3 thoughts after Dallas Mavericks embarrassed by Cleveland Cavaliers, 114-96 – .

3 thoughts after Dallas Mavericks embarrassed by Cleveland Cavaliers, 114-96 – .

The Dallas Mavericks fell at home Monday night to the Cleveland Cavaliers, being ousted 114-96. Jarrett Allen pummeled the Mavericks, scoring 28 points and catching 14. Luka Doncic recorded a triple double in the loss, with 25 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists.

Things started off fast and furiously with the Jarrett Allen-Luka Doncic duel we all expected (what). With Doncic’s setbacks and Allen’s dunks, neither team had a clue how to defend the other team. Then the season streak unfolded for Kristaps Porzingis:

The intense pace continued for the rest of the frame, with neither team managing to gain the advantage until the end of the frame, when the Cavaliers advanced seven in the dying seconds on a Darius Garland bucket. . The Mavericks found themselves down 30-23 after a quarter.

Porzingis helped lead the charge to start the second quarter, coming back to two points almost immediately. But a bad turnover from Reggie Bullock led to a Lauri Markkanen three. This continued what was to become a 9-0 Cavalier race that lasted almost three minutes before a save by Doncic stemmed the tide. Cleveland maintained that nine-point lead, but couldn’t extend it either, missing several bunnies. A frustrated Luka buried his fourth three of the game to reduce the lead to 44-38 with about three minutes left in the period. The Mavericks continued their streak of the season missing every open shot imaginable (the non-Luka Mavericks only touched one of 16 threes at halftime) and Dallas fell behind after 24 minutes, 52 -41.

Dallas started the third by taking advantage of more silly Cleveland turnovers, scoring twice in the paint. Still, Dallas couldn’t seem to stop and the Cavaliers restored their lead to double digits. Doncic hit three back-to-back shots to bring Dallas down to under-seven. Doncic had a chance to reduce the lead to five, but couldn’t hit a pair of free throws for the second time in the game. Then the Mavericks got stuck in the mud, again, offensively and Cleveland poured it out, leading up to 24. Doncic tried to bring the Mavericks back in, but Dallas got no response. Porzingis injured his ankle on the final play of the quarterback and the Mavericks ended up down 87-65.

Things remained embarrassing for Dallas in the fourth quarter, with more Cleveland dunks, poor Mavericks defense and very little attack from the guys in blue. Dallas gave up after eight minutes, playing from the back of the bench. Everyone just tried to come out of the game without any injuries, and the Mavericks fell to the Cavaliers, 114-96

Now some thoughts

The Mavericks lack joy

I’ve probably written about this before, but there’s a scene in The substitutes where they talk about the concept of quicksand for professional athletes. If you’ve never seen him, give him a watch. The basic idea is that for certain levels of professionals, mainly the marginalized, when things start again, they often go so badly that it is impossible to get out of it.

For a significant part of the Maverick roster, it feels like the team is stuck in quicksand one way or another. Those last seven games were always going to be tough and they came out of the 2-5 streak, with Luka missing three games, Jalen Brunson missing time, and then Porzingis getting injured at the very end. The rest of the list, theoretically on the verge of stepping up, just doesn’t, or at least doesn’t, have enough to make a difference.

The Mavericks’ record is not bad, but these last two losses really leave a bad taste.

Shooters cannot shoot

Part of the joy comes from the fact that no one can shoot anymore. There are 19 games and so many of these great Dallas shooters are just terrible. Tim Hardaway Jr. and Reggie Bullock went 3 of 16 for six points between the two of them. Non-Luka Mavericks finished the game 5 of 28 on three.

I don’t know what to say about it. There isn’t really any criticism or analysis going on here. I saw the same data as all of you, on the quality of the appearance. It does not matter ! It’s maddening. And that plays a huge role in the Mavericks’ joyless appearance. Their offense fuels their defense and when they’re not scoring everything else seems to go out the window.

Dallas bigs are too limited

Again, this is something we know, but when you go up against some really good big men at Allen and Mobley, it stands out. As much as the Mavericks have stepped out of their big-man rotation over the past two plus seasons, the book is more or less written about how to attack them. After Kristaps Porzingis, every big Dallas is so limited in a really obvious way (including Maxi Kleber, who is quite good and absolutely should play the most minutes of all the options). It’s such a shame that the reception (owner) seems to think it’s good enough.

Here is our last episode of Mavs Moneyball after dark. If you are unable to see the integration below, click here to go directly to the podcast. Or go to your favorite podcast app and search for Mavs Moneyball Podcast.


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