3 observations after Dallas Mavericks blowout and loss to Washington Wizards, 113-105
The Dallas Mavericks The Dallas Mavericks can do anything against a short-handed team as they lose for the second night of back-to-backs. Washington Wizards 113-105. The Wizards were going into the game without Kristaps Porzingis and Bradley Beal. Knowing this Dallas team’s history of underestimating opponents, we should have known we were in for a long night.
Kyle Kuzma led the Wizards with 36 points. Rui Hachimura added 23 points off the bench to add to their winning formula on the night. Spencer Dinwiddie had a great follow-up from his performance in Orlando on Wednesday night, with a team-high 33 points, including 7-12 from three. Luka Doncic finished with 22 points on 8-22 shooting from the floor. The Mavs were outscored 52-36 points and shots in the paint and a terrible 61.9% on their free throws, with Luca shooting 3-9 on the night.
The story of the first quarter was a hot start from beyond the arc. The Mavericks shot 7-13 from deep. Spencer Dinwiddie led Orlando to a 29-point performance with 12 points in the first. Luca, who led the league in first-quarter scoring, didn’t have his first bucket until the 5:00 mark. After one, the Mavericks were up 34-28.
The Wizards overcame a 14-point deficit in the first to take a 40-39 lead after a pullup by Will Burton at the 9:01 mark. Frank Ntilikina made his season debut when he checked in with 7:32 left in the 2nd quarter. Frank went 0-3 with two rebounds and one assist in his start. Tim Hardaway Jr. continued to provide instant offense off the bench for the Mavericks, with 10 points, including three threes. Kyle Kuzma was 7-11 from the field with 18 points at halftime. Spencer Dinwiddie also had 18 points to lead the Mavs as they held off the Wizards 61-58 at the half.
In Orlando, the Mavericks forced 19 turnovers that they converted into just 10 points. Against the Wizards, the Mavericks committed nine turnovers in the first half, which resulted in 15 Dallas points.
The Mavericks forced 4 team fouls in 1:43 of the 3rd quarter but shot only four free throws after that first gift from the Wizards. A Rui Hachimura 3-pointer tied the game at 74-74. Luca hit a wild rainbow three at 3:41 but got a technical foul less than a minute later. After the technical, the Wizards finished the 3rd quarter on an 8-3 run and took a four-point lead, 87-83, going into the fourth quarter.
The start of the fourth quarter was a disaster, to say the least. The Wizards started the frame on an 11-3 run and quickly established a twelve point lead. Once the Wizards get to double digits, the closest the Mavs will come to closing the gap is nine. The Mavericks played lazy basketball to end the game and left Washington DC with another loss, falling to the Wizards, 113-105.
Unusual basketball team
Mavericks have this annoying habit of not taking games seriously, especially if the game or the opponent is not on the big stage. Understandably, the Mavericks were playing one after the other, but the Wizards were down two of their best players and the Mavericks still didn’t take this night seriously.
Defense can’t always be so bad, right?
It’s hard to understand how the Mavericks could lose to a team without their best players, but what’s worse is how it’s happening. Teams are cooking the Mavericks in the paint, and it seems even worse trying everything else defensively. There has to be some concern for Maxi Kleber, for example, a guy who has been so valuable to defenses for years, finding it in rotations. Maybe it’s a communication and repetition thing for the whole team, but it’s ugly now. It’s extremely disappointing to see Daniel Gafford creamed in the paint.
Luca won’t come for Christmas
During pregame, Jason Kidd addressed the media about Luke’s usage this season.
Jason asked Kidd about Luke’s insane usage rate to start the season. This is a concern. “People will say he’s 23,” Kidd said. “But, he’s human.” At this rate, Kidd said, Doncic could hit a physical/mental wall around Christmas.
— David Aldridge (@davidaldridgedc) November 10, 2022
Knowing that this comment is coming straight from your head coach is not the Christmas present I wanted or wanted. But, let’s hope Luka Doncic can defy all the odds and deliver a Christmas miracle; Otherwise, it could be a long year for the Mavericks.
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