The Dallas Mavericks’ flow offensive system has been flowing freely this season.
So freely that the Mavs are dominating virtually every major offensive statistic in the NBA.
The Mavs lead the league in scoring (109.5 points per game), are second in field-goal shooting (49 percent), third in point differential (+9.5), fifth in free-throw shooting (80.3 percent) and seventh in assists (23.7). The offense is predicated on moving the ball around the horn swiftly and whoever has the best shot should take it.
So far it’s been extremely effective.
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“That’s our game, that’s how we should play the whole season,” guard Monta Ellis said. “We shouldn’t run many plays.
“Just get out and run, flow, pass, cut and find the open guy.”
Over the past two games the Mavs (7-3) were able to find a lot of open guys. In Thursday’s record-setting, 123-70 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers the Mavs distributed 33 assists, and in Saturday’s 131-117 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves they added 31.
The point total against the Sixers was a season high that was topped against the Timberwolves.
Pushing the ball up the floor before the defense gets set has been advantageous for the Mavs. Also, tossing the ball around the perimeter puts defenses in a situation where they must continuously switch, which inevitably will leave someone open.
“It’s a fun way to play and I think it’s perfect for our personnel,” forward Chandler Parsons said. “Pick-and-roll, transition, it’s all things that we do really good as a team, so coach [Rick] Carlisle is doing a good job.”
Parsons said the Mavs’ offense reminds him of the one he operated under with the Houston Rockets for the past three seasons. Particularly last year when he, Dwight Howard and James Harden were teammates.
“Both offenses are pretty similar,” Parsons said. “It’s a little more structure here, but it’s all free-flowing, a lot of transition, we’ll shoot a lot of 3s.
“The pick-and-roll with Tyson [Chandler] rolling is the same thing with Dwight. A great wing scorer like James — the same thing with Monta. It’s very similar systems and offensive principles.”
As they open a two-game road trip Monday at Charlotte, the Mavs hope their offense can flow freely again against a Hornets team that’s extremely defensive-minded.
“We’re very explosive offensively if we’re sharing the ball,” forward Dirk Nowitzki said. “If we play together and shoot the ball well we’re tough to guard.
“We saw that early in preseason, so that’s nothing new. We’re challenging in defending and rebounding every night, so we’ve got to get better in some areas.”
The Mavs have such a balanced attack that many players are capable of leading them in scoring. On Saturday it was Ellis, who led the way with 30 points on 11-of-21 shooting.
And to a man, the players could really care less who leads the team in scoring. The bond between the players is that close.
“It doesn’t really matter to us who scores the points,” Nowitzki said. “I look at wins and losses.”
Said Ellis: “We have so many threats and weapons on the offensive end that teams have got to help a lot. So it leaves a lot of guys wide open.
“We just got to find the open man and we just got to knock the shots down.”
Guard Raymond Felton will likely be activated for Monday’s game.
The 10-year veteran would immediately start serving a four-game suspension he received from the NBA after he pleaded guilty to a gun charge for an incident in New York in February.