Mavericks AM News: Dallas Loses, But McGee Returns


149. 114. 79. Final. 117

The Dallas Mavericks snapped a six-game winning streak in losing at Oklahoma City, but the long wait for center of JaVale McGee has ended.

The free agent frenzy of 2015 sent the Dallas Mavericks on an unusual path regarding the center position. Following the flake out by Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan, Dallas shifted its attention to counterparts Zaza Pachulia and JaVale McGee.

We had a pretty good idea what Pachulia means to this franchise already, his frequent double-doubles definitely factoring into that six-game winning streak just broken and a current playoff-pace for the Mavericks. It’s even been suggested that Pachulia has been the Mavericks MVP at this early stage of the season.

But McGee was the x-factor in the lineup that hadn’t been seen until Sunday night against the Thunder.

In his first action of the season, McGee didn’t disappoint, although he didn’t appear to have the stamina that he’ll have soon enough.

But McGee was impressive under the rim with his dunking ability right away and even found some short range field goals that showed even greater skill. His eight points in 11 minutes were efficient and his six rebounds certainly active – the blocked shots will come.

Nonetheless, the Mavericks gave up too many points to the Thunder, who played without forward Kevin Durant, and ended up falling 117-114.

This was a solid effort offensively, at least takeaway missed free throws. Point guard Deron Williams missed his first two free throws of the year and forward Dirk Nowitzki also missed. Pachulia missed a couple late in the 4th quarter that allowed Oklahoma City to stay well within striking range at 108-104.

While the Dallas bench scored an impressive 41 points, led by forward Dwight Powell‘s 13, the Thunder bench came out on top in that battle with 43 points.

Both teams generated double-digit leads in the game and managed to lose them.

But back to McGee, quickly.

The idea that Powell no longer has to slide to center with Nowitzki on the court could be big down the road. Having McGee available, and soon in better shape if he stays healthy, should mean a greater defensive presence to go along with Powell when Mavericks reserves are on the court.

Having played solid defense during the win streak of November, Dallas was leaky against the Thunder. Head coach Rick Carlisle addressed that following the game to Dallas Morning News contributor Eddie Sefko:

"I thought we were poor on defense the entire game. We gave up 117 points and we’ve been giving up under 100 on average. That’s just not getting it done. So I think we lost some of our defensive edge and we got to get it back."

McGee should help accomplish that sooner than later.

The Mavericks take Monday off before facing a tough back-to-back against the Memphis Grizzlies and San Antonio Spurs beginning Tuesday – both games tip off at 7:00pm CT and 7;30pm CT, respectively.

Mavericks News From Around The Internet

Westbrook Helps Thunder Snap Mavs Winning Streak (Sports Illustrated via AP)

How does a team lose after having six players scoring in double digits? In this case, a lack of defense and execution hurt the Mavericks down the stretch in a game that was otherwise quite impressive.

Anderson And Mejri Impress In D-League Debuts (Dallas Morning News – Eddie Sefko)

Mavericks rookies Justin Anderson and Salah Mejri had few problems in their D-League debuts for the Texas Legends on Saturday night. Anderson leads in scoring and Mejri has lots of blocked shots.

Watch JaVale McGee Score 8 Points In 5 Minutes (SB Nation – Danny Webster)

Get a close look at the impact made by McGee in a Dallas uniform. This was as impressive as last season’s debut of Amar’e Stoudemire, except that the Mavericks should end up getting defense out of the deal.

Next: Cowboys: Ending Tony Romo Hate For Good

Mavs Five-Man Unit Is The Best In The NBA  ( – Bobby Karalla)

It’s true: The Mavericks lineup of Deron Williams, Raymond Felton, Wesley Matthews Dirk Nowitzki and Zaza Pachulia is tops in the NBA. Here’s the breakdown as to why this is true.

  • Published on 11/23/2015 at 15:01 PM
  • Last updated at 11/23/2015 at 14:37 PM