Monday, November 26, 2007

Falling behind: Starters or subs fault?

Comeback wins are nice, but that falling behind part isn’t as much fun. As impressive as the rallies against Toronto and Houston were last week, fighting back from 24 or 17 points won’t lead to success on a consistent basis.

Avery Johnson attributed the slow starts to his starting five.

“It’s mainly with our starting team right now,” he said. “We’re not getting the stops and getting back on defense as much. I think what’s happened is the first round of subs has actually helped us get back in games.

“Our starting team hasn’t been as effective as some of our other starting teams in the past. It’s a different year and we still have some of the same starters, but you need all five guys to be on the same page and we’re not there yet.”

Getting on the same page has proven tricky with seven starting lineups through the first 13 games. Dirk Nowitzki and Gana Diop are the only Mavs to start each game going into Monday night against Washington at American Airlines Center.

Josh Howard and Devin Harris have missed five games between them. Eddie Jones has played just five games. Different circumstances have led Johnson to start Jerry Stackhouse, JJ Barea, Trenton Hassell and Moe Ager at times this season.

“Earlier in the year we played our first two games without Josh, Devin gets hurt in the third game and I’ve had more of a revolving door at that 2 spot for whatever reason,” Johnson said. “Maybe that’s contributed to it, but hopefully it won’t continue to contribute to it. Once we get Eddie back, I think we’ll be able to have some stability there.”

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