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What’s on their mind Saturday: Dallas Mavericks

Jun 4, 2011, 9:00 AM EDT

Dallas Mavericks v Miami Heat - Game Two Getty Images

The Mavs have done what they set out to do. Well, okay, not really. They probably wanted to win both games in Miami, devastate their spirits ans set up a sweep. Easy is always better in such things. But a more realistic goal was to split the two games in Miami and regain homecourt advantage. Which they know have. And while the pressure is undoubtedly higher on the Heat going into Game 3, on their off-day, the Mavericks have to face the reality that after regaining that homecourt advantage, if that’s to be their key to victory they must win three straight games against the most talented team in the NBA. Here’s what’s on the Mavericks’ mind on Saturday, their practice day prior to Game 3 Sunday.

More of same on James

See, it’s a rhyme! The plan regarding LeBron James after Game 2 has to be “yes, more of that please.” Shawn Marion‘s done an absolutely incredible job, just as he did against Kevin Durant in the WCF. His work in “containing” LeBron James, a sticking point for Rick Carlisle, has been huge. The Mavericks didn’t freak out after James’ perimeter barrage in Game 1 (or the first three quarters of Game 2). Instead, they stuck to the plan. “Getting beat by fadeaway 3-pointers is better than getting beat at the rim.” The Mavericks have to live with one or the other, and Marion is going under screens and hedging hard to keep James in front of him. The Mavs’ have helped to create issues for the Heat  in this set by employing a full-court press. The objective isn’t to actually pressure the ball, it’s to take time off the clock. If James is setting up the offense with less than 15 on the clock, the Mavericks have a higher chance of shutting off option 1a and 1b, forcing the Heat into their second option: “jack it up from deep.” That’s where they want the game to be. So really on Saturday, Carlisle will be enforcing “more of the same.”

Get a handle on yourselves

Turnovers were a significant problem for Dallas in Game 2. They very nearly cost the Mavericks the game. You turn the ball over against the Heat, and they will capitalize. Rick Carlisle categorized them as the best finishers in transition in basketball before Game 2. A large function of that 15-point lead the Mavericks had to come back from was due to those easy baskets. Carlisle will likely stress cutting down on those mistakes at practice Saturday.

Believe in yourselves… or someone like you

Carlisle’s spoken a lot about believing in what the Mavericks are trying to do, and you can see that the Mavericks are buying into that concept. Oddly enough, Carlisle’s sending a message about the Mavs believing in a version of themselves which isn’t accurate. The Mavericks aren’t a great defensive team. They’re extremely good, that’s why they’re here. But they were seventh in defensive efficiency this season. They also weren’t a great rebounding team, but again really good, seventh in opponent OREB%. But Carlisle has told his team consistently to play “their game” which is “stops and defensive rebounding.” It’s a strange strategy but it’s working. Expect to hear more of the same from the team after practice Saturday.

 

  1. redbear18 - Jun 4, 2011 at 9:59 AM

    Really? The Heat are the most talented team in the league? It seems that beyond the big three, they have NO talent. The Mavericks on the other hand, have maybe the deepest and most talented roster in basketball right now, where anybody can star alongside Nowitzki any given night. Miami is so overhyped.

  2. diablito0402 - Jun 4, 2011 at 10:03 AM

    Miami isss wayy overhyped. Last year you couldn’t find a heat fan to save your life, and now there scatered everywhere like roaches on a bandwagon.

    • passerby23 - Jun 4, 2011 at 2:15 PM

      I don’t understand bandwagon talk most of the time. Aren’t the reasons you like a team because of the players (and maybe the coach)? If a team acquires new players that you like, why is it unfair to like them? I understand when fans suddenly make them their favorite team all the while claiming they were loyal fans from Day One, but we change our minds. I loved Shaq in Orlando, hated him in LA, then liked him again in Miami. I loved the Showtime Lakers but have never liked the Kobe-era Lakers. I liked Miami when Wade and Shaq were together, now I can’t stand the Heat. Every fan jumps on and off the bandwagon for various teams.

  3. diablito0402 - Jun 4, 2011 at 10:05 AM

    Funny it reminds me of the new orleans saints.

  4. coltsfanindc - Jun 4, 2011 at 11:36 AM

    I was here. now what wasn’t here were haters like yourself. you guys own the bandwagon. heat fans have jus been more vocal because we’ve had to defend them against ppl like u and because free agency gave us hope we haven’t had since 2006 season.

