Preview: Mavs try to cut down on turnovers while continuing Sixers' skid
Earl K. Sneed previews the Dallas Mavericks' home matchup against the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday night, as the Mavs try to cut down on their turnovers in order to avenge a November loss.
Preview: 76ers (12-12) at Mavericks (11-13)
Mavs try to cut down on turnovers while continuing Sixers' skid
Losses in Boston, Toronto and Minnesota sent the Mavericks back to Dallas two games below .500. Now, with the Philadelphia 76ers set to invade the American Airlines center on Tuesday night before the reigning NBA champion Miami Heat follow 48 hours later, the Mavs will try to build some much-needed momentum back on their home floor.
“Yeah, 0-3 is not what we planned for and it’s very disappointing, but we’ve got to regroup when we get home,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said while quickly putting the winless road trip out of his mind. “We’ve got some home games coming up and they’re very important. We’ve got one quality day of practice (on Monday) and we’ve got to get a lot out of that. And we’ve got to regroup and keep going.”
In order to regroup, however, the Mavericks (11-13) will first have to cure their recent ailment for turning the ball over after games of 28, 17 and 20 giveaways in their three losses. And while trying to avenge a 100-98 loss to the 76ers (12-12) in Philly on Nov. 27, the Mavs hope to take better care of the ball in front of their hometown fans.
“To be honest, we’ve done uncharacteristically stupid things,” Carlisle explained. “We’ve got to work to correct it, I’ve got to teach these guys better and we’ve got to keep studying it. … You can’t throw the ball through the nose of a defender and have it come out his [tail] and then to a teammate.”
“It’s just a matter of being under control,” veteran point guard Derek Fisher added. “Because we’re a team that plays with pace, sometimes you’re just going too fast, so sometimes you have to slow down. That doesn’t mean move slow, but just mentally slow yourself down and make sure you’re reading situations the right way on the floor.”
Costly turnovers to start the fourth quarter were the reason for the Mavericks’ collapse in the first meeting with the Sixers.
After just seven turnovers through the first three quarters, the Mavs ended six straight possessions with giveaways to start the fourth period before finishing with 15 for the game. Still, with leading scorer O.J. Mayo at the free line with a chance to tie the game with 2.7 seconds left, the visiting team would have its opportunity to overcome the miscues before two misses from the charity stripe and a desperation 3-point heave from rookie Jae Crowder ruined big man Elton Brand’s return against his old team.
“In that game the stretch that killed us was the six-consecutive-turnover stretch in the fourth quarter. So again, it’s being able to create opportunities to make plays and then to be able to finish off those plays with simple passes and simple reads is going to be the ongoing goal,” Carlisle said.
He added: “[The 76ers] are an active team, they’re very talented at their wing positions and they’re very smart and very well-coached. So, they put you in some of those predicaments, but last game we hurt ourselves. We made some unforced mistakes that really costed us.”
Now, with Brand getting a second chance to claim a win against his former team after his amnesty release this offseason, the Mavericks will try to get even as well by cutting down on their 15.9 turnovers per game coming into the night while looking to send the Sixers to a fourth straight loss overall.
Note: The Mavericks return home and host the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday night, trying to avenge a 100-98 defeat in Philly on Nov. 27. The game will air locally on Fox Sports Southwest at 7:30 p.m. CT. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by calling (214) 747-MAVS (6287) or by visiting Mavs.com.