The Fast Break: Mavs vs. Pelicans

Final: Pelicans 126, Mavs 109

Box Score | Highlights

Behind the Box Score

Dirk Nowitzki moved past Elvin Hayes (10,976) for eighth place on the all-time career field goals made list tonight. Another achievement for Nowitzki.


  • The Mavs went to a Dennis Smith Jr.-Harrison Barnes two-man tame tonight more deliberately and consistently than I can remember in any game they’ve played this season. The Mavs cleared out the entire left side of the floor for the two players, similar to how the club played the Dirk-JET two-man game back in the late-2000s (although they played on the right side of the floor back then). The results were frequently positive.

    The Mavs can go so many directions out of that two-man set. They can run a hand-off for Smith as they did in that play, run a pick-and-pop or pick-and-roll, or re-screen a couple times until they get a favorable look. The Pelicans switch pretty liberally — as do most teams these days — so if you run enough screens, eventually one of the two players will be able to draw a mismatch. At that point, it just comes down to taking advantage of the situation. It’ll be interesting to see if they keep going to that in future games as often as they did tonight. Both Smith (23 points) and Barnes (18) had solid scoring nights.

  • Barnes has 10 assists in last three games, including three tonight and five on Wednesday. Barnes is going to play more small forward for the rest of this season, meaning he’ll likely have the ball in his hands more to facilitate than he does when he plays power forward. For example, he found Doug McDermott here out of a post-up after attracting a double-team.

    Barnes is proven enough as a scorer to command respect when he has the ball, especially in a favorable position like on the block or at the elbow. If he can also show an ability to read the defense and move the ball effectively, it’s going to add another dimension to his game and to his team’s offense.

  • Dirk trailing 3s forever and ever.

    There are a lot of things in life to be upset about. No one makes as much money as they want to. People often feel wronged by the ones they love. No one likes paying taxes. But for every single thing that has made you miserable for the last two decades, Dirk Nowitzki has hit a trailing 3 from the top of the arc. That, more than the one-legged fade, is what this sport will be missing the most whenever the Big German decides to hang ’em up. (Hopefully it’s after next year, not this year.) Yes, that trailing 3 is mesmerizing.

    What’s Next

    The Mavs (19-45) will play the Denver Nuggets (35-28) on Tuesday at American Airlines Center at 7:30 p.m. Central.