How much fight will the Mavs play with?
The Mavericks got flat out punked in their last outing. They took a 13-point lead into the half against the LeBron James-less Lakers, only to wind up scoring 30, yes 30 points in the second half and losing by 10.
And to make matters worse? The L.A. bandwagon fans grew louder and louder with each Mavericks miscue. They were almost cheering mockingly.
“It’s something we really gotta figure out. It was really bad. It got ugly.” Guard JJ Barea said after the game.
And he’s correct. It’s as bad a showing as the Mavericks have had all season.
The good news? They have a chance for redemption Wednesday night with the Suns coming into town. Generally in Rick Carlisle’s tenure, when this team gets staggered with a bad showing, heartbreaking loss, etc… they respond well.
Will this group show that same resolve? That remains to be seen.
Luka Doncic vs DeAndre Ayton round 3
Generally, I’m not a fan of this type of narrative. Rarely will these players match up on one another, and even if one does play significantly better than the other, who cares? It’s the third matchup in their very first season. Nothing concrete should be taken from it.
What should happen, is we should all understand and appreciate these two young talents that seem ready to grow into stars.
Both of them are producing at historic rates for players at their age/position. It’s rare, and we get to see them both on the court at the same time. So instead of trying to compare and contrast or tear Ayton down, let’s just appreciate our own special rookie in Luka, and acknowledge the Suns got themselves a good one too.
The L.A. loss feels like a breaking point for Coach Carlisle. What he is currently doing, is not working.
The starters are bad (they have been all year), the bench has come crashing back down to earth, and players who seemingly make a positive impact when they see the floor (Kleber, Brunson, Finney-Smith), are playing less and less.
It’s particularly confusing because we all know how smart and great a coach Rick Carlisle is. But what gives? Platoon subbing two lineups that clearly aren’t working in for one another is generally not a very good idea.
What are some possible solutions? The first order of business should be finding Kleber more minutes. Then maybe getting Wes more run with the bench? Finding time for Brunson and even Breokhoff wouldn’t be a terrible idea. Also, the Dirk/Dwight Powell frontcourt that is leaking points could be put away for awhile.
Rick Carlisle is and always has been a big picture coach. That’s likely the reason for him not mixing things up, because he really believes this is the teams best chance to win down the road.
But their current way of doing things is destroying the short term, and I think most would agree, it’s time for some changes.
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