With the 105-96 loss to the hated Miami Heat fresh in the books, it is clear the Mavericks have missed a few beats in the first 7 games of the season. Being that it still is early in the season you shouldn’t be too worried about these miscues but I still think it is important to address them now so they don’t become serious problems in the future.
First and foremost Chandler Parsons must be addressed. In all 3 games the Mavericks have lost, Parsons has scored less than 12 points and shot an average 23% from the field. Not the numbers you’d expect from our 46 million dollar man. To be fair Chandler Parsons is averaging 15.2 PPG and shooting 42% on the season and has been sick the past 2 games, but the Mavericks cannot afford for him to take off nights every few games. To fix this issue Parsons needs to either find a way to contribute when he isn’t scoring, such as defense and rebounding, or know when to stop taking shots and let a role player try to fill his shoes for that game. Last game against the Heat, Jae Crowder was brought in for Parsons during the 3rd and 4th quarters and scored 15 points in 12 minutes on 83% shooting. If Parsons is having an off night Rick Carlisle needs to let Crowder and other bench guys step up and be the spark that Dallas needs.
Issue number two, the third quarter. This season the Mavericks have been outscored by a total 48 points during the 3rd quarter. If this team is to make a deep playoff run this needs to change. Fast. Dallas needs to come out of halftime with the fire that they start games with instead of being sluggish and conservative like they have been. If the starters aren’t getting it done in the 3rd then pull them for a few minutes and let some bench guys like JJ Barea, Jae Crowder, Al-Farouq Aminu, and Devin Harris try to get something going, and if they can’t make anything happen then bring in some other fresh guys. Dallas has one of the deepest benches in the NBA and they should use it to their advantage instead of trying to force things using only a few players.
If these two major hiccups are fixed over the next few weeks I feel there will be a major improvement in consistency and an even higher chance for success in the post season. Dallas is a team that has all the right tools to be an overall powerhouse and as long as Rick Carlisle can slide all the pieces into the right places, this team will be a force to be reckoned with.