The Mavericks are once again one game under .500 on the season after losing to a bad Indiana Pacers team 106-93 Friday night in Indianapolis.
Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis shouldered most of the scoring load, as the Mavericks role players came up empty once again. The Mavericks continue to struggle offensively and the team couldn’t get the stops it needed down the stretch to compensate.
Here are the numbers that stood out.
6: Combined points scored from the three starters around Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis
While the Mavericks bring two starter-worthy players off the bench in Jalen Brunson and Tim Hardaway Jr., it’s still completely embarrassing to get that little production out of the starters next to the Mavericks two stars.
The six points are bad enough — the trio of Reggie Bullock, Dorian Finney-Smith and Dwight Powell only combined for 12 rebounds, three assists, one steal and one block. The trio went scoreless in the first half and only took a combined six shots for the game. It is simply unacceptable for a starter like Finney-Smith to play 38 minutes and score four points. That’s not on Finney-Smith, but an indictment on the piss-poor job the Mavericks front office has done the last three years.
Dallas loses a lot of games like this, which is just another reminder of the talent deficiency the Mavericks face every game.
2: Shots made in the paint in the second half for Luka Doncic
Doncic was brilliant in the first half, a perfect 5-of-5 from the paint and looking much better attacking the rim, along with some good screens set by Dwight Powell and cleaner Mavericks spacing. The second half, well, not so much.
Luka shot 2-of-6 in the paint in the second half, as the Pacers tightened things up defensively, along with some extremely questionable Mavericks offense. At times Luka looked absolutely gassed, as he once again shouldered almost all of the offensive responsibility while he was on the floor. In one sequence in the second half, Luka and Kristaps Porzingis basically ran into each other near the elbow and it forced Luka to pass out to Maxi Kleber for a desperation heave at the end of the shot clock.
What the F*CK am I watching pic.twitter.com/MCz9vMKLQp— Panda Hank (I want the Mavs to be good again) (@pandahank41) December 11, 2021
It’s game 25, we’re well over a quarter into the season — the Mavericks offense cannot keep doing things like this.
-21: Kristaps Porzingis’ plus-minus for the game
Box score plus-minus is an unreliable stat, as it requires much more context in terms of what type of lineup the player was in, the game situation and so on. It’s not best to look at it and think anything of it, unless you dig into why it could have been that way.
For Porzingis, this minus-21 felt somewhat earned. He had a terrific first half, shooting 6-of-9 from the field and scoring 14 points. He finished with 22 and just did not have the same impact in the second half. The Mavericks guards don’t do Porzingis any favors, but he also missed all three of his three pointers in the second half, as his three point shooting struggles continue.
Also Domantas Sabonis and Myles Turner had their way with the Mavericks all game. Both had double-doubles, with Sabonis scoring 23 points on 13 shots and Turner scoring 17 on 11. Porzingis had two rebounds in 30 minutes. His front court mates Dwight Powell and Maxi Kleber did him zero favors, but Porzingis needs to be better for the Mavericks to win this game.
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