Rough time to be the Mavericks. They’ve opened the season with a 7-3 record…
…and they’re in third place in the Southwest Division behind the Hornets (9-1) and Spurs (9-1).
But hey, Dallas is getting it done. On one end of the court anyway.
Despite the presence of guys like Dirk Nowitzki (23.6 PPG on 54 percent shooting), Jason Terry (19.3 PPG on 52 percent shooting) and Jason Kidd (9.8 APG to go along with 40 percent three-point shooting), the Mavs aren’t much to see on offense. They’re slow (25th in pace), don’t put up a lot of points (23rd in scoring) and are strictly middle of the pack in terms of efficiency (15th in Offensive Rating). And according to ESPN Stats and Information, Dallas scored the third-fewest PPG in the paint (35.6), ahead of only the Hornets (35.2) and Heat (33.6).
However, they rank 6th in Defensive Rating (102.2) and 4th in Opponents PPG (92.6).
Dallas has also played well against good teams. The Mavericks are the only team to beat the Hornets this season, and they’re one of only two teams to have bean the Celtics. They’ve also beaten the Nuggets in Denver and they came close to winning in New Orleans as well (they lost 99-97).
Other important notes: The Mavs rank first in Opponents Effective Field Goal Percentag (.468), 2nd in Effective Field Goal Percentage (.533), 2nd in Opponents Free Throws Per Field Goal Attempt (.188), 24th in Offensive Rebound Percentage (.238), 25th in Opponents Turnover Percentage (.129), and 27th in Turnover Percentage (.154).
To sum up: The Mavericks shoot extremely well while making their opponents miss. They don’t send their opponents to the line. They don’t force a lot of turnovers but tend to be turnover prone themselves. And the Dallas players don’t do much crashing around the offensive glass.
As for the Bulls, they are…
I don’t mean to overstate things, but according to Elias Sports Bureau, Rose has registered 255 points and 87 assists in Chicago’s first 10 games. Since the NBA-ABA merger in 1976-77, only two other players have reached those levels in those two categories through their team’s first 10 games of a season: Washington’s Michael Adams in 1991-92 (276 points, 97 assists) and Detroit’s Isiah Thomas in 1984-85 (259 points, 114 assists).
But wait, there’s more. Also according to Elias, Rose has attempted 25.5 percent of the Bulls’ total shots from the field this season (210 of 824). Only one player in the league has attempted a higher percentage of his team’s shots than Rose: Kevin Durant (237 of 880; 26.9 percent).
Here’s another juicy Rose-related tidbit. According to ESPN Stats and Information, Rose scores 11.4 PPG in the paint. The only players who score more points in the paint than Rose are Tyreke Evans (11.6), Tony Parker (11.6), Monta Ellis (11.6) and Dwyane Wade (12.0).
Still, as great as Rose is, history is working against the Bulls. According to ESPN Stats and Information, Chicago has lost three straight and 21 of their last 24 games to the Mavericks. But wait: it gets worse. Dating back to 1997, the Bulls have lost five straight and 12 of their last 13 games in Dallas. Their only win in that span was on February 8, 2005. Luol Deng was the only current player on the roster back then.