Final: Pistons 102, Mavs 96

Box Score | Highlights

Behind the Box Score

The Mavs continued an ongoing trend in this game of generating a ton of open jumpers. Through three quarters the team created more open Js (22) than contested shots (21). Open shots are obviously the most desirable outcome every possession but it’s very difficult to generate that high a volume of them. The Mavericks have been doing a much better job of using a combination of rim attacks and sharp ball movement to create open looks from the outside, particularly since the David Lee signing. That’s paid dividends offensively.

Here’s the math for the “Hack-A” strategy. The Pistons average about 1.02 points per possession this season, according to Fouling a player like Andre Drummond, who’s hitting 35.4 percent of his free throws, is a huge mathematical win in theory. Even if he makes one free throw, the Pistons score one point that possession, a below-average performance. But a player who makes 35 percent of his free throws is, over the course of a game, going to give you 0.7 points per possession at the line if he shoots to his average, which is far below average. I know from an aesthetic standpoint Hack-A might not be the most exciting to watch, but it helps teams get stops.

Dirk Nowitzki scored at least 21 points for the third consecutive game, his first time achieving such a streak since April 2014, according to Basketball-Reference.


  • Chandler Parsons was a huge part of the offense tonight, scoring 25 points, 17 of which came in the first half. The forward was very aggressive off the bounce, finishing a few floaters in the lane along with knocking down his usual number of three-point attempts. He put together a very nice showing after a couple of off nights in a row. It’s good to see him back on track, returning to the form we’re used to seeing.

  • It was known heading into this one that defensive rebounding could be a huge key to determining the game’s outcome. Andre Drummond is the most prolific offensive rebounder in the NBA, and that’s been a point of emphasis for the Mavericks in recent weeks. Detroit grabbed eight offensive boards in the first half alone, with Drummond collecting four of them. That led to a few easy put-backs for him, and those looks — combined with plenty of forced free throw chances via the “Hack-A” strategy — led to the big man scoring 20 points in the opening act. Zaza Pachulia certainly made things difficult for Drummond, but there’s only so much you can do to contain a player as physically dominant as he is. There’s a reason he leads the NBA in rebounding.

    What’s Next

    The Mavs (33-32) play the Indiana Pacers (34-30) Saturday at American Airlines Center. Tip-off is at 1 p.m. Central.

  • Share and comment

    More Mavs News