Thursday, March 27, 2008

Can’t run with the Nuggets

The Nuggets are the third-highest scoring team in the league. Denver scored 168 in regulation not that long ago. Obviously, the Nuggets like to run.

So do the Mavs, especially under Jason Kidd. But they don’t want to get into a track meet and suckered into Denver’s defense-be-damned approach.

“When we’re playing at our pace, we can be a pretty good team,” Avery Johnson said. “We don’t want to get into that helter skelter-type game that they like to play, because they’re a running team and they love to get out and run. We don’t think we can be successful playing their game. We have an idea of what type of pace we need.”

Kidd added: “We have to play at our pace. That doesn’t mean we’re going to walk the ball up. We’ve got to take advantage of when we can get layups. But the biggest thing is we have to take care of the ball because both teams thrive on going for steals, getting their hands on balls, starting their transition and getting a lot of fastbreak points and 3-point opportunities.”

There is a fine line between being aggressive and careless for Kidd. He walks that line.

“I play my best sometimes if I kick the ball into the stands being aggressive,” Kidd said. “Some of the turnovers were just the anticipation of guys maybe being in a spot that I thought they would be in and then going the other way. That falls on my shoulders. I have to protect the ball.”

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