Shootaround report: Mavs look for better defensive presence vs. Rockets
Shootaround report: Rockets vs. Mavericks (26-33)
Mavs look for better defensive presence vs. Rockets
DALLAS — Coming off one of their most lopsided losses of the season, it was easy for the Dallas Mavericks to construct a game plan heading into Wednesday night’s showdown as they face off for the second consecutive game against the Houston Rockets.
Looking to avenge Sunday’s 136-103 loss on Houston’s home floor to conclude a 1-2 road trip, the Mavericks will try to bounce back with a win at the American Airlines Center over their in-state rival before heading back out for four games away from Big D. Meanwhile, the Mavs will try to make plenty of adjustments after two days of practice following Sunday’s dismantling, hoping to limit the Rockets’ top-ranked scoring offense.
“Well, it is similar to a playoff situation,” Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said following Wednesday’s morning shootaround. “You know, we’ve got to adjust our disposition and our posture in the game. They were more aggressive than we were, and that’s the biggest adjustment we’ve got to make. If we do that, we’ll give ourselves a chance. If we don’t, it’s going to be another long night.”
One adjustment could be more concentration on containing the Rockets’ deadly offensive attack, after allowing Houston to shoot 57.5 percent from the field. Meanwhile, with four-time All-Star Shawn Marion already likely to once again begin the night defending the NBA’s fifth-leading scorer, James Harden (26.2 ppg), the Dallas defense will have to be on high alert after surrendering 14 made 3-pointers to the Rockets and a career-high 32 points on 12-of-13 shooting to sharpshooter Chandler Parsons.
“Well, they have a lot of good players. I mean, [Carlos] Delfino didn’t even hit a 3 in the last game and they still had 136 points. You know, Parsons started out the game 11 for 11, so we can’t allow that to happen. We’ve got to do a good job on Harden. I thought [Jeremy] Lin getting going in the first quarter was as big a problem as anything, and their whole team played well. They played hard and they played aggressively, and we’ve got to turn that around,” Carlisle concluded.
“Everybody has got to be in their stance like Coach [Carlisle] says and be ready to react. That’s initiative,” Marion added while entering the night one steal away from breaking his tie with Rod Strickland (1,616) for 25th place on the league's all-time steals list. “I think your first reaction is always your best reaction, and if you’re not ready to react, before you know it they’re going to be by you and making a play for someone else and that was the problem. You know, it was OK for the most part for most of the first half. We were right there, and then it seemed like they just turn it into another gear and we slowed down. Ever action that they did was like too fast for us.”
The Mavs will have to shift to a different gear themselves if they're going to win a sixth straight matchup between the two teams when they square off in Dallas.
Note: The Mavericks host the Rockets on Wednesday night at the American Airlines Center. The Mavs still lead the season series 2-1. The game will air locally at 7:30 p.m. CT on Fox Sports Southwest. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by calling (214) 747-MAVS (6287) or by visiting Mavs.com.
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