Mavericks’ Marion: Don’t crawl now if you’ve run all season

Posted Saturday, Apr. 19, 2014  comments  Print Reprints
A

Have more to add? News tip? Tell us

Once the NBA playoffs start, games tend to slow to a crawl.

Teams still run their basic schemes. They just run less of them.

Possessions become fewer and fewer as the game generally turns into a half-court contest. It’s a process that invariably occurs every time the calendar turns from the 82-game regular season to the pressure-packed playoffs.

“Every basket, every possession is so important in the playoffs, I think sometimes teams say, ‘Yeah, we want to run, but we want to take care of the ball,’ ” Dallas Mavericks forward Vince Carter said. “So I think some teams and players get hesitant and just want to get a good shot, so it happens that way.”

A slower pace keeps turnovers down and may give the underdog team a better opportunity to steal a game they wouldn’t otherwise have a chance to win.

“It’s not that they don’t run, I think it’s just that different teams have been successful — the teams that are better — in the half court,” Mavs owner Mark Cuban said. “I don’t think anybody tries to slow it down.”

“But you’re playing the better teams, and better teams will slow down your fast break and force you into a half-court game.”

Entering a best-of-seven, first-round playoff series against the San Antonio Spurs at AT&T Center, coach Rick Carlisle obviously wouldn’t divulge whether he plans to stray from his uptempo flow offense. Carlisle did admit that games change once the playoffs begin.

“Scoring tends to go down some, and part of it is because of the heightened level of preparation,” Carlisle said. “But the competitiveness mitigates the lack of scoring in my mind. It makes the game even more entertaining.”

It also makes every possession that much more valuable.

“Strategies are going to vary somewhat,” Carlisle said. “But most of it depends on matchups of the opponent, and then you adjust as you need to as the series goes along.”

Forward Shawn Marion believes it’s foolish for a team to bring its offense to a crawl in the playoffs when running the ball during the regular season is what put them in the playoffs.

“A lot of stuff doesn’t change, but for the most part if you’re able to run you’ve got to explore that option,” Marion said. “Think about all the teams that won it lately in the last three or four years, most of the stuff they were doing in the regular season they continued to do the same thing in the playoffs.

“It’s just that some series are going to be more of a drag-out, bang-out than others. But, if your biggest strength is pushing the tempo of the game, you’re going to continue to push the tempo of the game. You’re not going to slow down just because it’s the postseason.”

Marion understands the in-game adjustments. He just doesn’t understand why a team that’s been playing fast all season would slow it down for the playoffs.

“It’s about using your weapons and taking advantage of what you see,” Marion said.

“If you’re able to see something and recognize something you’ve got to take advantage of it and exploit it, and that’s what you’re supposed to do. If you don’t do it then it’s your fault.”

Dwain Price, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @dwainprice

Looking for comments?

We welcome your comments on this story, but please be civil. Do not use profanity, hate speech, threats, personal abuse, images, internet links or any device to draw undue attention. Our policy requires those wishing to post here to use their real identity.

Our commenting policy | Facebook commenting FAQ | Why Facebook?





Wednesday, August 20Full Scoreboard
Texas «5Final | Box
Miami4
Seattle3Final | Box
Philadelphia «4
Toronto «9Final | Box
Milwaukee5
NY Mets «8Final | Box
Oakland5
Houston5Top 9th | Box
NY Yankees2@theBallpark | TV: CSN-HOU, YES
Atlanta2Final | Box
Pittsburgh «3
Arizona2Bottom 9th | Box
Washington2@theBallpark | TV: FSN-AZ, MASN
LA Angels7Bottom 7th | Box
Boston3@theBallpark | TV: FSN-W, NESN, ESPN 2
Detroit «6Final | Box
Tampa Bay0
Cincinnati0Delayed | Box
St. Louis5@theBallpark | TV: FSN-OH, FSN-MW
San Francisco8Top 7th | Box
Chicago Cubs2@theBallpark | TV: CSN-BA, WCIU
Baltimore4Bottom 8th | Box
Chicago WSox3@theBallpark | TV: MASN 2, CSN-CHI
Cleveland3Top 7th | Box
Minnesota0@theBallpark | TV: STO, FSN-N
Kansas City2Top 6th | Box
Colorado1@theBallpark | TV: FSN-KC, ROOT-RM
San Diego0Bottom 1st | Box
Los Angeles0@theBallpark | TV: FSN-SD, SNLA, ESPN
Full Scoreboard
Wednesday, August 20Full Scoreboard
No games today
Full Scoreboard
Week 4Full Scoreboard
Thursday
Pittsburgh 7:30 PM ET
Philadelphia TV: NFL Network, KDKA, 6ABC
Friday
Jacksonville 7:30 PM ET
Detroit TV: WXYZ7
Carolina 7:30 PM ET
New England TV: Panthers TV, WBZ
NY Giants 7:30 PM ET
NY Jets TV: CBS 2
Oakland 8:00 PM ET
Green Bay TV: CBS
Chicago 10:00 PM ET
Seattle TV: NFL Net, FOX32, Q13FOX
Saturday
Tampa Bay 4:30 PM ET
Buffalo TV: NFL Network, WFLA
Tennessee 7:00 PM ET
Atlanta TV: WKRN, CW69
Dallas 7:00 PM ET
Miami TV: KTVT, CBS11, CBS4
Washington 7:30 PM ET
Baltimore TV: NBC4, CSN-DC, WBAL
St. Louis 8:00 PM ET
Cleveland TV: WKYC
New Orleans 8:00 PM ET
Indianapolis TV: CBS
Minnesota 8:00 PM ET
Kansas City TV: KARE 11, KCTV
Houston 9:00 PM ET
Denver TV: KTRK, KUSA
Sunday
San Diego 4:00 PM ET
San Francisco TV: FOX
Cincinnati 8:00 PM ET
Arizona TV: NBC
Full Scoreboard
Wednesday, August 20Full Scoreboard
No games today
Full Scoreboard