From Larry Brown Sports
The Dallas Mavericks have to do a better job of protecting the basketball once the regular season begins, and head coach Rick Carlisleis well aware of that. With 7-footers Dirk Nowitzki and Chris Kaman both sidelined while nursing injuries, Dallas is going to struggle enough to grab rebounds. At the very least, they need to limit turnovers to help compensate for their lack of size.
Dallas did not do that on Saturday against the Hawks. The Mavericks are averaging 19.2 turnovers per game and turned the ball over 20 times against Atlanta, including 12 in the first half. The Hawks scored 20 points off those 12 first-half turnovers alone. Before Monday’s game against the Hornets, Carlisle gave a fantastic description of his team’s turnover issue.
“We’re doing it every way you can do it,” Carlisle said according to the Star-Telegram. “If we were a sex manual it’d be a best-seller.”
Guards O.J. Mayo, Delonte West and Darren Collison have turned the ball over 12 times each through the first five games. Fortunately for Dallas, this is why preseason games are played. There have been times where the players have looked to be in a deeper sleep than Carlisle was on the team bus recently, and that has to stop before the regular season arrives. Nowitzki could be out up to six weeks, so ball security becomes even more crucial for the Mavs while they are without their best offensive weapon. They say sex sells, but in this case Carlisle was hardly trying to be a salesman.