The Mavericks survived Round 1 against Portland and will now advance to meet the Los Angeles Lakers in Round 2 for the first time in the playoffs since 1988.
The Mavericks finished up their series in 6 games against Portland with an average ADS+ of 12.1 while allowing the Blazers to average an ADS+ of 10.8.
The Lakers also won in 6 games against New Orleans with an average ADS+ of 10.5 while allowing the Hornets to average an ADS+ of 11.3.
Now the two teams will square off with the Lakers holding a 2-1 edge in the season series . Throughout those 3 games, LA was able to post an ADS+ of 10.6 against Dallas, slightly lower than the Mav’s opponents regular season average of 11.41. Dallas posted an ADS+ of 12.7 against the Lakers which is slightly higher than their regular season average of 12.32.
The Mavericks hit a couple of key regular season ADS trends in Round 1 against Portland:
Trend 1: When the Mavs ADS+ was under 11 they were 8-1 and average 104 PPG
Trend 2: When the Mavs ADS+ was over 14 they were 1-5 and average 88 PPG
Trend 3: The Mavs were 15-4 in games they posted a lower ADS+ total than their opponent this season.
In game 4 they hit Trend 2 posting an ADS+ of 14 and the result was a unprecedented 4th Quarter collapse.
However, in game 5 they posted an ADS+ of 9.8 and a lower ADS+ total than the Blazers, satisfying Trend 1 and 3. To finish out the series in game 6, they were able to post a lower ADS+ than Portland hitting Trend 3.
In their 3 meetings with the Lakers this season, the Mavericks have not qualified for any of these trends thus far. If they are able to avoid Trend 2 and hit Trends 1 and 3 it will help their chances immensely against LA. While these trends are not automatic in their results, the numbers have swayed heavily one way or another over the 82 game season.
The reigning NBA champs will be a more than formidable opponent for Dallas in Round 2 and containing Kobe will not be an easy task. Mix that together with two legitimate low post scoring threats in Gasol and Bynum, a 6th Man of the year winner in Odom, and the wildcard Artest, things could get very difficult for Dallas.
Lets take a look at the positional ADS numbers and break down the Mavericks 2nd Rd matchup versus the Los Angeles Lakers.
*Assuming Terry as the starter since he plays far more minutes than Stevenson
At first glance looking at the numbers from the season series, this does not appear to be an extremely difficult matchup for Dallas.
Fisher and Artest have not proven to be extreme offensive threats against Dallas thus far this season with a combined ADS+ of 15 and combined PPG of 15. Kidd and Terry matchup with a higher combined ADS+ of 18.8 but have combined for almost 30 PPG against the Lakers in the regular season. If Terry can force the issue in the paint and mimic his GM 3 ADS+ of 11.5 and 29 points from the Portland series, Dallas could be in great shape offensively.
Shawn Marion had great numbers against LA with his ADS+ at 5.9, which was right around his season average. However, his 18.7 PPG average against the Lakers was well above his season average of 12.5 PPG. The numbers would indicate a shockingly good matchup for him versus LA.
The real key to this series will be to somehow contain Kobe Bryant, which the Mavs have had some small success in this season. Against Dallas in the regular season, Kobe's PPG (21.7) and FG% (40.7%) are below his regular season averages of 25.3 and 43.7%.
It is worth noting that the Hornets allowed Kobe to have an ADS+ of 11.2 throughout their 6 game series, so maybe it is not a coincidence that the Mavericks are making him take his shots almost 2ft further with an ADS+ of 13.
If the Mavericks can keep these trends going from the regular season they may have a better matchup than most anticipate. That being said, Kobe is the ultimate trump card and the Mavericks must try to force long range jumpers instead of looks around the paint if they want to slow him down.
Conclusion: Slight Advantage Lakers
Tyson Chandler has had a rough time so far with the Lakers this season with his ADS+ well above his season average of 2.9 and his PPG well below his season average of 10.1. Dallas will need to see a Tyson Chandler performance more along the lines of his GM 5 (14 points and ADS+ of 1) because his counterpart Andrew Bynum has elevated his game to baller status.
Andrew Bynum's average ADS+ of 3.3, 16.7 PPG, and 65.5 FG% against Dallas this season are all well above his season averages (11.3PPG and 57%). If he is converting high percentage shots on a constant basis, he could be a nightmare for Tyson Chandler's efforts to stay out of foul trouble and in the game. This has been a scary matchup so far this season for Dallas and they may need to throw everything they have to him to try to contain him.
