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Tuesday, November 6, 2012
3-pointer: Mavs set shooting records

By Tim MacMahon

DALLAS -- So much for the theory that the remodeled Mavericks would need time to mesh.

A week into the season, the Mavs have already established a new franchise standard for shooting efficiency. They shot better than 60 percent in two consecutive games for the first time in the 32-year history of the team.

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Their 61.4 percent shooting combined in the blowouts over the Bobcats and Trail Blazers is the best over a two-game span in franchise history. And they’ve been almost as accurate from long distance, making 26 of 45 3-point attempts (57.8 percent).

The Mavs, featuring nine newcomers, point to their play-call-free flow offense as the primary reason they’ve clicked so well on the fly.

“It’s like just organized kind of streetball,” sizzling shooting guard O.J. Mayo said. “We have spots that we need to fill and just continue moving. It’s kind of unguardable, because we don’t do something constant, something you can scout. It’s just read the defense and work off that.”

The success starts with point guard Darren Collison, whose quickness allows the Mavs to play at a much faster pace than the recent past. The point guard has posted consecutive double-doubles, scoring 32 points on 13-of-21 shooting with 23 assists and only three turnovers in the last two games.

Coach Rick Carlisle has given Collison immediate trust to run the show, a necessity with so many newcomers. It’s not rocket science, Carlisle said. The Mavs need to keep it simple.

“The ball’s been moving,” Carlisle said. “It’s as simple as that. We’re not running a lot of plays. We’re best playing randomly and we’re developing a better and better feel of doing it. We’ve got to trust that right now.

“When we slowed down and tried to run plays tonight, we sucked pretty much.”

When they just let it flow, the Mavs were pretty much unstoppable.

A few other notes from the 3-1 Mavs’ blowout of the Blazers:

1. Way to go, DoJo: Dominique Jones has answered the bell after Rodrigue Beaubois’ ankle injury pushed the third-year guard into the rotation. Jones has 12 points and 12 assists in 30 minutes during the last two games.

The Mavs declined the option for the fourth year in Jones’ rookie contract and tried to trade him before the season opener. That didn’t affect his focus.

Jones was especially impressive against the Trail Blazers, scoring six points on 3-of-4 shooting, dishing out six assists and coming up with three steals in only 14 minutes.

“I thought the key guy in the game was Dominique Jones, especially in the second half,” Carlisle said. “He gave us a real spark defensively, got the team going in transition, made a couple of nice plays, got other guys shots. It’s so important to have a guy in that slot ready to step up when you’ve got a guy like Beaubois out.”

2. Kaman comes up big off bench: Chris Kaman isn’t accustomed to coming off the bench, but it’s working out well. He has 32 points in 44 minutes in the last two games, shooting 16-of-19 from the floor.

“Teams haven’t game-planned for him a whole lot and we’ve been moving the ball a lot,” Carlisle said. “We’re not really running plays for him. He’s another guy that has a good feel for the game and works himself into good spots on the court.”

Kaman will eventually be a starter, but Carlisle wants to limit the 7-footer’s minutes with Kaman coming off a strained right calf that still gets sore after games.

3. Limiting Lillard: Portland point guard Damian Lillard, who joined Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson as the only players in NBA history to average 20 points and nine assists in the first three games of their careers, had his first off night against the Mavs.

Dallas held Lillard, the sixth overall pick in the draft, to 13 points and five assists. He shot 2-of-13 from the floor, including 1-of-8 from 3-point range.

Collison credited the Mavs’ pick-and-roll coverages for containing the Blazers’ rookie sensation.