Even the winners have to make adjustments
To the Film Room
By John Schuhmann
DALLAS, June 9 -- Game 1 is in the books. Some would say that today is when the series really begins. It's adjustment time. Both teams had lengthy film sessions this morning and both know that they can do a lot of things better come Sunday night.
For the Mavs, they will look for ways to get more production from Dirk Nowitzki. The All-Star shot just 4-of-14 from the field for 16 points. Other than a 3-for-13 stinker in Game 4 against Phoenix, it was his worst offensive game of the postseason.
Dirk's performance was largely a result of tremendous defense from Udonis Haslem, who stuck to him like glue and didn't let him get into the paint.
While a lot of credit goes to Haslem, the Mavs believe that they could do things differently in order to find space for their leading scorer. Obviously, Avery Johnson won't tell us what he plans to do to get his star started, but he can say that changes will be made.
"There are some things that we can correct," Johnson said. "We've shown some of those things and worked on them and hopefully we can get out there."
So, look for Dallas to use more screens, both with Dirk as the screener and the ball handler, in order to get him more space. Nowitzki believes that it will also be up to him to react better to how the Heat play him.
"More than anything, I've got to see what the defense gives me," Nowitzki said. "I think every time I caught the ball, they were surrounding me with two or three people. I had nowhere to go. I put it on the floor and [they] responded, came right from my blind side and tried to make me pass off the dribble which you know isn't my strength yet. I just have to see what they give me and go from there."
Haslem is not satisfied and will be ready for a more offensive Nowitzki in Game 2.
"I played pretty good D for one game," Haslem said. "I got another game coming up and I gotta refocus and do it again. I won't get carried away about it."
The New NBA Player
Earlier in the day, NBA commissioner David Stern held court and one of the topics of discussion was the rule changes that have taken place in the last few years and how they have affected play on the court. Later on, Avery Johnson addressed how the Mavericks have structured their team accordingly.
"I like our length, I like what I saw in Marquis and Josh and Stack and I like the ground that Devin and Terry can cover like corner backs and wide receivers," Johnson said. "I think you need that in basketball right now. You need guys that can cover around the perimeter. Guys are so important right now, you need guys that have legs or stay pretty fresh throughout the game. So I thought that was critical with the way we constructed this team."
The commissioner would not talk about the two teams still playing, but he echoed Johnson's sentiments.
"There is a premium on shooting, passing and being fast and movement, being able to move," Stern said.
Take note if you have NBA aspirations.
NBA.com is part of Turner - SI Digital, part of the Turner Sports & Entertainment Digital Network. Advertise on NBA.com | Career Opportunities | Help