Mavs @ Spurs Preview and What to Watch for

San Antonio Dallas
Record  3-2  2-4
Position 6th in West 10th in West
PPG 113.8 111.7
Points Allowed 118.6 117.7
FG % 45.1% 43.6%
3p % 40.7% 32.9%
FT % 78.6% 75.3%
RPG 46.8 43.3
APG 23.8 25.5
TO 10.6 14.0

 

Projected Starters
San Antonio Dallas
PG Forbes Smith, Jr.
SG Derozan Matthews
SF Gay Doncic
PF Cunningham Barnes
C Aldridge Jordan

The Mavericks try to rebound from last nights loss to the Utah Jazz to complete their first back-to-back set of games for the season.  This will also be our first matchup with the Southwest Division rival San Antonio Spurs, however, this is not the Spurs team we have know for the last 21 years.  This will be the first time that the Mavs square off against the Spurs when they do not have Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, or Tony Parker on the roster since Timmy and Manu retired and Parker signed with the Hornets as a free agent this summer.  Even still, Greg Popovich still runs the show and Demar Derozan is off to a great start with his new team, averaging 27 points, 8 assists, and 6 rebounds per game.

Even though the Spurs two main scorers, Derozan (27 ppg) and Aldridge (20 ppg) are not know for their 3 point shooting, long range shooting could easily be the difference in the game and should be a point of analysis for the Mavericks.

San Antonio is 3rd in the league is 3 point percentage at nearly 41% and Dallas is last in the league at defending the 3, allowing opponents to shoot over 47% from long range.  The Mavericks only have 1 player on their entire roster shooting better than the 41% that the Spurs are averaging, and that is Maxi Kleber.  Here are the Mavericks top 3 shooters in attempts per game this season and their respective percentage this season and for their career:

Player 3’s per game % Career %
Matthews 9.2 36.4% 38.3
Doncic 7.2 34.9% *30.9%
Barnes 4.5 11.1% 36.5
Smith, Jr. 4.4 31.8% 31.30%
Finney-Smith 3.8 34.8% 29.90%
Kleber 3.5 47.6% 33.60%
Brunson 3.3 30.0% **39.3%
Barea 3.3 25.0% 35.30%

*2017-2018 EuroLeague/Liga ACB shooting %

**College career shooting %

The Mavericks are shooting 38 threes per game (3rd in the league) and making only 32.9% (24th in the league).  We have low percentage 3 shooters taking A LOT of 3s, not a great recipe for success.  I understand everyone wants to try to copy the “Golden State model” but jacking up 3s like Golden State is not how this team is going to win games, we don’t have Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, or Kevin Durant.

I always thought Rick Carlisle did a great job of catering his offense to the skill of his players but so far this season that does not seem to be the case.  By settling for every jump shot we are taking pressure off the defense and end up going through long scoring draughts that put the team in insurmountable holes.  This is how you can go up by 26 points, as we saw against Atlanta, only to allow them to get back into the game before halftime.

By the way, first year guard, Ryan Broekhoff, averaged 44.3% on 3s shooting an average of 4.1 per game the 5 years prior to moving from European basketball to the NBA.  Perhaps if we are going to be a team that takes near the most 3s per game then we put in our best 3-point shooter every now and then?  Just a thought.

Other Notes:  Dirk Out, Devin Harris Out, and Luka Doncic Questionable with lower-back soreness.

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