It’s official. Charles Barkley has proven once again that he doesn’t know what he’s talking about in the NBA. Right after the Mavericks beat Seattle tonight, he wasn’t in his seat at the post-game show. You would think if you’re going to be considered an NBA expert, you’d watch NBA games. I guess that doesn’t matter anymore.
Charles has over the years made statements about the Mavs that he didn’t even try to back up with statistical data. Here’s an example from tonight’s post-game show: “Phoenix and Dallas, they’re offensive minded teams. But some nights your shot just doesn’t go. I mean, the best shooters in the world shoot 50%. So, there’s gonna be nights when you shoot 35-40%. Can you get stops consistently? Phoenix and Dallas have not shown they can do that.”
First off, how can you compare Dallas to Phoenix? The teams in no way resemble each other. I’m not interested in looking at Phoenix’s stats. But are the Mavericks really an offensive minded team? Let’s see.
The Mavericks are averaging 99.8 points per game this year. That’s 8th overall behind Phoenix (106.2), Seattle (102.3), Philadelphia (101.3), Denver (100.6), Washington (100.1), Miami (100.0), and DETROIT (100.0). I’ve never heard Charles Barkley criticize the Pistons for being Offensive minded. In fact, they’re always looked to as one of the most dominant defensive teams in the league. And yet, the Mavericks are thought of as being more offensive minded than defensive. I guess if you’re in the top 10 in the league in scoring that could be a legitimate point.
But what about defense? Since the Mavericks are so busy scoring all those baskets, I guess they’re not worried about slowing teams down. Guess again. Dallas is 9th overall in points allowed per game, allowing just 93.7 per game. The top 8 are Memphis (87.0), San Antonio (88.1), Detroit (90.6), Minnesota (90.9), Indiana (91.6), Houston (91.8) NO/Okla City (93.0), and Utah (93.0). Even though they’re in the top 10 in points allowed, they’re never thought of as a defensive team by Barkley. And by the way. Dallas is 3rd overall in point differential per game (+6.1) behind Detroit (+9.4) and San Antonio (+6.7).
So what about Charles question, “Can you get stops consistently?” The Mavs haven’t done great at this. In the seven games this year when the Mavericks shot between 35-40%, they are 3-4. That’s not great, but is it really that bad in comparison to other teams? Let’s take Charles Barkley’s favorites. The Spurs and Pistons. In the 5 games this year that San Antonio shot 35-40%, they were 2-3 (and one of those losses was to the “offensive-minded” Mavericks). And finally, those hard-nosed defensive-minded Pistons are 5-4 when they shoot 35-40%.
My point is that when you don’t shoot well, you’re not as likely to win. The Pistons have only lost five games all year, and four of those are in games they didn’t shoot well. Yes, defense is important and will win you game. But you still have to shoot well. Charles Barkley has become just a talking head. The only reason anyone pays attention to him is that he used to play in the NBA. When it comes to the Mavericks, he’s just plain blind. He doesn’t pay attention to factualy information and just spouts out personal, subjective opinion.
Charles, do yourself a favor and start watching some NBA games. You might actually make a valid observation one of these days.