Let's do it, it's Friday afternoon -- and we have questions for Kirk from Mavs Moneyball; and Yucca and JuMu from, well, here. Let's start Jammin!
1. Since trouncing the Utah Jazz, what ups and downs have the Dallas Mavericks had to face?
Kirk: The Mavs have a few triumphs (surviving a late scare versus New Orleans AND Boston) and are coming off a humiliating defeat against the Blazers. The ups have been watching the team put up all of the points; until last night they led the league in scoring. The downs have centered mainly on how to stop collapsing in the third quarter. Through five games, they've had leads erased five times, including multiple double digit leads.
2. When does Devin Harris supplant Jameer Nelson as the starting point guard? Or is his best benefit coming off the bench still?
Kirk: This is a good question. The guards are the main reason for the aforementioned collapse. Nelson is handling the ball too much and thinks he is better than he is. This is stupid because if he were to play the Jose Calderon role from last year, all he'd need to do is stand there and shoot. Nelson is hitting a great clip on threes (mid 40's last time I checked) and really seems to enjoy running pick and rolls for his own shot.]
The problem is that Harris IS best coming off the bench. He works well with the second unit and has great chemistry with Brandan Wright. Harris hasn't looked super either, shooting a bit too much and getting lit on fire defensively. If the guards can bounce back at all against Utah the Mavs should win, but they're likely to be tired after a late flight following an embarrassing loss.
Thanks a lot Kirk, now let's finish up with Yucca and JuMu!
1. Do the Utah Jazz have an advantage against the Dallas Mavericks? (Inside? Youth? Home? Better rested?) How does Coach Quin Snyder exploit this, if there is one?
Yucca: The Mavs are simply a very good team. They are smart about their shots (almost 70% are 3PA or in the paint ... and a large percentage of those "bad" mid-range J's are, of course, Dirk ... so it's not actually bad). They have speed outside with Monta, shooting with Dirk and Parsons, defense with Chandler.
Their one weakness thus far has been rebounding ... an advantage the Jazz need to aggressively attack and be smart about.
Even with that, I'm not sure there's much of an advantage anywhere to exploit that will really change the game. This game will be won or lost according to who runs their plan most effectively to get and stop effective shots.
JuMu: It took me a while to think of any clear-cut advantage the Jazz have on this Mavs team, it's tough, they are a legitimate bad match up for us. We do have youth on our side, but it's not like the Mavs are hobbling along here. Dirk Nowitzki, Tyson Chandler, Jameer Nelson, are all in the downswing of their careers but still winning games effectively together.
Holy smokes, you're right Jon/Yucca, we do have the rebounding edge, Jazz are top 5 in the league there while the Mavs are bottom 5 (rebounding rate).
Also looking at the other Hollinger team stats, this is the unheralded matchup of the 2 top teams with the best offensive efficiency so far this season. (also 2 of the bottom 3 teams in defensive efficiency....Lakers are dead last).
I'm not sure how much Coach Snyder can exploit, but hopefully he can stop the bleeding that became the Mavs scoring at will for 55% from the field last time. He just needs to keep instilling in the team confidence in the defensive system that the team needs to succeed.
2. Who should get a crack at defending Dirk Nowitzki tonight?
Yucca: I'd start Enes Kanter on Dirk. I'm not sure he will do a good job, but honestly I'm not sure Derrick Favors would either ... Dirk's tough for everyone, and neither Kanter nor Favors are great chasing a guy who shoots well outside the paint.. But Favors in the paint is more helpful than Kanter in the paint.
JuMu: Man.....I'd like to see how Favors does this time around with Dirk as his main defensive assignment. Dirk has his own version of an unguardable shot in his turnaround fadeaway, maybe even Rudy Gobert should have a period on him. We'll see.
Thanks a lot gents, follow them all on twitter: @KirkSeriousFace and @YuccaManHoops & @JuMuJazz !