Mavs' offensive 'stinker' not a surprise

May, 4, 2012
5/04/12
11:00
AM CT
DALLAS -- If you were stunned by this offensive stinker, you must not have watched the Mavs much this season.

SportsNation

Would adding Deron Williams in the offseason fix all that's wrong with the Mavericks?

  •  
    40%
  •  
    60%

Discuss (Total votes: 2,829)

This has been a bad offensive team since the day the defending champions -- might as well use that term while we can -- reported to the American Airlines Center for an abbreviated training camp.

Dallas’ decision makers anticipated that it would be a difficult process to fit in a few significant new pieces without much practice time, but the hope was that the Mavs would mesh throughout the course of this lockout-condensed season and be prepared to peak in the playoffs.

Pfft.

With the season on the line, the Mavs managed to come up with one of their worst offensive showings, shooting 34.2 percent from the floor in Thursday’s 95-79 loss that put Dallas on the verge of being swept by the Thunder.

“Just picked a bad time to really put a stinker out there,” said Dirk Nowitzki, who had 17 points on 6-of-15 shooting. “Nobody really had a good game for us. They took it to us on the other end. We picked a tough time to really get nothing going on the offensive end.”

That’s happened a heck of a lot this season, which is why the Mavs ranked 22nd among NBA teams in offensive efficiency. To put that in perspective, the Boston Celtics are the only playoff team that was less efficient offensively than the Mavs.

The versatile pieces that Mark Cuban and Co. expected to make Dallas a more dynamic offensive team haven’t panned out. Lamar Odom provided plenty of drama and precious little production. Vince Carter faded after the All-Star break and has really struggled in this series, making only nine of 31 shots from the floor.

The Mavs’ big guns have had off seasons by their standards. Nowitzki’s numbers are his worst since his second season in Dallas, before the Mavs’ run of a dozen playoff appearances in a row. Jason Terry’s stats are his worst in his eight-season Dallas tenure.

When one of those guys struggles, it’s tough for the Mavs to win. When they’re both off, it’s bound to get ugly.

That was the case in Game 3, when Nowitzki was bad and Terry was worse (11 points, 3-of-10 shooting, four turnovers).

“They played great defense all night long on Dirk and myself,” Terry said. “We’ve got to find a way. I think our offensive strategy right now is pretty much predicated on pass the ball around and see what happens. I don’t think that’s a good strategy for us.”

He’ll get no argument from coach Rick Carlisle: “I’ve got to do a better job of helping those guys. That’s something I really take responsibility for.”

Carlisle said something about watching film and trying to get this fixed. The truth is it’s too late for this season, and there’s a good chance Terry is gone next year.

If the Mavs want to get back to being a good offensive team, they better catch their big fish in the free-agency market.

For the sake of Dallas’ recruiting efforts, let’s hope Deron Williams was too busy to watch Game 3.

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
21.7 2.7 0.9 32.9
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsS. Dalembert 6.8
AssistsM. Ellis 5.7
StealsM. Ellis 1.7
BlocksS. Dalembert 1.2