The Dallas Mavericks got blown out by the Golden State Warriors Tuesday night, 112-87. Klay Thompson led Golden State, pouring in 23 points on 9 of 15 shooting. Dirk Nowitzki led an outgunned Mavericks squad with 16 points and 9 rebounds.
Both teams opened the game fairly cold with each team missing their first two shots. Dallas finally settled down some by isolating Steph Curry on Wesley Matthews on a wing post up. From there, Matthews forced the defense to commit to help which freed up Seth Curry on one play and Yogi Ferrell a few possessions later. The Mavericks seemed to suprise the Warriors early, keeping pace by bombing from downtown early and often. The Mavericks took their first lead of the game on a pair of Harris Barnes free throws. Second chance looks paired with the devastating Jose Juan Barea-Nerlens Noel pick and roll kept Dallas ahead for the majority of the quarter. A pair of late threes from Steph Curry and Draymond Green pulled the Warriors back within two, but Dallas led after one 30-28. Six different Mavericks hit a three pointer in the period.
The second period saw the Mavericks hold onto the lead for the first half of the quarter until the Warriors blew the doors of Dallas to close out the half. The Warrior role players kept Golden State in the game with timely buckets every time Dallas attempted to build on the lead, with Ian Clark and David West making key plays. The Warriors took the lead after a Salah Mejri goal tend and would not trail again. A one point lead quickly ballooned to 16 points. The Mavericks were able to whittle the lead down to 12 as Golden State took a 62-50 point lead into the half.
Golden State opened the quarter by metaphorically punching the Mavericks in the mouth, scoring seven straight to build the lead to 19. Dallas would repeatedly whittle the lead down to 13 or so points but the Warriors always found a way to inch the lead up again. Insult became injury around the five minute mark when Zaza Pachulia scored in transition to put Golden State up 20. The Mavericks again trimmed the Warrior lead down to 13, but Golden State exploded down the stretch to take a 91-71 lead into the fourth quarter.
The final period didn’t get any better. The Warriors continued to score. The Mavericks did not. The Dallas Mavericks fall to Golden State, 112-87.
The Mavericks should consider sitting Wesley Matthews for a few games.
Matthews seems to be the player most fans take out their team frustrations on. He’s a gutsy player who fights hard every game. But despite posting a pretty good stat line, he just looks awful lately. His shots are forced, he’s sloppy with ball handling, and every time he hits the deck he gets up gingerly. There isn’t a ton of downside in terms of sitting Matthews right now, particularly since the Mavericks have other options to soak up some of those minutes (hey Nicolas Brussino hey). Maybe the Mavericks should consider letting Matthews heal up a bit from the grind of the season.
What is the long term role of Yogi Ferrell?
He’s been decidedly mediocre for weeks now. Which is perfectly fine. He’s a former Development League player that Dallas signed to a really reasonable contract. He’s outperformed his value many times over already.
But I’m still very curious as to his longer term role with the Mavericks because he’s really not a starting point guard. He’s got that Mike James bug in him where he decides to not pass the ball in obvious situations (like, he needs to see on film how often he misses an open Dirk). Then in other situations he passes up WIDE open looks. He’s certainly a rotation guard, but this larger sample size as a starter has not definitively indicated that it’s his best role on a good team.
Harrison Barnes really needs to get to the line.
This particular issue has been discussed at length in previous recaps, in articles, and in the comments. We featured a great story today on the topic, in fact.
Barnes’ shooting performance against the Warriors is illustrative of how Barnes needs to find ways to get to the line if he wants to make the next leap. Barnes will not always hit the mid range shot (on display against Golden State). What’s important is that he find ways to get to the rim and draw fouls. He actually attempted a number of drives against the Warriors, yet managed a mere two attempts from the line. While I think it;s safe to chalk tonight’s performance up to solid Warriors defense, this remains the number one thing to watch in Barnes’ development moving forward.