Concerns arise in Dallas Mavericks opening loss
Luka Doncic showed flashes of greatness Wednesday night for the Dallas Mavericks, but poor shooting and perimeter defense led to a 106-102 loss to the Phoenix Suns in their season opener.
The first half of the game was not pleasant for the Dallas Mavericks with Doncic missing his first six field goals in the first quarter. As a team, Dallas shot 28 percent from the field with only 22 points after the first quarter. The second quarter didn’t fare too much better as Dallas scored only 23 points in the quarter.
Dallas’ offense picked up in the second half with Doncic gaining momentum hitting on great passes and fadeaway shots throughout the half. Defense was a struggle to provide contested shots for the Mavericks as the Suns finished the game shooting 48 percent from the field. 24 percent three-point shooting from Dallas hampered their performance in the game. Doncic’s 32 points weren’t enough to help Dallas as they fell to Phoenix 106-102 in their season opener.
Positives From Dallas Mavericks Loss
The Dallas Mavericks’ bench needs some credit for their performance with one player standing out. Jalen Brunson played one of the most complete performances among the Maverick players. In 18 minutes, Brunson scored 12 points, 2 rebounds, and four assist. His play on defense and shots from the field kept Dallas going. When the starters struggled in the first, it was Brunson and the bench who got them within one point after the first quarter.
Mixed emotions will come regarding Luka Doncic’s performance especially since there were two different instances where he missed at least five straight shots. Fans still saw the greatness that comes with Doncic with fadeaway shots and perfect passing. He was also able to convert ten of 12 free throws when asked upon after using his physicality to draw fouls.
Phoenix struggled mightily with turnovers as they committed 19 turnovers in the win. Dallas was able to score 13 points off of those turnovers which kept them in the game. Without those turnovers, the Mavericks might have lost this game by much more.
Negatives From Dallas Mavericks Loss
Fans saw the Dallas Mavericks force shots up from three-point land with very little success. Doncic had some open threes and some forced ones and none of them found the bottom of the net.. Maxi Kleber was another example of forcing three-point shots up as he made two three-pointers out of seven shots. The Mavericks never seemed to find a rhythm with their shooting.
Phoenix had the opposite problem with the team hitting 48 percent from the field and 36 percent from three-point land. They shot less than Dallas, but the shot selection was much better than Dallas. The Mavericks’ defense on the perimeter was all over the place with multiple Suns shots being open.
Outlook Heading Into Christmas Showdown with Lakers
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The truth is Kristaps Porzingis being out has not done Dallas any favors and they could really use his offensive production. Missed shots hurt Dallas Wednesday night which they can’t afford to do Friday when they play the Los Angeles Lakers.
Dwight Powell must step up in the next few games because he only recorded two points and two rebounds in 18 minutes of play. Doncic was able to carry the team to 32 points in the loss to the Suns, but consistency throughout the game is much needed. Brunson proved that he should earn more playing time playing well on the offensive and defensive side of the ball.
Dallas will have a major challenge against Lebron James, Anthony Davis, and the Lakers. With concerns with the offense in shooting and paint issues compared to Los Angeles, shooting at a high rate is key for the Mavericks to win. The perfect Christmas gift for Dallas fans is a monster triple-double game from Doncic.
They can’t deliver a lump of coal on offense like Dallas did against Phoenix if they want to steal a win on the road.
- Published on 12/24/2020 at 12:01 PM
- Last updated at 12/24/2020 at 10:46 AM