Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Basketball IQ improves

For all the issues the newcomers, especially those who were part of the Jason Kidd trade, are having picking up the Mavericks’ system, they collectively are ahead of the game in one area.

Basketball smarts.

You’d expect a healthy level of veteran guile from Kidd and Malik Allen. Antoine Wright, despite his youth, has also been praised for his know-how.

“I really feel we are a much smarter team,” Avery Johnson said Wednesday prior to taking on the Bobcats. “We communicate better, even through the losses. I was telling my coaches, this had been after some tough losses on the road, if nothing else, we definitely improved with passing and we improved with our basketball knowledge.

“Even Wright for a young player, he’s been making some plays in practice and in games that are just instinctive, that are high basketball IQ plays. Malik is bright and Kidd, it’s well-documented what he is.”

The other two veteran newcomers, Tyronn Lue and Jamaal Magloire, can also get lumped into the “smart” group. Lue made his Mavs’ debut in the second quarter. Though he made a few mistakes picking up defensive nuances during the morning shootaround, no one is worried about the new backup point guard getting it straight.

That goes for all the new faces.

“The basketball IQ is very high and guys can make adjustments like that when they see a situation,” Allen said. “Guys do a good job of reading situations and noticing mismatches. Knowledge is not the problem. A lot of times you can’t teach that.”

No comments: