Since we’re now just beating up on the Dallas loss Friday night to the Houston Rockets the same way Russell Westbrook beat on Luka Doncic last night, we might as well take it a step further.
While sitting staring at nothing last night following the maddening ending, I started to think about experience and how this Dallas team has so little of it. There’s a misattributed C.S. Lewis quote I think about every time I make a mistake: “Experience; that most brutal of teachers. But when you learn, my God, do you learn.” One would think this applies to the Mavericks by now, but given how long basketball seasons are and how little time this group has really had together, it may just be something they figure out down the line into next season.
Then, while doom scrolling my twitter timeline, I suddenly remembered the following commercial:
Watch it. Watch it again. And maybe, perhaps, a third time. For one, it’s an incredible commercial and Bruce Campbell rules. Yet, if there’s one 60 second burst of dialogue that applies to the Mavericks, it’s this commercial. For those of you who can’t listen, here’s the text:
If you have it, you don’t need it. If you need it, you dont have it. if you have it, you need more of it. If you have more of it, you don’t need less of it. You need it to get it and you certainly need it to get more of it. But if you don’t already have any of it to begin with, you can’t get any of it to get started which means you really have no idea how to get any of it in the first place, do you? You can share it, sure. You can even stockpile it if you like, but you can’t fake it. Wanting it, needing it, wishing for it...
The point is, if you’ve never had any of it, ever, people just seem to know.
Screen flashes: “Experience is everything”
That last line really sticks it “people just seem to know.” Dallas tightens up in the fourth if the margin is reasonable and it’s starting to feel like quicksand. But they’ll get out of it eventually. Luka Doncic, as experienced as he is, is just 21. Kristaps Porzingis is a young man as well. They have time to learn and grow from these losses. This team is too good not to grow and improve.
Experience is the overarching problem with these Mavericks at the moment. It is the common thread between all the specifics, whether it’s Luka Doncic’s shooting, Carlisle calling plays for this particular group, or any other reason Dallas gives in post game availability.
We’ve touched on it repeatedly the last few weeks, that these youthful Mavericks are arguably a bit ahead of schedule. So this is largely harping on a problem that will work itself out given time and patience. It would be nice to see things turn for Dallas during this stretch run and in the playoffs, but it may not and that’s alright.
For now, it may be best to try to enjoy the right more than worrying about the destination. That’s a bit of an annoying platitude, but last night’s game was everything that’s great and maddening about sports rolled into one nice package. I love basketball and it’s an experience I relish now more than ever.