How the Charlotte Hornets Match Up Against: The Dallas Mavericks


Leading up to the start of the 2014 NBA season, Swarm and Sting will be pitting the Hornets head to head with every team in the Association every Tuesday and Thursday. In this edition, we match the Hornets up with the Dallas Mavericks.

2013-14 Series:  Charlotte and Dallas split the series, 1-1.

Projected Starting Match-Ups:

PG:  Kemba Walker (17.7 PPG, 1.2 SPG, 6.1 APG) vs.  Jameer Nelson (12.1 PPG, 0.8 SPG, 7.0 APG)

You may remember Jameer Nelson as that one point guard on that one Magic team that swept that one Bobcats team in that one playoff series.  Fortunately for the Hornets, this isn’t quite the Jameer Nelson of 2010, and this isn’t the same Charlotte basketball team as 2010.  Nelson is still an experienced, serviceable point guard for the Mavericks, but his and Kemba’s production are on opposite trends right now, as Walker is a rising star in the NBA, and Nelson doesn’t quite hold that power that he once did.  Still, he is good at distributing the ball, and he can knock down the three, so he can still be a threat.  That being said, Kemba’s offensive skill set will likely be too much for Nelson to guard, and the Hornets have the advantage for that.

ADVANTAGE:  Kemba Walker

SG:  Lance Stephenson (13.8 PPG, 7.2 RPG, 4.6 APG) vs.  Monta Ellis (19.0 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 5.7 APG)

This is a clash of styles at shooting guard, as it’s a pure shooter in Ellis squaring off against an all-around utility in Stephenson.  I think this match-up comes down to preference of taste, and the value of scoring versus the value of stuffing a stat sheet.  Stephenson is admittedly not the best pure shooter, but his ability to drive and facilitate, especially in the fast-break offense, still makes him a viable offensive asset, and that’s not even to mention his rebounding and defensive ability.  Monta Ellis is a phenomenal shooter, especially from deep, but I think “Born Ready” has the better all-around game, which again gives the Hornets the edge.

ADVANTAGE:  Lance Stephenson

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  • SF:  Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (7.2 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 0.8 APG) vs.  Chandler Parsons (16.6 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 4.0 APG)

    Chandler Parsons is easily the biggest offseason coup for the Mavericks, giving them a nice stretch threat at small forward to create match-up problems for many teams in the NBA.  Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is a stout defender, but he still has a lot of offensive work to do to be considered to take the edge here.  Parsons is an immediately improvement for a Dallas team that made the playoffs (and almost upset the eventual champion Spurs) last year.  Advantage Mavs.

    ADVANTAGE:  Chandler Parsons

    PF:  Cody Zeller (6 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 0.5 BPG) vs.  Dirk Nowitzki (21.7 PPG, 6.2 RPG, 0.6 BPG)

    Poor Cody Zeller.  Dirk Nowitzki is the franchise centerpiece of the Dallas Mavericks, seemingly ageless in his ability to find multiple ways to score.  Zeller will eventually develop into a solid NBA player, but Dirk Nowitzki is arguably an all-time great, still finding ways to extend his prime long past it’s due date.  While Zeller still has raw potential, it is really difficult to justify taking him over Dirk here.

    ADVANTAGE:  Dirk Nowitzki

    C:  Al Jefferson (21.8 PPG, 10.8 RPG, 1.1 BPG)  vs.  Tyson Chandler (8.7 PPG, 9.6 RPG, 1.1 BPG)

    Welcome back to Dallas, Tyson Chandler.  In Chandler’s only year with the Dallas Mavericks, they shocked the Miami Heat to win the NBA Championship in 2011.  Chandler spent his last 3 years with the New York Knicks, which I’m sure was a stark contrast to, uh, winning?  Anyway, Chandler will have his hands full with Al Jefferson.  Chandler is known for his defense, and he will have to be at his absolute best to stop Jefferson, arguably one of the best post scorers in the game.  Defensively, I think Jefferson will hold his own against Chandler, and I have to give the edge to “Big Al.”  Jefferson is simply too good right now, and Chandler is coming off of a rough year for the Knicks.

    ADVANTAGE:  Al Jefferson

    Key Reserves (Dallas):  Raymond Felton, Devin Harris, Richard Jefferson, Al-Farouq Aminu, Brandan Wright, Greg Smith

    Key Reserves (Charlotte):  Gerald Henderson, Brian Roberts, Noah Vonleh, Marvin Williams, PJ Hairston, Bismack Biyambo.

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    ADVANTAGE:  Charlotte.  Dallas definitely has the more experienced bench, but the Hornets have a nice blend of veteran leadership and fresh, young faces.  The Mavericks’ lack of youth will likely cause wear on their bench more quickly than it would for younger teams.  This, and the fact that truthfully, the Hornets simply have a more talented line-up of reserves, will be a huge difference maker when these two teams face off this season.

    Rookies (Dallas):  None.

    Rookies (Charlotte):  Noah Vonleh, PJ Hairston

    ADVANTAGE:  Charlotte, by default.

    FINAL VERDICT:  The Dallas Mavericks have an impressive starting line-up, backed up by a lackluster bench, and it will be up to the Hornets’ starters to somewhat hold the fort until the second units come out.  If they can do that, I really like Charlotte’s chances in this series.  The Hornets match up well with Dallas at guard, and the Mavericks match up well with Charlotte at forward, so this should be an intriguing match-up this season.

    PREDICTION:  Charlotte sweeps Dallas, 2-0.

    Stats and depth charts are taken from