Uninspired passing. Uninspired play all around.— Mavs Moneyball (@mavsmoneyball) December 10, 2013
That basically sums up a pretty horrible night for the Mavs. Here's how it went down:
With Blair again starting at center for the Mavs, they went to...well, I would say work, but not so much. The Kings mostly had their way with the Mavs in the first, with Isaiah Thomas getting any shot he wanted. Dallas was running out some interesting lineups trying to get things going, with Mekel/Crowder/James/Vince/Marion at one point -- but nothing seemed to be working out. Monta Ellis on Jimmer Fredette seemed to make up for a little towards the end of the quarter, and the Mavs would end the first down 23-34.
The Mavs would figure things out for a while in the second though, thanks to some good hard work by Bernard James, and cut the lead to single digits about four minutes in - and go ahead about halfway through. Despite keeping it close for a lot of the quarter, the offense went back to looking totally confused with a few horrible sequences and some bizarre plays, the quarter ended with Cousins free throws and the Mavs down by 10. Cousins would end the half already with a double-double.
Coming out swinging in the third, the Mavs would get the lead back down a little before letting the Kings have their way with them, going down 20 at one point. Dallas simply could not buy a shot, had zero flow, zero defense, and no ability to take care of the ball -- just atrocious.
The fourth quarter didn't see much improvement from the third, with the lineup a few minutes in actually Larkin/Dirk/Crowder/Ellington/Sarge. Basically the white flag lineup minus Dirk. The deficit went up to 23. I may have started crying a little. (Okay, that part's not true. But it HAS been a rough night for Dallas sports, give me a break.)
The Mavs would go on to lose, 97-112.
As I mentioned in the preview earlier, the Kings have played hard in every game and the Mavs simply could not judge them on their record. This was a Mavs team that looked lost against a Kings team that seemed young and energized. It sounds like a broken record but bears repeating: if the Mavs want to get anywhere this season, they cannot go into these games underestimating their opponent, they have to find SOMETHING on defense, and they must keep up with the other team on scoring. Basically, on a night where the Kings went out and had fun and scored a bunch, the Mavs didn't have an answer.
Cry yourself out in the comments below. They've got the Warriors on the road in two days.