Wednesday, October 31, 2012
W2W4: Balanced Mavs try to keep building vs. Jazz
By Tim MacMahon
It was just one game, several members of the Mavs organization said in the wake of the season-opening stunner.
On to the next one.
As pleased as the Mavericks were with their upset of the Los Angeles Lakers, it’s not as if they were in a celebratory mood. By the time the Mavs got out of the showers, their minds were already in Utah, where their bodies would arrive a little after 2 a.m.
The Mavs proved in the opener that they are capable of beating a playoff-caliber opponent with their balanced, gritty approach. Can they do it again less than 24 hours later against the Jazz?
“It’s a game that we need to build on,” coach Rick Carlisle said after Tuesday’s win. “That’s the kind of balance that we’re going to have to have to be successful. When you’re without a game-changer like (Dirk) Nowitzki, you’re going to have to have balance. We’ve got to have a collective understanding of what style you need to play to score enough points and then get back on the other end scrambling.”
Records: Mavs (1-0); Jazz (0-0)
When: 8:00 p.m.
Where: Energy Solutions Arena
Radio: ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM/1270 AM (Spanish)
What to watch: The top two focus areas for the Mavs remain rebounding and limiting turnovers. The rebounding is especially important against the Jazz’s bulky front line, which features 6-foot-10, 289-pound Al Jefferson, 6-foot-8, 258-pound Paul Millsap and 6-foot-9, 237-pound Marvin Williams. The Mavs were respectable in the rebounding department against the Lakers, getting beat on the glass by six boards. They have another huge challenge against the Jazz, who ranked third in the NBA last season in rebounding differential.
Key matchup:Darren Collison vs. Mo Williams – Let’s go with the matchup featuring the Mavs’ lightning quick point guard for the second consecutive game. The Mavs need Collison to push the tempo and exploit a defensively-challenged point guard again. He did a terrific job in the opener against Steve Nash, scoring a team-high 17 points on 8-of-12 shooting while keeping his teammates involved.