In a hard fought first round series the Spurs eliminated the Mavs. Here are some observations on the Mavs strategy since the big trade. All numbers are per48 minutes and adjusted for strength of opponents faced.
- The Mavs went with Dampier, Butler, Kidd, Marion, and Dirk as their starting lineup in the first 4 games against the Spurs. This lineup played poorly during the regular season: 5 points worse than average in 67 minutes. So why stake your season on this lineup when it has performed poorly?
- More to the point Kidd ,Dirk and Dampier since the trade played 4 points better than average and Haywood Dirk and Kidd played 11 points better than average, so why waste so much of Dirk and Kidd’s time with Dampier?
- Butler does not play well at the 2 but is much better at the 3 position. With Kidd, Terry, Dirk and Butler in the Mavs played 15 points better than average in 195 minutes.But with Kidd, Butler and Dirk and no other guards in the Mavs played only 3 points better than average.
- In past years the Mavs had a great lineup with Bass and Dirk playing without a tradtiional center. This year no such lineup emerged. But Dirk Barea and Kidd on court with Haywood and Dampier both off was great (usually with Najera or Marion): 50 minutes 19 points better than average since the trade. We believe that with some experimentation a good ”small ball lineup” could have emerged
- What about playing Roddy B? Dallas fans love him. Beaubois’s adjusted +/- rating is +6 on offense and +8 on defense. So he is an offensive star but a poor defender. But with Haywood, Dirk and Roddy in the Mavs played an amazing 34 points better than average . With Dampier, Dirk and Roddy in the Mavs played 12 points worse than average. This makes sense because Haywood can erase many of Roddy’s defensive miscues. In the first 4 games Roddy B with Haywood. was +2 points in 4 minutes! Surely this deserved more playing time. We saw in Game 6 what Roddy can do. Certainly the great combo of Roddy, Dirk and Haywood should have been allowed on the court some in this series.
- During the regular season resting Dirk with Kidd, Maron, Terry and Haywood on the court was great (played 20 points better than average). In playoffs this way of resting Dirk was +16 points in 15 minutes. Why not use it more often? rest of time Dirk was out the Mavs lost 5 points.
- When Terry, Dirk, and Butler were in, the Mavs were down 35 points in 73 minutes. This combo lost ground in every game including 10 points in the decisive game 6.
- Butler (Adusted +/- -7) played much worse than Marion(Adjusted +/- of +11) in the series, but Butler was on court 54 minutes more than Marion.
Given this information we would have recommended for the season that the Mavs allocate minutes as follows:
- 5 Position: Haywood 28 minutes, Dirk 7 minutes Najera/Dampier 13 minutes
- 4 Position: Dirk 32 minutes Marion 16 minutes
- 3 Position: Butler 30 min Marion 15 minutes Roddy B 3 minutes
- 2 Position : Terry 36 minutes Roddy B 12 minutes
- 1 Position Kidd 35 minutes Barea 13 minutes