The Hive Five: Game Twenty-Three

Well, so much for the back-to-back. Dallas was brutally effective on defense tonight, holding West under 10 for just the second time this season and holding Paul to a measly 3 assists. Mo-Pete and Peja combined to go 5-17 in their first games back. The score might not show it, but Dallas was thoroughly dominant tonight. To throw some salt in the Hornets wounds, former Hornet Brandon Bass played well with 9 boards and a block.























1. Shooting (X) I don’t think Dallas has played defense like this all year; teams like Portland and Atlanta have picked them apart. But tonight they really got it all together. Help defense flew to David West every time he touched it, Paul beat guys off the dribble but was swarmed, and the shooters were aggressively pursued. Why couldn’t Dallas’ rough stretch have lasted just a game longer?

2. Turnovers () Both teams were at a standstill in the turnover battle. But David West’s recent turnover problems have to be viewed as a problem. Namely, that’s been the one consistent way to stop him- bring a second help man when he has his back to the basket. Hopefully Byron Scott develops a solution to this problem (maybe isolate Paul and West so that the only guy who can help has to be Paul’s man?)  

3. Offensive Rebounding () Hornets pounded the glass again, but the stat sheet won’t say the full story tonight. Erick Dampier only “got” 5 “rebounds,” but those constant backtaps are just killers. Somebody needs to develop a way to keep track of those as a stat.

4. Free Throws (X) Neither team got to the foul line much in this one. Just like the Seattle game, it was hard-fought affair in the paint without much referee involvement. Both teams also shot very, very well from the foul line.

5. Pace (86) Having watched Dallas play twice this year now, I think I’ve realized what it is that made them so good (other than great shooters, and defense). The Mavericks seem to be able to change the pace of a game at will; one play Harris will be crazily stampeding around the paint, and the next Terry will be setting up a 15 second long play. Interestingly, the Hornets seem to do that a ton this year as well. What determines whether a team can dictate a change in pace at will? It really starts with the point guard.

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