The Mavericks offense finally looked like the Mavericks offense of last season tonight. Most importantly, the three ball was falling, hitting 20 threes from downtown at a 40% clip.
But it didn’t matter.
Why? Because their defense was atrocious. A joke if we’re being honest.
147 points allowed.
“The biggest problem in this game was our defense, obviously,” Carlisle said. “We got seduced into a shootout with these guys.”
Safe to say the Defensive Player of the Game championship belt hasn’t sparked much interest inside that locker room.
The effort? Lacking. The rotations? Always a step or two behind, leading to hands in the air and pointing of fingers. The amount of backdoor cuts and inability to get around screens was endless.
We can talk all night about Kelly Oubre scoring a career-high 40 points *sigh*and hitting seven threes, who was shooting 23% from downtown before tonight *another sigh* and Steph Curry being Steph Curry. But it was Draymond Green who left his handprint on tonight’s game for GS.
Green was a poised, veteran quarterback with all the time in the world in the pocket, slicing and dicing the Mavericks up all night long, finishing with a season-high 15 assists. No matter if it was finding a teammate cutting to the hoop or an open three, Green found them.
“Listen, there’s no excuses,” Carlisle said. “We’ve got to be a better defensive team…we’ve got to be way, way better.”
Offense aside, if this is the kind of defensive performance that we’re going to get out of this team, then we can kiss the season goodbye because that surely won’t get you back into the playoff picture.
The positives from tonight?
Jalen Brunson has been fantastic this season and that continued tonight, scoring 18 points off the bench. JB’s impact on the second unit has been huge since coming back from COVID contact tracing. The shot making has come in bunches, whether that’s his smooth floater, automatic midrange game, or from deep. He and Tim Hardaway Jr. can be quite the 6th and 7th man tandem’s going forward.
Porzingis’ found his stroke tonight, hitting 5/8 from downtown for 25 points. Though I must say his physicality down low and on the boards was completely absent tonight and when the other team’s tallest player is eight inches shorter than you, grabbing more than five rebounds would be nice.
“Defense, defense, defense, defense, defense, defense, defense,” Jalen Brunson said of what the team talked about after the loss.
What about defense?
“We’ve got to play it.”