Tuesday, May 1, 2012
Mavs' shooting struggles are nothing new
By Jeff Caplan
OKLAHOMA CITY -- At some point admissions just have to be made. And after two poor shooting games to start the playoffs, there's no getting around the fact that the Mavericks are just a mediocre shooting team.
Have been all season. Nothing has changed.
Dallas ranked 19th in the league in field-goal percentage during the regular season at 44.3 percent, the lowest shooting percentage among the Western Conference playoff teams. The Orlando Magic and Indiana Pacers were the only playoff teams with a lower percentage.
In this first-round series, shooting percentages have held to regular-season form. The Oklahoma City Thunder, which ranked third in the NBA in shooting percentage at 47.1 percent, are shooting 46.6 in the two games, despite Kevin Durant struggling at 15-of-44. The Mavs are at 42.7 percent -- and 33.3 percent from beyond the arc after Monday's 5-of-23 brick-fest.
"We had some great looks that normally go down for us," Jason Kidd said.
That's been the refrain all season. But it simply hasn't happened.
Still, the Mavs are so close to having this series tied, if not up 2-0. Chalk up the 0-2 hole to horrible fourth-quarter shooting and late-game execution. In Game 1, Dallas was 7-of-19 (36.8 percent) from the floor in the final quarter. Dirk Nowitzki's bucket at the 2:31 mark for a 94-87 lead would be their last.
In Game 2, Vince Carter's bank shot with 2:18 left for a 97-96 lead would again be Dallas' last of the quarter with the exception of Jason Terry's uncontested layup with 20 seconds left and the Thunder protecting a three-point lead.
In both games, the Mavs are 14-of-40 (35 percent) in the fourth quarter with six turnovers.