a little bit," guard DeShawn Stevenson said of the different defenses. "We're doing it out of the flow. The first game we were just setting up in it and we had time to put shooters out there and run our zone defense. When we do it in flow and switch man to zone and zone to man it's tough for them."

The Mavs are also putting some double-teams on LeBron James in the front court forcing him to pass. He has 10 assists, in the Game 5 loss, and it also limited his ability to drive to the basket and get to the free throw line. He shot just two foul shots in Game 5 and has just 16 total for the series.

Dwyane Wade's ability to get to the line hasn't been stopped by the defense. He's attempted 42 free throws, only Dirk Nowitzki has attempted more with 44. But Chris Bosh hasn't been able to shoot on consistent basis, he's at 37.3 percent from the field, because the Mavs are getting a body on him as well.

"I think it’s difficult because it breaks them out of rhythm," center Tyson Chandler said. "We change things up and give them a couple looks and go to a different look and anything you do to break the rhythm of the offense is good."
Calvin Watkins joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009. He's covered the Cowboys since 2006 and also has covered colleges, boxing and high school sports.

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Comments

You must be signed in to post a comment

Already have an account?

103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS

Fitzsimmons & Durrett: Rick Carlisle

Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett at Mavericks media day to discuss his expectations for the upcoming season.

Galloway & Company: Mark Cuban

Mark Cuban joins Galloway and Company to discuss the Mavericks' new GM Gersson Rosas and much more.

Fitzsimmons & Durrett: Mark Cuban talk

Fitzsimmons and Durrett discuss Mark Cuban's comments from Las Vegas about the Mavericks' offseason, how he sees the team without Dwight Howard and more.

Fitzsimmons & Durrett: Marc Stein

Marc Stein joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why the Mavericks didn't want to match Cleveland's offer to Andrew Bynum, what's next for the Mavs and the possibility of Dirk Nowitzki ending his career elsewhere.

Fitzsimmons & Durrett: The Standoff

Jeff Platt fires quick-hitters at Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon in the weekly sports standoff about Andrew Bynum, the Mavs' current backcourt, a potential Nelson Cruz suspension and more.

Fitzsimmons & Durrett: Ramona Shelburne

ESPN Los Angeles' Ramona Shelburne joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why she thinks Andrew Bynum got a bad rap in Los Angeles and how he would fit in with the Mavericks.

Fitzsimmons and Durrett: Buy or sell

Buy, sell or hold? If Dwight Howard goes to another team, what are the Mavs' options? The guys take a look at a list of potential fallback options.

Fitzsimmons & Durrett: Marc Stein

ESPN's Marc Stein joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the latest news on the Mavericks' meeting with Dwight Howard.

TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Dirk Nowitzki
PTS AST STL MIN
21.6 2.7 0.9 32.7
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsS. Dalembert 6.8
AssistsM. Ellis 5.8
StealsM. Ellis 1.7
BlocksS. Dalembert 1.2