Court Vision: Dallas’ blistering shooting does in Charlotte
Going inside the Mavericks’ 107-80 win over the Hornets Monday night.
1. DALLAS FIREPOWER ON DISPLAY
With Charlotte’s top defensive player in Michael Kidd-Gilchrist out with a hurt foot, and Gary Neal, the top bench scorer and third-overall leading scorer out with a concussion, most new it was going to be difficult task for the Hornets to win.
Dallas entered the game as owner of the most prolific offense in the NBA through an eighth of the season, averaging 109.5 points per game. Moreover, it came into Monday night’s game as the second-best shooting team making 49.0 percent of its shots.
If that wasn’t good enough, it is committing the fewest turnovers per game at 10.9, while forcing the second-most defensively at 18.1.
And find it difficult to compete is exactly what happened to Charlotte (4-7), as it found itself down by as many as 30 points in the third quarter.
Right out of the gate the Mavericks (8-3) were hitting most of what they shot, making 59.1 percent in the first quarter. They actually improved in the second quarter as they entered the half making 61.9 percent of their shots. It led Dallas to a 67-43 halftime lead.
Things never really changed as the Mavericks finished by shooting 51.2 percent from the field.
"Against a team like that, you have to be on it, disciplined, together and willing to fight for every possession," Charlotte head coach Steve Clifford said. "We just weren’t there tonight."
2. HENDERSON MAKING MOST OF PLAYING TIME
For the first time this season, Hornets guard Gerald Henderson scored in double figures after pumping in 18 points on 8-of-14 shooting against Dallas. It’s quite a change for somebody that started the last four seasons and now finds himself as a reserve.
Now, to be clear, Henderson has started the last two games because of Kidd-Gilchrist’s injured right foot.
But Henderson knows once the third-year pro returns that he’ll once again be relegated to the bench, where in seven games as a backup he’s averaged just over 11:30 of playing time per game.
"I’ve gotten the minutes I deserve," Henderson said. "Coach is always fair with that. He’s probably the most fair that I’ve ever seen. … You have to be prepared for any situation. If I was getting 20 to 25 points a night, I’d be getting 20 to 25 point minutes."
3. THE CUPBOARD IS BARE
With Kidd-Gilchrist and Neal out, Clifford wasn’t left with much in terms of being able to produce scoring off the bench after the starters went to the sideline at the end of the first quarter.
When the second period started, the Hornets had on the floor:
During that 4:45 stretch to start the second quarter, the Mavericks outscored Charlotte 14-7 to increase their lead from eight to 15 points.
It was never close again.
"We took some injuries to some guys that were obviously playing well," Clifford said. "We have to fight. I think when you don’t play that way, it’s one or two things, either not handling the frustration or disappointment on the court or lack of belief, and I don’t think it should be lack of belief because even though we’re playing without Gary or Mike, we have more than enough talent to play well."
â¢ Charlotte had zero fast break points and only one fast break attempt, which obviously isn’t acceptable for a team that wants to play fast.
â¢ Hornets shooting guard Lance Stephenson continued to struggle offensively as he finished with more assists (7) than points (6).
"It wasn’t a good effort, but we only get one loss for it. We don’t get two or three losses for it. In a game, no matter how many you lose by, it’s one loss."
Follow Brett Jensen on Twitter @Brett_Jensen