Scouting report: Suns vs. Mavs Game 2

Updated: May 26, 2006, 2:31 PM ET
By John Carroll | Scouts Inc.
Mavs Offense: The Mavs scored 118 points in Game 1 and this phase of their game is not the reason they lost. However they need to realize why they were in position to win, and continue to do those things in Game 2. The following are the things they need to do:

1) Slow down the pace. They cannot get into a track meet with the Suns. They will lose that battle. They need to push the ball but they cannot take quick shots or long 3-point shots without first driving the ball to the rim or pounding it inside.

2) With their size and length they need to continue to punish the Suns inside. They had 18 offensive rebounds in Game 1 with Dirk Nowitzki dominating the offensive boards. They killed the Suns with second-chance points and they need to get the ball into the paint and get all over the glass.

3) Attack Steve Nash offensively and wear him down. He might be a prolific offensive player but he cannot defend. Devin Harris torched him in Game 1.

4) Keep getting the ball to Nowitzki and Jerry Stackhouse at the foul line/elbow area in isolations. When they have the ball in these areas, these two players are impossible for the Suns to guard, given proper spacing and vision of double teams.

5) Keep utilizing the bench and wear down the Suns. The Mavs' bench is much deeper, and the longer the series goes the more the bench will be a factor. The Mavs played 10 players and outscored the Suns' bench 36-11.

Mavs Defense: Transition defense is the first order of business for the Mavericks. They must run back on every make or miss, stop the drives to the rim, locate the Suns' shooters and limit the Suns' effectiveness on the break. They cannot allow the Suns to score 32 points again on the break in this series.

John Carroll

Scouts, Basketball Recruiting
John Carroll joined Scouts Inc. after nine years as an NBA coach, including a seven-year tenure with the Boston Celtics that concluded with a four-month stint as interim head coach in 2003-04. Before joining the NBA, Carroll spent six years as head coach at Duquesne University and seven years at Seton Hall as an assistant to head coach P.J. Carlesimo.