Saturday, May 27, 2006

Round 3, Game 2 Adjustments

Game 1 against the Suns fell totally in favor of their style of play. The Mavs got into a running game with them and the Suns came out on top, not to mention those costly turnovers at the end of the game. Avery decided to keep the two point guard lineup but start Erick Dampier...the former decision was okay, the latter decision...BAD. Dampier could not keep up defensively against Boris Diaw, and he's just not dominant offensively, so there's no reason to have him in there. Well come to find out, Diop should have played in Game 1 instead of Dampier.
Adjustment 1: Let Diop Play. Van Horn started at center, but he was awful offensively and wasn't getting it done in other areas. So Diop came off the bench and did well. He grabbed 11 boards, 2 blocks, and clogged up the middle defensively. He played nearly the entire second half and I should note that Steve Nash took only 1 shot during that half! Diop prevented easy layups and also did a pretty good job running and getting back into transition.
Adjustment 2: Get Back In Transition. Another major adjustment was the fact that the Mavs were not overly-aggressive on the offensive boards. Normally, it's great when you can get a bunch of offensive rebounds, but when you're playing against the Suns, they've already got 2 or 3 guys running down the floor ready to get a quick and easy basket. So not having everyone going after the offensive boards allowed us to get back defensively. As a result, I didn't see too many long passes over the court, and Suns only had 21 fastbreak points...(that's low for them).
Adjustment 3: Double-Team Nash. Normally I would have trouble supporting this because you're going to leave a guy open, and the Suns have some of the best shooters in the league. But if you can get them in a half-court offense and force Nash to give up the ball, basically take him out the game, that'll really mess up their rythym. And that's what it's all about for the Suns: an up-tempo, high scoring game where they control the pace. I felt the Mavs controlled the pace of the entire game 2 even when the Suns pulled ahead. Let's see what happens in Phoenix.


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