It doesnt get any better down the line for Dallas either. Pau Gasol's play in the paint and around the basket has caused trouble for the Mavericks so far in their 3 season meetings. He is also slightly above his regular season averages of 18.8PPG and 52.9% shooting when facing Dallas by posting a 20.3 PPG average and shooting 54.5%. Like Bynum, Gasol is making his living in the paint with a low ADS+ of 6.4 against Dallas.
Dirk's totals against the Lakers are about on par when compared to his season averages of 23PPG and an ADS+ of 13.1. In keeping up with this data over the coarse of the regular season and playoffs there is one trend that boads well for Dirk and the Mavs:
When Dirk's ADS+ is under 11, the Mavs are 16-1 including 3-0 in the playoffs this season.
When Dirk makes it a point to be aggressive and make moves to the basket resulting in high percentage shots or a trip to the FT line, the trend has been a Mavericks win.
Its hard to argue against the numbers on which group of post players have gotten the best of the season series. Bynum and Gasol have posted a combined ADS+ of 5.2 and 37 PPG, while Dirk and Tyson posted a combined ADS+10.9 and 28 PPG in the season series. Certain matchups play out in different ways for different players. Lets hope the Mavericks can flip these trends and dominate the game in the post throughout this series.
Conclusion: Advantage Lakers
The Lakers will roll out the best bench player in the league, 6th man of the year Lamar Odom. His PPG and FG% numbers against Dallas have been consistent with his regular season averages and his ADS+ of 11.9 against helps demonstrate his versatility. The fact that 26% of his shots taken against Dallas were 3 point attempts (23ft and beyond) yet he still was able to manage a low ADS+ is very impressive.
The Mavs enter another playoff series with an added luxury their opponent doesnt have- a capable 7fter. Haywood's offensive statistics against the Lakers this season of 2.3PPG and an ADS+ of 3.5 will not wow anyone, its the effect he has on the opponents ADS+ where his efforts can be shown.
For example, in the season series against Portland LaMarcus Aldridge was able to have an average ADS+ of 8.48 and 28PPG against the Mavericks. Brendan Haywood stepped in and played key minutes and helped raise LaMarcus Aldridge's average ADS+ to 9.4 and lower is PPG average to 21 in the round 1 series. This is purely opinion, but i thought Haywood was the tougher matchup for Aldridge over Tyson Chandler. Attribute the changed results to playoff intensity or antyhing else you may like, but lets hope this trend can continue against the Lakers.
Breaking down the big picture, the Lakers Bench ADS+ of 11.9 is better than the Mavs Bench ADS+ of 13.3. Even with one less player to contribute, they were also to have a 29 PPG bench total as compared to the Mavs bench of 27 PPG.
The ADS statistics and PPG totals say the Lakers bench has been the group thats been able to get better shots and put up more points collectively, it would be hard to argue they haven't been better.
Conclusion: Advantage Lakers
|Player||ADS+ (Dallas)||PPG (Dallas)||PPG (Season)||FG% (Dallas)||FG% (Season)|
|Player||ADS+ (Lakers)||ADS+ (Season)||PPG (Lakers)||PPG (Season)||FG% (Lakers)||FG% (Season)|
** Stevenson is a combined 0/14 shooting
To reiterate, the season series ended up as Mavs ADS+ of 12.7 and the Lakers ADS+ of 10.6 when the two teams faced off 3 times this season (Lakers won 2-1). I believe the key to this series will be the same as it was last series against Portland, which is to win the battle in the paint.
The emphasis was clear coming off that horrible GM 4 loss in Portland. They lost the ADS+ battle (12.7 to 14) and the FT-A battle ( 23 to 10) in the game which feature the classic Maverick complacency to take long jumpers. GM 5 was a complete turn around in which the Mavericks won both the battle of ADS+ (9.8 to 10.4) and the FT-A's (35-19). Game 5 type efforts will need to be gutted out to have success against the Lakers.
The Laker's have the advantage in all aspects of the ADS+ and statistical breakdowns against the Mavericks so far this season. They have bigger and better offensive threats that will be constantly shooting inside the paint and taking high percentage shots. Oh and they also have one of the greatest scorers of all time as well.
Do not let the numbers be a slight to the current brand of playoff basketball the Mavericks finished with in Round 1. It was an extremely impressive performance overall and it was one of a true playoff contender. Instead let these statistics indicate the style of play and mentality Dallas cannot bring to this series against the Lakers if they want to advance ot the next round.
Kobe Bryant will get all the media attention, but the ADS numbers will show where Dallas must thrive to win this series. If they can stay aggresive then they will have an outstanding chance to take down the reigning NBA champs.
Thanks to Heath Huston, Tim Krajewski, and Ted Miles for help with the data.
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Posted By: Adam Rosen