The Dallas Mavericks lost the season opener 106-102 to the Phoenix Suns. The Mavericks simply got off to a slow start and couldn't get into much of an offensive groove. There were chances to win in the clutch, but the Mavs still seem to be haunted by those demons. Here are a few numbers that stuck out to me from the season opener:
1. Luka Doncic: 36 points, 8 rebounds and 5 assists.
It was a slow, sloppy start to the game for the 21-year-old MVP favorite. Luka started the game 0-of-8 from the field. Early on, it did not seem that he had his usual touch around the rim, struggling to make the easy ones in the paint. He ended the night with respectable numbers, numbers that most NBA players would love, but it wasn't good enough as the Mavs start the season 0-1.
10-of-12 from the free throw line. That is a very much a welcomed sight for those that have followed Luka’s career so far in the NBA... a career 74 percent free throw shooter.
0-of-6 from three point land, including a miss in clutch time when the Mavs needed it most. For a player who seems to always get whatever he wants when attacking the paint, any struggles from the three point line are going to frustrate Mavs fans. Luka owned up to the poor shot selection after the game during the media session. We’ll see if anything changes going forward.
2. No other Mavericks player scored more than 12 points
Josh Richardson, Tim Hardaway Jr. and Jalen Brunson all tied as the second leading scorers with 12 points. Dallas absolutely needs more offensive production from these guys and others, especially since Kristaps Porzingis is sidelined for the next few games. Can Richardson or Hardaway step up and be that 18-plus point scorer a night alongside Luka? I think so. Can Maxi shoot better than 28 percent from 3? I think so. It just needs to happen.
3. Devin Booker: 8 turnovers
It was sloppy game all around. I’d be lying if I said the Suns’ 18 turnovers were all because of this new and improved Mavs defense we've been hearing all about. BUT, I will say Josh Richardson passed the eye test when it came to his on-ball defending of Devin Booker and Chris Paul. He will continue to partner with Dorian Finney-Smith guarding the best guards on the opposing team. If the Mavs can fix some of their offensive woes they experienced in this game going forward, look for the defense of Josh Richardson to help influence many wins this season for the Mavs.