It’s always a show when the Lakers come to town, whether LeBron is playing or not. Tonight, luckily for the Mavericks, James remained in Los Angeles with an ailing hamstring strain, which surely would give Dallas an upper-hand, right? Well, in the first half, anyways.
Dallas blew a 12-point half time lead due to a 32-13 Lakers advantage in the third, which helped give the Mavs a disappointing 107-97 loss.
Another atrocious third quarter
This sure seems to have become a trend for Dallas as they were outscored 32-13 in the third quarter, relinquishing a 12-point half time lead and giving the Lakers the advantage heading into the fourth.
“They picked it up and we struggled. I give them a lot of credit for picking up their intensity and their defense,” Carlisle said postgame.
Miscommunication, turnovers, standing around on offense, not rotating defensively and what really seemed like a lack of effort and basketball IQ; must I go on? I’d call this one of the poorest showings for the Mavericks all season long, by far.
“They played way better defense in the second half and we didn’t move the ball as well as we did in the first half,” Luka said following a 26 point, eight rebound effort in the loss.
Let’s call a spade a spade; the Mavericks lacked effort in the second half as a unit. If we’re being honest, at times, it looked as if Luka was the only Maverick giving 100% effort. He looked absolutely exhausted walking to the locker room following the loss, and understandably so.
Must I mention that in the second half, the Mavericks scored a total of 30 points. Luka scored half of them. Case closed.
Hell, those predraft Kevin Durant comps for Brandon Ingram sure looked feasible tonight as he dropped an easy 29 points. Lonzo seemed to respond to criticism from Luke Walton as well, finishing with 21 points, seven rebounds, and five assists.
This type of effort and standing around on both ends of the floor aren’t going to cut it if the Mavs want to climb their way back into playoff contention.
No ball movement
12 assists and 18 turnovers. That’s a recipe for a loss at any level of basketball. A new season-low in assists at that.
“Well, we have to pass it more. There’s a tendency for it to stick with us and we have to get away from it,” Carlisle said of the lack of ball movement.
In the second half, it was clear that the Mavericks became complacent and the offense became stagnant due to players standing around and pounding the air out of the ball, leading to poor, missed shots and transition looks for the Lakers.
“I do agree that our ball movement is not what I hoped but we just have to keep working at it.”
“Yeah, I think I led the team in assists with three. You can’t win the game like that so hopefully it won’t happen again,” JJ Barea said postgame.
Where is Maxi Kleber?
We knew this was going to happen. When Dirk returned to the lineup, someone’s minutes were going to be sacrificed; Dwight Powell or Maxi Kleber. So far, it’s been Kleber’s minutes who have taken a hit. And that’s not a good thing for the Mavericks.
Kleber played just under five minutes tonight. You could say I almost broke the same sweat that Maxi did during the game.
“You know, I’d like to get all of our guys more burn,” Carlisle stated in classic form regarding Maxi’s playing time.
Kleber has definitively been one of the Mavericks most efficient players on both ends of the floor, especially his impact with the second unit on defense. I’d say his role on this team is a lot bigger and more important than most people may think and playing only five minutes isn’t good enough. Period.
The Mavs look to rebound on Wednesday as the Suns come to town.
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