The Dallas Mavericks restarted their season last night and the numbers paint a pretty amazing story
The Dallas Mavericks restarted their 2019-2020 regular season on Friday in a highly anticipated game against the Rockets. After leading for the majority of the game, the team could not end things in clutch time resulting in an overtime period where a decimated Mavs depth couldn’t handle the intensity and motor of Russell Westbrook and James Harden.
The biggest issue from this season found its way back to Orlando and in a timely fashion.
While the final periods of the game are firmly implanted in MFFLs minds, there was a lot of good that occurred even until the end. So here are some important numbers from Friday’s game.
42.9% and 21.7%
This was the team’s final three-point shooting percentage. At the half, they had made 11 of 20 (55 percent) three-point field goals; their final tally was 21 of 49 (42.9 percent) from the three-point line. Trey Burke led the team in three-point shooting converting 8-10 shots from behind the arc. Tim Hardaway Jr was second converting 5 of 8 shots and Kristaps Porzingis knocked down 3 of 8 from behind the arc.
Friday’s 42.9 percent was six percentage points above the team’s average for the season, thus proving just how well the team shot. However, without Burke, Hardaway Jr, and Porzingis the team converted 5 of 23 (21.7 percent) three-point attempts.
Expecting Trey Burke to make 80 percent of his three-point field goals on a nightly basis is unrealistic so it will be imperative that the team collectively shoot better as their time in Orlando progresses. That doesn’t seem completely unrealistic considering the team converts 36.9 percent of their shots from the three-point line.
This game marked Luka Doncic’s 15th triple-double this season. An impressive figure for the 21-year-old, however, that number achievement seems to hold very little value considering it occurred in a loss that was avoidable.
While this number was considered excellent previously, the same could definitely not be said now. 42.9 percent was the free throw percentage of the Mavericks in the fourth quarter. The team went 3 of 7 from the charity stripe with Luka Doncic shooting 1 of 3, Trey Burke shooting 1 of 2, and Seth Curry shooting 1 of 2.
A common theme in losses this regular season has been the team’s ability to win in clutch time situations. Free throw shooting in the fourth quarter has caused this team to lose more games to playoff teams. Tonight was a perfect example as it took a friendly bounce off a James Harden free throw for Robert Covington to convert a putback layup over Kristaps Porzingis. That play took the game to overtime and gave the Rockets all the momentum heading into the extended period.
A very welcome surprise on Friday was the play of veteran point guard Trey Burke. Burke exploded in the game with 31 points, six assists, and one steal. His 32 points came on an efficient 69 percent from the field and 80 percent from the three-point line.
This was the first time since 11/28/2018 that Burke scored 31 points in a game. This happened while he was playing for the Knicks in a game against the Orlando Magic, a game the Knicks lost 131-117. Unfortunately, his best games recently have ended up in losses.
Four members of the Mavericks scored 24 points or more. Kristaps Porzingis led the team with 39 points, Burke had 31, Tim Hardaway Jr had 28, and Luka Doncic had 24 points. The Rockets only had two members: James Harden (49) and Russell Westbrook (31).
If you watched the game, you might have noticed a lot of steals between both teams. Dallas turned the ball over 20 times, seven times more than their per-game average of 12.8. Doncic led the team with eight turnovers and Dorian Finney-Smith followed suit with another three. Considering how good the offense was scoring tonight, this was uncharacteristic of the team and will likely be an outlier performance for the team while in Orlando.
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The Mavericks outrebounded the Rockets grabbing 55 compared to Houston’s 43 rebounds. This number was higher than the team’s 47 rebounds per game average, however, that was expected as the team held a serious size advantage on the inside with Porzingis, Maxi Kleber, and Boban Marjanovic all standing over 6-foot-10 inches tall. Even Luka Doncic is as tall the Rockets’ tallest defender, and that helped him grab 13 of his own.
Unfortunately, the number that stings the most is 0-1 because it was largely preventable. The team was shooting efficiently all game and once again crumbled with five minutes left to go in the game. However, there is an understanding that this team is young and has a good opportunity in Orlando to gain playoff/clutch time experience.
All we can hope for as MFFLs is the team shows up on Sunday against Phoenix and defeat a team that has struggled to chart Ws all season.