Turnover: turn-oh-ver; The loss of possession of the ball to the opponent, through misplays or infractions of the rules.
This is usually the part of the article where one would start with a clever yet unoriginal comparison to the Mavs turnovers and how they were “early Christmas gifts” to the Celtics. So I won’t even mention that in this column.
Last night our Dallas Mavericks met the Boston Celtics at the Garden. The Mavs were coming into the game winners of their previous 3 games. On Monday night vs. The Kings, the stat that caught my eye the most was the total of only 8 turnovers. I was so impressed that I tweeted, “Mavs with only 8 turnovers tonight.” See how impressed I was?
But last night was a dumpster fire of turnovers. Coach Carlisle stated that there was reason for optimism due to the fact that the Mavs were even in the game considering the amount of turnovers. This is true. It’s a Christmas Miracle that Dallas was able to go 2 over times with the Celtics given the 28 turnovers by the Mavs. I credit the team for working through adversity but it’s a fact that turnovers cost them the game. They’ve cost us a few games this year.
As I laid down last night after that frustrating loss, I couldn’t help but think of how careless and how mostly unforced the turnovers were. Was it a lack of focus? A lack of will? Just not smart players? Great defense? Bad offense? The answers to these questions is the popular and frustrating one-word-answer to a complex question; “Yes”. To manage my restless nature after a Mavs loss, I decided to do something I rarely do after a loss. I decided to watch the game again and document each turnover. These are my notes from last night, verbatim. So here we go. (Due to the overwhelming amount of turnovers, I missed documenting a few. Turnover overload I guess)
- O.J. Mayo lost dribble, unforced.
- Mayo tries passing to Marion. Bad Pass. Not even close. Unforced.
- Mayo skies a pass over the head of every player on the court. Unforced
- Mayo double teamed. Loses dribble and lost ball. Good defense.
- Elton Brand loses ball under basket. Blows easy chance of 2 points. Mavs down 2.
- Brand driving to the basket and gets surprised at open rim. Decides to pass but no one is there. Unforced.
- Brand tries forcing a pass to Kaman and assumes the 3 Celtics in the way are holograms. Good defense…… I guess.
- Fisher tries passing to Marion down low. Pass is too high. Unforced.
- Dahntay Jones gets fouled with no whistle while attacking the rim. No call, loses ball to the camera men.
- Darren Collison attempts an awful sidearm pass with less than a minute left. Picked off.
- Fisher thinks Kaman is cutting to the basket so passes it through 2 defenders. Kaman didn’t cut, Celtics ball. Unforced.
- Mayo tries passing to Kaman down low. KG all over Kaman, pass should’ve never been thrown. Steal for the Celtics. Good Defense, bad pass.
- Shawn “Oven Mitts” Marion loses ball under basket.
- Mayo shot blocked by Pierce. Mayo tries chasing it down but knocks it out of bounds.
- Shot Clock violation.
*** At this point the Mavs have a total of 16 turnovers with 5 minutes left in the 3rd quarter. ***
- 5 seconds left in the 3rd quarter and Collison loses his dribble on a clear path to the basket. Guess the ghost of Red Auerbach knocked that one loose.
- Brand doing too much at the top of the key. Loses ball and leads to oop by Green. Crowd goes nuts.
- Fisher throws the ball away after Brand fails to cut to the rim. Miscommunication.
- Collison bad pass. Turnover. Unforced.
- Down by 1 point, Mayo double teamed. Skies pass into row 12.
- Mayo driving for game winner but Rondo knocks it out. Good defense.
- Carter driving and dishes to a Celtics player rather than taking a lay up and maybe drawing a foul.
- Collison with another horrible pass attempt to Mayo.
- Mayo stripped. Good defense.
- Bringing the ball down after a great defensive rebound. Marion tries to bounce pass it to Collison. I have no idea what kind of pass that was. Out of bounds.
- Down by 3. Collison tries inbounding a pass to Roddy. For some reason, Roddy was at the half court line. Collison throws it away and that’s ball game.
16 turnovers for Mayo and Collison, 13 turnovers for Boston Celtics.
The most obvious reason for the turnovers is just due to pure lack of focus. Many of them were because of bad decision making on the part of OJ Mayo and Darren Collison. Is this something they can grow out of? Hopefully. Is this just the nature of those players and nothing will change? I hope not. Another reason for turnovers is the obvious lack of playing time together and miscommunication. Player A is passing the ball and is expecting Player B to make a cut to the rim or back the other way and it fails. And obviously an opponent’s defense is a cause for the fair share of turnovers. But from what we’ve seen so far this season, it’s not near as much as a contributing factor as some would lead you to believe.
28 turnovers last night. 28. That’s unacceptable at this level. That’s unacceptable in a game of 3 on 3 in my driveway. But I will credit the team for fighting hard and battling a good Boston team. But the turnovers have to be corrected. Maybe last night was the game that will cause the main culprits to assess their passing game. Their bad decision making is affecting the team. Take responsibility.
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