|Dirk Nowitzki talking to ref. Photo from Keith Allison|
Mavs basketball was not on display in the first quarter. The Mavs came out super flat, turned the ball over and the Celtics (specifically Avery Bradley) were on fire. After the tough start, the Mavs won every quarter by an average of more than six points per quarter. Boston cooled down, the Mavs hit more shots and played their pace.
The second half was where the Mavs really played their pace. Pace is a huge part to winning games and it was a tale of two conflicting paces tonight. Boston wants to run the ball, while the Mavs are a more methodical, older squad. Once the Mavs slowed the game down and committed less turnovers, they were able to relax and play better.
The Mavs are real lucky to get this win though. Boston played the better overall game, they just are inexperienced and don't execute great down the stretch. There was one particular shot by Isaiah Thomas late that was way too early in the shot clock (an out of control three taken off the dribble). So the Mavs need to be more energetic to start games.
Coming out missing shots, not penetrating on offense and turning the ball over will only make getting wins harder. When the Mavs watch this game film, surely they'll notice a huge difference in their intensity and game pace after the first quarter.
The Mavs are a solid squad who got this win. If the Mavs want to go far, they must play a complete 48 minutes and not 36 minutes.