The Dallas Mavericks choked away an enormous lead against one of the worst teams in the NBA last night but the bad news doesn’t stop there…
Things started out brilliantly for the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday night. Luka Doncic and company came out firing, building a 51-25 lead over the Atlanta Hawks. What happens next is nothing short of historic.
When the shots stopped falling and defense refused to stiffen, the lead quickly evaporated, resulting in a 111-105 loss. Wes Matthews led Dallas scorers with 23 points, Doncic would finish with 21 points and nine rebounds, Dennis Smith Jr. with 17 points and seven rebounds, and DeAndre Jordan chipped in an impressive 11 points and 16 rebounds.
Third worst collapse ever
As mentioned early, the 26-point collapse was historic for this franchise. It marks the third worst in Dallas Mavericks history and at least partially subdues the enthusiasm flowing through North Texas this season.
To make matters worse, this was all done before a national audience. The Trae Young/Luca Doncic match-up was on spotlight and while Doncic played the better game between the two, Young was able to get a notch in the win column.
Open shots galore
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The Dallas Mavericks are showing us a concerning trend on defense. They are allowing opponents uncontested shots on a disturbingly consistent basis. Sometimes it’s ball movement and screens that bests the Mavs D, but all too often it’s poor perimeter defense.
Penetration on the perimeter forces players to collapse on the ball. This trickle-down effect leads to open shots outside and overall disfunction on the Mavs defense.
Offensively the Mavs are sound. They can compete against anyone. But when the shots inevitably go cold, the defense isn’t good enough to hold down the fort. None of this is surprising given all the new faces being inserted into the Mavs lineup this season, but if Dallas really has postseason hopes, it’s imperative this is corrected sooner rather than later.
Rough road ahead
As if all of that wasn’t bad news, there’s even worse news to report: the upcoming schedule. As I mentioned on Monday, Dallas needed to win in Atlanta because much tougher opponents were on the horizon. Well, the horizon is upon us.
The next four games the Dallas Mavericks face the undefeated Raptors, the Jazz, the Spurs, and the Lakers.
These teams all have the firepower to abuse the Mavs’ developing defense, making Dallas clear underdogs going forward.
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The Dallas Mavericks 26-point loss was bad enough, but the way they lost, the trend that’s developing, and the road ahead all make this otherwise bad moment, much, much worse.
- Published on 10/25/2018 at 12:01 PM
- Last updated at 10/25/2018 at 07:46 AM