Stars shooting, seeking a turnaround
January, 9, 2012
By Jeff Caplan | ESPNDallas.com
DALLAS -- Three Dallas Mavericks remained on the practice floor Sunday while everyone else was showering and preparing to head to the airport for Monday's trip to the White House, followed by the first multi-game road trip of the season.
Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Terry took extra shooting practice with assistant coach Terry Stotts, as injured point guard Jason Kidd supervised.
Nowitzki and Terry are the only Mavs players with double-digit scoring averages, yet neither is shooting it nearly as accurately as they have throughout their careers. Nowitzki, a combined 5-of-22 from the floor over the last two games, is at 43.8 percent overall and 20.0 percent (4-of-20) from 3-point range.
Terry is at 43.2 percent overall, but has been solid from 3-point range at at team-best 45.1 percent. As a team, Dallas dropped a spot after Saturday's game to 27th in the NBA in field-goal percentage at 41.4 percent.
Terry said the shortened training camp and compacted schedule is partly to blame for a couple of reasons. First, the quick camps didn't give players a chance to get their legs under them. Then the rapid-fire nature of the games is limiting team practice time, and is also cutting into personal practice time.
"It’s been a big adjustment for me," Terry said. "I’m a guy that likes to come in at night and shoot, on the road shoot at night; you’re just not able to do that with this schedule and so today as you saw after practice with these two days off we’re re-tooling, and hopefully that’ll gain some rhythm back. Our shooting percentage is not where we want it to be. We take a lot of that on our shoulders, myself and Dirk, so hopefully we can get that to where it needs to be."
It won't come easily with Kidd sitting out at least the next two games with a lower back injury. Dallas won the game handily, scored 96 points and had 22 assists, all seemingly good numbers. But it was a ragged offensive performance, which Nowitzki didn't sugarcoat.
"It was awful. You saw it," Nowitzki said. "There was not much going on. We found some plays, posted some guys up. Ian [Mahinmi] had some good rolls to the basket, so there were some positives out there."