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2011 NBA Finals: How Can Mavericks' Struggling Role Players Get Back On Track?

Among the reasons the Dallas Mavericks lost Game 1 of the 2011 NBA Finals: a lack of productivity from their perimeter scorers not named Dirk Nowitzki. The bench threesome of Peja Stojakovic, Jason Terry, and Jose Barea combined to shoot 4-of-19 from the floor for 17 points. To have a chance of winning this series, they simply need more scoring from that group. Nowitzki can't take every shot, after all, and the Miami Heat's defense clamping down on him will create opportunities for his teammates.

At Mavs Moneyball, tcat75 has some ideas on how Stojakovic and Barea can improve, though Terry is a tougher case.

For Stojakovic, the answer is simple: "keep taking the same looks he was taking." The veteran sharpshooter missed all three of his attempts in Game 1, all from three-point distance, but on balance, the same shots are likely to drop in Game 2. It's important for him to use his shot-fakes to keep Heat defenders off balance, says tcat75.

Barea's case is similar insofar as he missed mostly good shot attempts in Game 1. The adjustment tcat75 proposes: more pick-and-roll with Nowitzki. And, if he can't get a shot off, "Barea should be specifically looking to get Dirk the ball, something that didn't seem to be a priority for him in Game 1."

Terry struggled in large part because the Heat used LeBron James to defend him, a wrinkle Terry said "we weren't prepared for." And when the world's best perimeter defender has Terry in his sights, well, preparation can only help so much.

But James won't cover Terry the entire game, as tcat75 points out, which will free the Mavs' second-leading scorer to "play his game" during those moments of reprieve.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.