DC Council Opening Statements: Wizards at Mavericks, Game 7 | Truth About It.net

DC Council Opening Statements: Wizards at Mavericks, Game 7

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Updated: November 14, 2012



Here to provide the DC Council Opening Statements for Washington’s seventh game of the season against the Mavericks in Dallas are TAI’s Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It), guest Bryan Gutierrez (@BallinWithBryan), who writes about the Mavericks for the TrueHoop blog The Two Man Game, and TAI’s John Converse Townsend (@JohnCTownsend), who drops in with another game prediction.

Wizards Starters (0-6):

A.J. Price, Bradley Beal, Trevor Ariza, Trevor Booker, Emeka Okafor

Mavericks Starters (4-4):

Darren Collison, O.J. Mayo, Dahntay Jones, Elton Brand & Chris Kaman

Q #1: What have you done for me lately?

(What’s the status of the Mavericks over the past week?)

@BallinWithBryan: It has been a buzzkill week for the Mavericks. They shocked many people by starting the season 4-1. If you told people the team would be 4-1, regardless of the opponent, and they were without Dirk Nowitzki, they’d take it in a heartbeat. You saw the Mavericks playing with serious pace and determination. They shot over 60 percent from the field in back-to-back games only to see the rug get ripped out from under them with three rough losses to the Knicks, Bobcats and Timberwolves. The constant themes in the losses were giving up dribble penetration, letting teams grab offensive rebounds and not being able to produce in a halfcourt setting.

It’s a pretty simple story for the Mavericks. If they are able to play sound defense, they’re going to run through and over you with a pretty potent fast break game. If they don’t play sound defense, they become very stagnant.

Q #2:  Who threw out my alarm clock?

(Which player(s) are we sleeping on?)

@BallinWithBryan: Obviously, O.J. Mayo has been tearing it up for the Mavericks, but I think people need to keep an eye out for Darren Collison. He kind of disappeared in Indiana, as the Pacers seemed to favor George Hill. Collison is showing flashes of his greatness that he displayed when he played in place of the injured Chris Paul during his rookie year in New Orleans. He tallied a season-high 21 points to go along with five assists in 33 minutes versus Minnesota on Nov. 12 and has led Dallas in scoring for the third time this season. Collison scored a team-high 17 points in each of Dallas’ first two games against the Lakers and at Utah. Collison has now scored 14-plus points in seven of Dallas’ first eight games. If the Mavericks are able to play with speed, Collison is going to be able to thrive and really be a major influence on the success for the team.

Q #3: What game-within-the-game counts most?

(What matchup between two players or between each team in a particular statistical category is most important.)

@BallinWithBryan: The easy answer is the offensive rebounds statistic. Dallas has given up 122 offensive rebounds so far this season (15.3 per game). By far, that ranks in dead last in the league in that specific category. As a whole, their big men are generally undersized and slower when it comes to attacking the glass. If the big men for Washington can show strong athleticism and scrappiness, they’ll get multiple opportunities to score within a possession.

In contrast, a matchup I’ll want to see is O.J. Mayo versus Bradley Beal. It’s always excited to see a rookie in action, but I’m interested to see how Mayo reacts to the situation. He’s been a solid weapon on offense, but he needs to continue to show some consistency as an individual and team defender. If Beal can make Mayo work, that may take away from Mayo’s output on offense.

Q #4: How it’s going down?

(TAI’s general key to the game.)

@Truth_About_It: Keys to the game… Hmmm… {tugs at shirt collar}. Well, shoot the gaps and don’t settle for the open shots that you know the defense will give you, would be one (via Mike Prada’s meticulous break-down of where Wizards go bad on Bullets Forever). But also, just play basketball, I think… Punch first, play hard, and do whatever it takes to earn the respect of fans (and referees, via free throws), because the ship is sinking very fast, but it still can be saved.

PREDICTION TIME

The Spread:
The Mavericks are favored by 8 points and the over/under is 191 points (via USA Today).

@BallinWithBryan: 103-87, Dallas. This is a game Dallas really wants and needs. They are trying to avoid a four-game losing streak and need to build the momentum they had to start the season. They’re looking to get back in gear in a hurry and hope to do so at the expense of Washington.

@Truth_About_It: Mark Cuban will wear Sketchers, he will look terrible (but likely taller) in doing so, and the Mavericks will win 105-96.

@JohnCTownsend: Last night, Kemba Walker ripped through the Wizards defense like a pulled pork sandwich. What, besides the time zone, has changed for Washington over the past 24 hours? Exactly. Tonight, Texas-style brisket is on the menu in Dallas, and the Wizards are in the smoker. Mavericks get their fill, 98-86.



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