Losing to the Indiana Pacers in the way the Dallas Mavericks did last night was utterly embarrassing. The Mavs were healthy. The Pacers are dealing with some internal strife. The Mavs got to play with their normal head coach. Indiana’s normal head coach was out with COVID. The Mavs have Luka Doncic. The Pacers don’t. The Pacers are potentially embarking on a rebuild. The Mavs claim to be trying to win a championship.
The worst part of the game, though, wasn’t the final score. It wasn’t the moment I realized the Mavs were going to lose. It wasn’t Kristaps Porzingis missing a wide-open Reggie Bullock for an easy layup.
The worst part of the game was when the Mavericks got punked by undrafted, third-year bench player Oshae Brissett. That’s right! Let’s set the scene.
There were seven minutes and 33 seconds left on the clock in the second period. It was approximately 8:17 p.m. EST (I actually have no idea what time it was). The Mavericks were down 36-34, about to inbound the ball. Mavericks fans were tense but cautiously optimistic. My dog, Prince, was asleep on the couch.
What started out as a seemingly normal inbounds play, quickly turned disastrous for Dallas.
Caris LeVert got his hands on the inbounds pass that was intended for Porzingis. LeVert gathered the ball, and quickly got it up the court to a sprinting Oshae Brissett in the open court. Brissett caught the ball, took one dribble, and leaped for the stars with the ball in his right hand. Then, he proceeded to put his left hand behind his head, imitating the famous Mailman dunk while throwing down a vicious one-handed slam.
Check it out for yourself:
The Mailman dunk is a legendary showboat move. It’s one of the coolest in-game dunks you can do. And an undrafted, third-year bench player felt confident enough against the Mavs do it to them. The bench appropriately reacted by all imitating the Mailman pose themselves.
This wasn’t Blake Griffin. This wasn’t Zach LaVine. This wasn’t LeBron James. This wasn’t the Mailman himself. This was Oshae Brissett, absolutely feeling himself up two points against the Mavs.
This play is representative of this entire Mavs season. The Mavs are flat-out punkable. They aren’t intimidating to play. They don’t dominate you on the court. They let you Mailman dunk on them in the second quarter of an early December Friday game.
Let me be clear, I don’t hold anything against Brissett for this dunk. Kudos to him for making an awesome play and getting the bench and the fans involved in the game. The Mavericks could use a guy like him. He brought the energy all night, crashing the glass and making timely plays. He was a difference-maker. I blame the Mavs for allowing a team like the Pacers to feel confident enough in this sort of game to pull something like that off. This is a game the Mavs should’ve been in control of from tip-off to the final buzzer.
I don’t know where the Mavs will go from here, but let’s hope they start playing well enough to not get punked by undrafted bench players. That would be cool.
Here’s our latest episode of Mavs Moneyball After Dark. If you’re unable to see the embed below, click here to be taken to the podcast directly. Or go to your favorite podcast app and search Mavs Moneyball Podcast.