I know most of you guys haven't gotten the chance to watch as much of the Mavs this year as I have (and the prior games haven't been exactly indicative of this team, ya know?), so I wanted to give a quick run down. I always find having this sort of scouting report helpful because it lets you really see what's going on in the game. Otherwise, I feel like I'm lost for a few games until I can get into the feel of the series. Maybe one of you guys can do a similar scouting report for your players, so I know what to look for?
Not trying to start anything, other than a good bball discussion. I can't wait for the game to tip off tonight.
Scouting: Still more of a combo guard than a point guard, despite having much better assist numbers this year than last. Field goal and 3 point% are up over last year, and way up over his career average.
What he needs to do for the Mavs to win: Take care of the ball. Score 15-20 a game. Create penetration so that Dirk can get looks at the top of the lane. Get to the foul line.
What he can't do if the Mavs want to win: Fall in love with the 3. Go 3-12. Get in foul trouble trying to defend Baron Davis.
Scouting: One word- Fast. Has really improved maturity wise this year. His late season numbers aren't much higher than early season, but he's doing it as a starter, and picking his spots much better. Most don't realize how good a defender he is. FT percentage up nearly 11 percent from last year.
What he needs to do: Continue his career high assist rate. Take charges. Contain Monta Ellis. Provide a change of pace from Terry. Score 6-10. Create turnovers.
What he can't do: Pick up early fouls. He's so fast that he picks up blocking fouls because refs don't believe he could actually get to the spot. His jump shot is much improved, but still not world class.
Scouting: Tends to have very strong offensive first quarters, then concentrate on D the rest of the game. Long arms and active hands. Faster than expected. Shooting more 3s this year, and making a better percentage.
What he needs to do: Set the tone defensively. Pick up the offensive slack if Dirk or JET have an off night. Get in the passing lanes and disrupt the GSW flow on offense. Slash to the basket. Grab 5+ rebounds.
What he can't do: Try to be a volume shooter. Turn into a jump shooter. Make bad passes. Have an off night on both ends. Exercise poor judgment (his stupid foul against Nash at the end of regulation was the reason the Mavs lost the 2OT game against the Suns).
Scouting: Likes to drive to his left as the result of breaking his right wrist as a kid. Has a deadly rock step move at the elbow that lets him shoot over the top of smaller defenders. Good pumpfake to draw contact. Hasn't been shooting the 3 nearly as much this year, but shooting a higher percentage all around. Gets the "hockey assist"- i.e. a pass that doesn't get credited with an assist because there's a dribble or another pass involved.
What he needs to do: Play his game. Shoot over 40%. Pass out of double teams. His rebounding can't be overlooked in a series that promises to be played faster than most.
What he can't do: Get frustrated. Has a tendency to get out of rhythm early if the shots don't fall, leading to forcing bad shots and picking up T's. Must hit his end game FTs- which he does, with only a few glaring exceptions.
Scouting: Able to guard 4 positions, and can guard some centers for brief stretches. Strong base makes him effective against bigger players. Limited on the offensive end, but not a liability.
What he needs to do: Can really be a key to the series. Will be asked to defend multiple players. Will get clean looks at the basket if the ball rotation from Dirk is good. Must hit open shots to pull the defense out and create lanes. Keep his man in front of him.
What he can't do: Take shots when they aren't falling. Get in foul trouble. Let his man get past him, as he doesn't have the recovery speed necessary to catch back up. Eat seafood.
Scouting: Been bounced around between starting and coming off the bench. RPG are significantly up this season, but so are turnovers. Long arms. In the best shape he's been in since getting to the NBA
What he needs to do: Grab boards, get some blocks, protect the rim. Play good help D.
What he can't do: Get drawn out away from the basket. His offensive moves are very, very rough. Must take better care of the ball, as he's a turnover machine.
Scouting: A much better defender away from the rim than Diop, even though he's not as quick. Gets low, wide, and plays as technical D as someone his size can. Leading the NBA in FG%, but not enough shots to qualify.
What he needs to do: Protect the rim. Finish strong when he's in position.
What he can't do: Get in foul trouble. Blow layups. Become a focal point offensively.
Scouting: Far healthier this year than last. A real slasher. Has a scorers mentality. Hitting a far better 3pt% this year than his career average. Underrated defensively.
What he needs to do: Drive relentlessly. Create penetration, and either kick it out for an open 3, or take it to the rim himself. Bring a spark off the bench. Play physical D.
What he can't do: Get hurt. Get selfish- which has been a problem at times if Dirk isn't on the floor to create better spacing.
Scouting: A pitbull of a defender. Not really an offensive player, but far better than Adrian Griffin, who he replaced from last years team- managed to average over 12ppg in last years playoffs for Denver. Has been dinged up off and on, especially at the end of the year. Normally a good 3pt shooter, but % is down this year.
What he needs to do: Crawl inside Baron Davis' shorts, and stay there. Use his fouls, but wisely. Hit open shots when the ball rotates around to him.
What he can't do: Draw stupid fouls. Turn the ball over.
Scouting: His disappointment level has ranged from "Mild" to "Fiery Habanero" throughout the season. And then he scored 34 against the Sonics. Can you say "outlier?" I knew you could.
What he needs to do: Play 2-6 minutes a game to spell Dirk at the end of quarters.
What he can't do: Play more than 6 minutes a game.
Scouting: He's 44 and hasn't played in 2 years. What do you want me to say?
What he needs to do: Keep the bench warm.
What he can't do: Take off the sweats.
Maurice "Mo shots please" Ager
Scouting: May eventually be a player. Volume shooter. Never saw a shot he didn't like.
What he needs to do: Keep Kevin company. He gets lonely.
What he can't do: Jack up ill advised shots at the rate he did whenever he saw the floor this year.
Scouting: Undersized, but plays with lots of intensity. Was the NBDL All-Star Game MVP. Best name in basketball.
What he needs to do: Sit between Ager and Croshere. Those two don't get along.
What he can't do: Get his sweet kicks dirty.
Scouting: Did you know he averaged 20+ a game for Northeastern? Now you do.
What he needs to do: His best Monta Ellis impression in practice.
What he can't do: Tell Devean George where the seafood restaurants are.
Scouting: Can make the word "Tacos" sound absolutely hilarious.
What he needs to do: Invite me over to watch on the HDTV.
What he can't do: Play basketball until his knee heals.