    • denverhoopdreams - Jun 4, 2011 at 3:14 PM

      LOL. You act like hating a team is a bandwagon thing when it isn’t at all. There was no reason to hate the Heat last year, that is all. There was also no reason to like the Heat either, so I don’t call people liking the Heat a bandwagon thing either.

      The bandwagon fans are the people who are following them post season only, and I’m definitely over that at this point. :D

    • bj1980 - Jun 5, 2011 at 6:03 AM

      If you’re an actual Heat fan, one whose been around since when they sucked, my apologies. It can’t be easy owing your allegience to a team that’s done so much to piss people off.

  5. coltsfanindc - Jun 4, 2011 at 11:39 AM

    and at this point they’re not over hyped. many had them losing to the celtics and bulls. preseason they were over hyped ,ut the reg season(9-8 start. 5 game losing streak in feb/march) snatched a lot of the hype away. be a man and think for yourself. dont be a bandwagon hater

    • denverhoopdreams - Jun 4, 2011 at 3:24 PM

      BE A MAN!! HAHAHAHAHAHA. YOU’RE A RIOT MAN!!

  6. diablito0402 - Jun 4, 2011 at 11:46 AM

    Im sorry im from LA and we giving the nba a break so they can have a new champion. And never thought there was such a thing as a bandwagon hater. You either jump on it such as yourself or you hate on it. In plain english,,,,, like you either an elvis man or a beatles man you hear.

    • denverhoopdreams - Jun 4, 2011 at 3:25 PM

      Yeah, the whole bandwagon hater ideal he brought forth is pretty retarded..

    • daduts - Jun 5, 2011 at 1:58 AM

      You’re from LA? That explains why you’re so bitter. Hahahaha

  7. diablito0402 - Jun 4, 2011 at 2:00 PM

    I will bet my house that you wheren’t a heat fan last year, i bet u. Colts fan in dc, what ever that means, shouldn’t yoj root for the redskins.

    • denverhoopdreams - Jun 4, 2011 at 3:26 PM

      LOL! And why isn’t he going for the Wizards, or the Bobcats, or the Hawks… why did you have to go as far south as South Beach? I wish yahoo laughing emoticons could be used right here. lolololol.

      GO NUGGETS!! ;D

  8. royalsfaninfargo - Jun 4, 2011 at 4:00 PM

    I dont think the Heat are the most talented team in league top to bottom. They have 3 of the most talented players on their team, but after that it gets a little shaky. I mean they have Juwan Howard, Erick Dampier, and Jamal Magloire on their team!

    • denverhoopdreams - Jun 4, 2011 at 5:02 PM

      This guy knows whats going on. We’ll see a few more all-star teams formed over the next few seasons and they’ll have better role players than the Heat have. People will start doing it efficiently, and the balance of where the rings are going is going to be crazy.

      Let’s all remember.. The Celtics were the last three that got together, and what won them a ring was thier role players around them.

  9. riccismiles - Jun 4, 2011 at 8:57 PM

    No doubt Miami is the most talented team. But the talent is in three hands not the squad as a whole. I’m pulling for the Mavs because they are a unit, not a big three plus YMCA guys..

  10. diablito0402 - Jun 5, 2011 at 3:39 AM

    Bitter? Why im good, seriously just enjoying a good finals without my lakers, ohh well but just hate to see all the bandwagon people, my heat this my heat that when last year they where going for a different team, all these front runners.

  11. dirtybird2020 - Jun 5, 2011 at 4:20 AM

    I cant wait for Dirk “The German Shepard” Nowitski teaching the heat new tricks! He has the most talent on the court! Treated bosh on the last play! Haha

  12. coltsfanindc - Jun 5, 2011 at 8:27 AM

    Of course theres a such thing as bangwagon haters moron. u along w/ many others. and wheres my keys to ur house since u bet. idiot i was rooting for mia during their 15 win season 3yrs ago. and to the other idiot who decided to jump in and defend u(yall must be ‘partners’) SoBe is my 2nd home. i dont root for the Skins cuz i moved from Gary, IN to DC in ’03. so to u and your boyfriend, be a MAN and form your OWN opinions plz!!! thanks.

    Cant wait to redecorate my house u jus bet either. now I’ll have 3 homes

  13. denverhoopdreams - Jun 5, 2011 at 5:29 PM

    I think I can vouch for everyone else when I say this, that made absolutely zero sense.

    I’m suprised someone with your intellectual prowess actually got on to msnbc.com in the first place.

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