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Pregame buzz: Defending against Lob City

2/13/2012

DALLAS -- Lob City is in town and if the Dallas Mavericks aren't careful, it could get ugly. In L.A., the Chris Paul-less Clippers still struck for five dunks and three alley-oops -- in the first half.

"They have maybe the two best guys we've seen in some time to go up and get it in [Blake] Griffin and [DeAndre] Jordan," Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said. "And [Chris] Paul's maybe the best guy I've ever seen throwing them. So, they've got the components to make life miserable for you."

It certainly isn't shocking to learn that Griffin, the former Player of the Year at Oklahoma, and Jordan are the top dunking duo in the league with 129 rim-rattlers between them. Griffin shares the league dunk lead with Dwight Howard with 70.

Here's some perspective on just how often Griffin and Jordan throw it down. Together they have 38 more dunks than Brendan Haywood (27), Ian Mahinmi (25), Shawn Marion (16), Brandan Wright (16) and Vince Carter (7) combined.

Now, Haywood and company have done an extremely good job of limiting points in the paint. The Mavs have been one of the best such units all season. And the Clippers, surprisingly, are not a high points-in-the-paint scoring team. It just seems that way because of the propensity of the dunk.

Still, it's a shot, and the alley-oop in particular, that is best to try to avoid -- if only for morale.

"It's really important that we're very detailed and on point with what we're doing defensively," Carlisle said. "Tonight's a good example. If you're not completely tied together these guys will be throwing lobs and dunking the ball and it's upsetting to watch."