Another day in basketball paradise as the Mavericks bounced back from their loss on Friday with a 81-78 victory against the Milwaukee Bucks.
Coach Jamahl Mosley stressed the lack of defensive awareness in the second half of Friday’s loss against the Suns. The Mavs brought the intensity against the Bucks, allowing only 78 points and collecting 15 steals.
“It was the little things, like our offensive guys running to the corner. Defensively, scrapping and getting after it and making sure we played harder than whoever the opponent was and tonight, I think we did a really good job of that,” Mosley said on what he thought made the difference in tonight’s victory.
On the offensive end of the floor, Johnathan Motley put his stamp on the game with a 20-point, seven rebound performance on 8-10 shooting from the field. Whether it was in transition or in the pick-and-roll, Mot found his way to put the ball in the hoop with ease.
Making the game easier for Motley was Dennis Smith Jr., who had 10 points, seven assists, and four steals. Though he only shot 4-14, DSJ was always a threat driving to the basket, which freed up Motley down low.
— NBA TV (@NBATV) July 9, 2018
“Johnathan has always been an efficient player and he does a very good job at finishing at the rim,” Mosley said about Motley’s performance. “We challenged him to roll harder to the rim and he took that challenge on and we saw the result of that.”
“Just dominating the paint. Just doing what I do. Making sure everyone on the opposite team feels my presence,” Johnathan Motley said following the victory.
— NBA (@NBA) July 8, 2018
Though they were efficient inside, the Mavericks only shot 4-24 from downtown, including 1-11 from Smith Jr. and Jalen Brunson combined. This marked the second straight game that Brunson has struggled shooting from the floor but Mosley isn’t concerned with the mindset of his rookie point guard.
“That’s the thing about him, he’s a confident kid. He’s a winning kid. He has to continue to understand that as the game goes on, he gets better and better. Those same bricks he had early on, he figured it out. He’s getting there. That’s a plus.”
Mosley continued to speak on Brunson’s transition to the NBA game and emphasized ‘the process’, and no he wasn’t talking about Joel Embiid and the 76ers. He was explaining the journey that that Mavericks have undergone and what they’re trying to build as an organization with their young players.
“Everyone sees the result; he missed a couple of layups or he’s shooting a certain percentage. That’s okay because the process that we’ve talked about with our guys, of what we’re trying to build here; it’s the process. It’s the process of getting better. It’s the process of getting those shots and stepping in to those shots with confidence. It’s the process of getting on the floor and scrapping for each ball. That’s what we’re building.”
The Mavs will play again tonight against the Golden State Warriors in their last game before the teams are seeded for the Summer League tournament. Catch the game on NBA TV at 6:30pm CDT.
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