Published on November 13th, 2018 | by Landon Buford0
Dallas Mavericks Preached Defense After Practice, Heading Into Their Match With Jazz
The Dallas Mavericks come into Wednesday (November 14th, 2018) game against the Utah Jazz, winning 3 out of their four last games. Their only loss was a 117-102 defeat against the Utah Jazz at Vivint Smart Home Arena. Mavericks Rookie Luka Doncic would lead all scorers in points with 24 while adding six rebounds. Mavericks’ forward Harrison Barnes tallied 14 points and five rebounds. JJ Barea and rookie Jalen Brunson combined for 22 points off the bench, but it was enough.
As for the Utah Jazz, Donavon Mitchell led the team with 23 points, seven assists, and five rebounds. Center Rudy Gobert and the reigning Defensive Player of the Year tallied 17 points and 1o rebounds. Over the first two meetings, the Utah Jazz beat the Mavericks by a combined 24 points behind both Donavon Mitchell and Gobert averaging 41.5 points in both meetings.
Mavericks backup forward Maxi Kleber what needs to be done to change the narrative that has plagued the team in the first two meeting against the Jazz.
“It is all about defense tomorrow they play very active, and move a lot. What hurt us on defense was their cuts and attacking the basket in one on one matchup, causing us to collapse in the paint, and they dished it out for uncontested threes. So, we focused on that today in practice and want to make sure we play better one on one defense and have to stay aware of what is going on the court. We cannot continue to get beat on backdoor cuts to the basket,” Kleber told me.
On Monday, Utah played the Memphis Grizzlies and struggled in transition defense, but they were able to beat them by eight. Kleber shared what needs to be done to continue to exploit that weakness.
” Our transition numbers against them were actually good, so we just need to keep up the pace. Especially, with guys like Dennis, he is amazing. He is so fast, and no one can stop him, and if we continue to execute we can hurt them there, and it starts with defense. If we get a defensive stop then we can run,” Kleber told me.
“We have taken our defense more serious because at the beginning of the season we weren’t playing good defensively at all. We talked about it in every practice, and it was our main focus. If we work on it, we expect our defense to get better, and I’m happy it worked out” “The basics because we were talking about coverages and slowed down on the basics. It starts by picking up the ball, having the right stance, and playing one on one defensive, so when the shot goes up don’t watch the ball, but instead box out your man. After that, you can discuss coverages. So, you have to have the will to play defense.”
Ricky Rubio and Rudy Gobert were in early foul trouble against the Grizzlies on Monday night. In fact, Gobert did not score any of his 15 points until the second half.
Kebler discussed the need to attack Utah early:
“We have to attack them and cannot back off especially when we have the chance with Dennis attacking them. They have a major problem, and we need DJ to run the floor to seal him and create fouls on them. Once they are in foul trouble, it changes the whole game. So, we have to keep attacking and be aggressive on the offensive end, Kleber told me.”
The Dallas Mavericks are looking to focus on the defensive side of the ball, as they want to continue their two-game winning streak against the Utah Jazz on Wednesday (November 14th, 2018).