This team lacks maturity
How many times have we seen this? Mavericks light it up for three quarters, appear to be cruising for a victory and they find some miracle way to give it away.
Tonight? No exception.
The Mavericks were owners of a SEVEN POINT LEAD with under a minute. But sprinkle in some missed free throws, bad decisions, and a critical missed block out and they found themselves in OT.
With the pendulum firmly swung in Houston’s favor, there was no doubt what was about to transpire. The Rockets navigated the final five minutes with poise while the Mavericks floundered, and they cruised to a 153-149 victory.
The Mavericks had a chance at a signature win. A golden opportunity to vault up the standings and avoid the Clippers but they blew it. Just like they’ve done on many other occasions this year.
They need a great wing defender to deal with other stars
James Harden’s line for the night: 49 points on 14/20 shooting, 18/21 from the foul line, and 3/9 from three.
It was easy. He had a cool 23 in the first quarter on NO MISSES.
Don’t get me wrong, the guys they tried on him did their best, but they just don’t have a true stopper and that rears it’s ugly head anytime they see a player of Harden’s caliber.
There is obviously no immediate fix. It will have to come sometime in the off-season, but if they want to be the team they’re supposed to be, they have to address it.
The offense: still humming
The Mavericks weaknesses are well documented. They have struggled to close games, the defense leaves much to be desired, and they can get careless sometimes.
One thing that is indisputable though, is that this offense is a machine. There isn’t a challenge that they can’t meet and tonight was more proof of that.
The Rockets switch-everything, fun-size lineup can be a tough nut to crack for a lot of teams, but it was more of the same for the Mavs. They threw up 153 points (139 in regulation) and set a team record for points in a half (85).
Between Luka’s brilliance, Porzingis’ unique skillset, and a plethora of great shooters, this team has countless ways to break you down.
Do they need to correct the aforementioned issues? Absolutely. But an offense like this gives them a fighting chance against anyone.
Bringing back Trey Burke was a stroke of genius
Not to toot my own horn, but I was very excited about the re-acquisition of Trey Burke. He gave the Mavs some really productive minutes off the bench last season, and with Brunson on the shelf, they were going to need more of that.
But holy smokes. Not even the biggest optimist could have predicted that firework show. Burke finished with 31 points and 6 assists, covering 8 of 10 three-point attempts.
He showcased some catch-and-shoot skills, fancy handles, and great finishing. It was an all-around sensational showing, and even though the Mavericks lost, they can feel good about their scoring punch off the bench.
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