The Mavericks FINALLY got off to a good start
It’s no secret the Mavs have been terrible in 1st quarters all year long. They have trailed by double digits in six of their first nine first quarters coming into the contest, and on average are down by 4.9 points after the first twelve minutes, the second worst mark in the league.
But, the Mavs apparently had enough of that.
They jumped out to a quick 7-0 start, and would wind up leading by 11 after one.
“That kind of start is always going to go a long way in the big picture of your chances to win an NBA game,” Carlisle said.
They would ride that momentum to a 70-49 halftime lead.
Dorian Finney-Smith is officially a part of the Mavericks young core
Dorian Finney-Smith has been one of the Mavericks very best players this year, albeit in limited minutes and despite not having the name recognition of others on the roster.
He was a team high plus+20 in this game, and Was highly efficient from from three yet again, going 3-4 from that distance.
But it is more than that with him. His energy, effort, and enthusiasm is obvious and always manifests itself in a positive manner for the team. And now that his skill level is developing, namely that three point shot, he is becoming a really valuable piece for this franchise at only 25-years old with a still growing game.
“I mean, I shot ball well in college, but it’s been a minute.” He said of his growing confidence.
“I’m just going to keep doing what I’ve been working on all summer.”
The Mavs got careless
The Mavericks had their largest lead at 21 moving into half time.
By the end of the third quarter, the Wizards had it down to just single digits. Stuff like this happens more than you think. One team gets up big, let’s their guard down, and the opposition claws their way back into it. It’s basic human nature.
But in the Mavs case, it wasn’t just missed shots or fluky officiating. They had eight, yes eight third quarter turnovers.
They were a 2-7 basketball team, losers of six in a row. Lapses in their effort, energy, and focus can’t afford to happen.
They would steady the ship, but surely would have liked to rest some of their higher minute guys being on the front end of a back to back.
Dennis Smith Jr. was absolutely terrific
Dennis had a nice line of 19 points, seven assists, and four rebounds, but it was a sequence late in the game that had the biggest impact.
Washington was within striking distance, and on back-to-back possessions Dennis created a turnover, went the length of the floor and made an excellent pass that led to a bucket that would keep Washington at bay.
“Very big sequence, and this is where you have to trust your players,” Carlisle said of Dennis’ clutch play.
“And Dennis has earned the trust.”
It seems his early season funk is well behind him, and the Mavericks will be better for it.
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