The Fast Break: Mavs vs. Pelicans

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Final: Mavs , Pelicans

Box Score | Highlights

Behind the Box Score

Devin Harris continues to be a plus-minus hero for the Mavericks. He was +14 tonight, for example, and is the team’s leader on the season, now at a cumulative +48. No other rotation player is better than +7. Good things always happen when he plays because he’s a versatile guard, able to play both on and off the ball, who can defend and push the ball in transition. He fits in wherever the team needs him. Even at age 34, he still routinely makes a positive impact.

Notebook

  • Rick Carlisle stressed before and after the game that the Mavericks need to focus on the positives as much as the negatives throughout this difficult start to the season. The negatives are apparent at this point, so let’s talk about the positives. Harrison Barnes attacked the rim a lot to help snap him out of a funk — more on that below. Second, Dennis Smith Jr. appears to be getting more accustomed to finding his spots to shoot. Unfortunately he missed a few open jumpers tonight, but generally he’s taking fewer bad shots on a nightly basis. He’s faced a tough lineup of shot-blockers this week, so he’s having to learn how to work around those big men and still find good looks. This is all part of the process for a 19-year-old rookie. Finally, Dallas continues to play extremely efficient basketball off of misses and turnovers. If the Mavericks can string more stops together, they can launch more runs like they did in the first and fourth quarters in this game. Offense begins with defense.
  • Barnes had a terrific individual scoring game, finishing with 26 points on 9-of-17 shooting and took 10 free throws. Barnes attacked the rim over and over in this one, giving himself plenty of good looks at the bucket, especially when the Pelicans would switch a small guard on to him. Too often this season Barnes has settled for a mid-range jumper when he could have instead taken another dribble toward the basket. It was good to see him force the issue tonight, and hopefully he can continue to do that moving forward to create easy scoring opportunities for him and his teammates.

    What’s Next

    The Mavs (1-9) will play the Minnesota Timberwolves (5-3) on Saturday at the Target Center at 7 p.m. Central.

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