As the trade deadline has passed, teams are focused on getting new pieces integrated within the team, like the Mavericks. While still building team chemistry within the new look group, Dallas had quite the test against MVP favorite Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks, who scored an impressive 80 points in the paint, leading to their 122-107 victory.
Points in the paint
After three straight games of holding their opponents under 100 points, the Bucks made sure to not let Dallas reach a fourth. Ranking second in the league with 117.8 points per game, you must have a perfect defensive game plan to hold them under 100, especially after watching them put up 148 points on Wednesday against the Wizards.
The Bucks did the brute of their scoring inside tonight with 80 points in the paint, a number that Rick Carlisle surely was not happy about.
“When you give up 80 points in the paint, which by the way, if that’s not an NBA record, I can’t imagine a game where someone scored more than 80 points in the paint, but maybe they did.”
Milwaukee has constructed a team around Giannis with the ultimate amount of space on the offensive end, which opens up driving lanes for Antetokounmpo and company to attack the cup.
“We can do better. I just know we can do better than this,” Carlisle said. “We’re small so we got to go harder. We got to be more resourceful, more persistent. That’s going to have to be our calling card with this group.”
It’s raining threes
When a team hits 22 three pointers, you might think that’s a game they should win, right? The Mavericks tied a franchise record with 22 makes from downtown, yet it wasn’t enough.
11 players contributed to the record-tying night, including 12 from the bench. Newly acquired Trey Burke came out firing from the bench, hitting 3/5 from deep and finishing with 18 points along with five rebounds and five assists.
“Coach just told me to be aggressive,” Burke said. “Felt good, just still trying to get in a rhythm with everything. It will take a little time to get on the same page with all the play calling so my job right now is to bring a lot energy, be aggressive offensively, get in the paint, and look for others.”
On the opposing side, the Bucks only hit 10 threes, but when you score 80 points in the paint, catching fire from deep isn’t so necessary.
Not much to see here
Did the Mavericks compete tonight? For the most part, sure. But, this is the team with the best record in the league with the likely MVP. Dallas just doesn’t stack up with a team like Milwaukee.
And that’s okay.
The rest of the season is about integrating our new players and really just letting Luka run the show to formulate how Dallas wants to build the future team around him and Porzingis.
But tonight, it’s a matter of one team being a championship contender, who was without an All-Star and a newly acquired role player, and the other team beginning to build their franchise puzzle.
X-ray on Luka’s left hand
Something to keep an eye on from tonight was Luka receiving an X-ray for a sore left hand after the game. It’s unknown how or when the injury occurred but this will be something to monitor tomorrow at practice.
The Mavericks have an early tip-off on Sunday at 2pm against the Portland Trail Blazers.
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