Practice Report: Shawn MarionMavs F Shawn Marion comments on striking a balance on between strong on offense and defense, how important it is to give consistent effort night in and night out and more.
DALLAS — Before facing a young and athletic Washington squad at American Airlines Center on Tuesday night, the Dallas Mavericks returned to the practice court hoping to draw off their last game.
Holding the Milwaukee Bucks’ offense in check and sneaking out of MO Harris Bradley Center with a 91-83 victory Saturday night to conclude their 1-2 road trip with their first win away from home this season, the Mavericks (4-3) saw first-hand how their defense can carry the team to a victory. And after the Dallas defense surrendered its fewest points in an outing during the young season, Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle continued to stress the importance of playing collectively together on the other side of the ball before former No. 1 overall pick John Wall and the Wizards (2-4) come to town ready to shake off Sunday’s 106-105 overtime defeat in Oklahoma City.
“It was encouraging and it was much-needed,” Carlisle said Monday while speaking on his team’s defensive performance in Milwaukee. “It shows our capabilities, and so we’ve got to continue to be steadfast about the importance of the defensive end. You know, we’ve got to win games on grit and guts. We’re not going to do it on our raw athleticism. I mean, we’ve got good athletes, but if you lined us up with these guys tomorrow night in speedos, it would be a wipeout if it was based on that. And this is a good team. They should have won last night, and they beat Brooklyn the other night in overtime. This is a team on the rise, and so we’re going to have to be ready to step up our grit level.”
On the second night of a back-to-back, the Mavs’ defense still managed to hold the Bucks to just 38.3 percent shooting from the field. The Mavericks also more than held their own on the glass, finishing the game with a 47-42 rebounding edge led by backup big man DeJuan Blair’s 11 boards.
Now, the Mavs will try to replicate that against the high-octane Wizards, hoping to make it consecutive wins before journeying to Miami and Orlando for a back-to-back later in the week.
“As long as we’re taking care of the ball I think our offense is pretty much flowing,” four-time All-Star Shawn Marion said. “We’re sharing the ball and looking for each other, and our offense is pretty much flowing. You’re never going to play a prefect game defensively or on the offensive end, but defensively if we can stay consistent more and just leave the effort out there it shows and it just helps to fuel our offense as well. When we’re able to create turnovers and limit offensive rebounds and get out and push the ball then we open up a lot of things for us.
“We were able to hold [the Bucks] under 40 percent. We were also able to rebound. We rebounded and we limited them in offensive rebounds, so to a certain extent all those things coincide with each other. From loose balls to turnovers to transition, everything, it fuels both offense and defense.”
Note: The Mavericks will now return home, hosting the Washington Wizards on Tuesday night. The game will air locally on Fox Sports Southwest at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by calling (214) 747-MAVS (6287) or by visiting Mavs.com.