Blog Entry

Mavs zero in on Paul to give Hornets first loss

Posted on: November 15, 2010 11:21 pm
Edited on: November 15, 2010 11:39 pm
 
Dirk and Terry help Mavericks send Hornets to first season loss as they corral Chris Paul in second half. Posted by Matt Moore

Well, it had to happen sometime. The Hornets had managed to gun out to a franchise-best 8-0 start this season with new head coach Monty Williams leading revamped bench and wing units alongside a healthy Chris Paul. But Dirk Nowitzki and a very solid overall performance from the Mavericks proved too much and the Hornets suffered their first loss this season in Dallas 95-98 .

The Mavericks have now knocked off Rajon Rondo and Chris Paul in a week, and though Paul dropped a line of 22 points, 9 assists, and 4 rebounds, the widely regarded best-point-guard in the league had 20, 5, and 4 at halftime. In the second half, Dallas threw a combination of hard hedges off the pick and roll and constant run-outs on the drive and kick to contain Paul. Paul often wound up late in the shot clock, having to hoist off-balance fade-aways as the Mavericks used many of the same tricks they used against Rondo to keep Paul out of the paint.

On the offensive end, Jason Terry was en fuego. While the Horents actually played great defense, their focus was on trying to stop Dirk Nowitzki (they didn't, he finished with 25 on just 12 shots), and Terry managed to slip out in transition or get open off offensive rebounds. The Hornets controlled the glass, but Dallas was more patient on offense, pulling in a higher free throw rate.

Now that the Hornets have suffered their first loss, the question now will become if they can go back to their winning ways or if this streak of play was a combination of things going right. A lot went right for New Orleans tonight, with Willie Green and Peja Stojakovic playing well in a rare appearance. Their defense suffered at the hands of good ball movement and Dirk-caliber play from Dirk. But if they keep up the kind of effort they've given in the first nine games, it's hard to see the Hornets not maintaining their spot near the top of the West.

For Dallas? Look out. Once again, this is a great team, deep and talented, and they've just solved two of the best point guards in the league. You can't stop those guys, as proven by their stat lines. But by committing your defensive scheme to stop them, you can make life hard enough to get a win.


Comments

Since: Oct 3, 2006
Posted on: November 16, 2010 11:17 am
 

Mavs zero in on Paul to give Hornets first loss

The Mavs have to be right there with the other contenders in the league. The starting lineup of Kidd-Terry-Butle-Dirk-Chandler can play with anyone. In my opinion, the only team in the West that's better on paper would be the Lakers. It'll be fun to watch the 2 teams duke it out all year.


ijikk
Since: Nov 16, 2010
Posted on: November 16, 2010 8:53 am
This comment has been removed.

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Since: May 25, 2008
Posted on: November 16, 2010 2:36 am
 

Mavs zero in on Paul to give Hornets first loss

Matt,

     I thought your comments tonight were "spot-on" and very well spoken (except for the mispelled Hornets).  I wish to add that had it not been for Peja's multiple threes (he was raining them down) while Paul was "benched" I feel it would've been N O playing "catch up" in the 4th!!!!  I see this Mavs team as being the deepest, most talented, and most defensively-minded than any past team (including the group that played the Heat in the finals)!!!!  I'll wait to see how they play @ New Orleans to reserve judgement whether they are "ready" to handle the Lakers in the playoffs for West Supremacy!!!!!!  Either way...I AM IMPRESSED Thus far by this team!!!!!  Go Mavs!!!


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