Sixers will be tested by Mavs' long-range attack

Sixers will be tested by Mavs' long-range attack
November 18, 2013, 4:15 pm
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The Mavericks rank fifth in the NBA with 9.7 threes made per game. (USA Today Images)

DALLAS -- Michael Carter-Williams gave everybody who walked into Monday’s shootaround reason to gasp. There, the Sixers' starting point guard was shooting jumpers at the far end with sneakers (as opposed to a boot) on his left foot.

Shortly thereafter, coach Brett Brown came over to chat and quickly stated MCW would sit for his fourth consecutive game because of the bruised arch of his left foot.

“He is getting better but he will not play tonight,” Brown said. “He is the is the old day-to-day cliché.”

The Sixers and Mavericks square off at American Airlines Arena this evening in a matchup of polar opposites (see game notes). Dallas has a starting five with 56 years of NBA experience and a sixth man in Vince Carter who brings another 15 years in the league to the table.

The Sixers, on the other hand, have two starters who are six-year veterans and the rest in the regular rotation have three or fewer years of NBA experience.

“When I look at those guys and the rivalry that the Spurs used to have with Dallas and the incredible battles we had, inevitably you had to go through Dallas,” Brown explained. “The longevity that that roster has, I give them so much credit and respect for playing that long of a time.”

Dirk Nowitzki is 16th on the all-time NBA scoring list. He needs just 37 points to pass Reggie Miller.

Like many Sixers opponents this season, Dallas will try to beat them with long-range shooting. Starting point guard Jose Calderon is shooting 46.4 percent from distance and Nowitzki's at 45.5 percent.

It doesn't bode well that the Sixers are allowing their opponents to make a league-high average of 12.2 threes per game. No other team in the league is allowing double digits when it comes to made threes.

“They are jump-shooters,” Brown said of the Mavericks. “And Monta (Ellis) is great at getting to the paint. He is the one guy that you have to think about in regards to where you have tried to hang your hat and that is guard the paint.

“Everybody else you are going to have to scramble and chase off of threes. Over the course of a season with a different type of team, this is one of the games that you would come into and say 'Well, we really have to respect the three-point line more than the paint.' But we are not because we really want to stay with what we are doing but we also want to know where Dirk is and know where Vince is and know where Calderon is because they are still the three that keep you up at night.”