Dallas looks like a team on a mission right now and there's not much that's going to derail that if this play keeps up.
If this is how they're playing defense now, watch out. They kept the Jazz out of rhythm, clogged up the passing lanes, and had the Jazz shooting jumpers most of the night. A lot of Jazz points come from interior passing and the Mavericks took that away tonight.
They were frustrating the Jazz all night. When Utah couldn't get the shots to fall inside, they kept backing out and couldn't hit jumpers either. Then they started pressing on offense and not getting the looks they wanted. All credit goes to Dallas for that.
When the Jazz did get the ball down low, they missed some easy looks (most courtesy of Al Jefferson), and not a single player could get things going offensively. Millsap had 21 & 7 on the night but it didn't seem as though he was much of a factor tonight. Fesenko had a couple of good moves and pulled down 7 boards in his first 7 minutes. After that, there wasn't a redeemable quality about tonight's game.
The Jazz were right there at the half, despite being down four. They had matched the Mavs on the intensity but the game started getting out of hand to start the fourth. Dallas turned up the D a notch and turned a four-point lead into a 15-point advantage. Here's the offensive sequence to start that quarter for the Jazz:
- CJ 25-foot miss
- Watson 20-foot miss
- Deron turnover
- Deron 18-foot miss
- Elson turnover
- Kirilenko turnover
- Jason Kidd had three three-pointers but if you would have told me he had 10, I would have believed you. Each seemed to be a back-breaker.
- The Mavs seemed to have a serious attitude problem, mainly with Barea and Chandler. At least they showed something though. Nobody on the Jazz seemed to fight back.
- We saw pouty Deron again. Not a fan.
- Earl really cooled off. He did have 5 assists and 4 boards, but we needed some of those shots to fall.
- CJ wasn't as doey as he has been. He was off again tonight, just 3-8 from the field.
- SWARM was in effect in the second, but we never saw the full SWARM team again for the game.
- Al just couldn't get a shot to fall tonight. He missed several up and unders and his jumper wasn't falling either. Only a couple of late layups prevented his 8-20 mark from looking like a Mendoza line.
- The weirdest part about this game what that the Jazz didn't have the second half adjustments that have been a staple of their win-streak.
- One bright side, the Mavs only had 3 offensive boards. Downside: there aren't that many boards to get when you're shooting 53%. Really though, the Jazz were much better in that respect tonight.
- I was surprised we only saw 7 minutes of Price who is a large part of SWARM and especially since Barea was going around everyone.
- It looked at though the Jazz were afraid to leave a foot of distance between the defender and Nowitzki on the pick and roll. I guess there's a good reason for that but the guard running the PnR got too much penetration.
- Mavs Moneyball
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