The Mavericks technically played a basketball game Friday night in Houston, defeating the Rockets 130-106 in what felt more like a rec center scrimmage than a professional basketball game. At no point in the entire 48 minutes did the Rockets threaten to make this a competitive basketball game. Dallas has now won five in a row.
Seemingly every Maverick that played Friday night contributed in some manner. Tim Hardaway Jr. led the way with 19 points, but four additional Mavericks also scored in double figures, with three of those five scoring at least 15 points.
Dallas led 80-60 at halftime and the Rockets defense was compromised throughout. The Mavericks came out in the third quarter and continued to thrive, with no signs of letting up. It was easily the most comfortable win the Mavericks have had all season, despite missing Luka Doncic with an ankle sprain and missing Kristaps Porzingis and coach Jason Kidd due to health and safety protocols.
Let’s get to what we observed:
The Mavericks took care of business
Before we mention how crappy the Rockets are and how they played some of the worst defense I’ve seen in the NBA, credit to the Mavericks for jumping out on a bad team and never relenting.
Last season the Mavericks had a problem with playing down to the level of their opponent and losing to bad teams. The Rockets are a bad team, but they never stooped down to the Rockets level on Friday night. The Mavericks executed their offense, the Rockets defense seemingly jumped out of the way and the Mavericks gladly took the points and the easy win.
With no Luka, no Kristaps and no Kidd, it would have been very easy for this game to be significantly more trouble than it should have. Give major credit to the players for not letting that happen.
Josh Green scored a career high in one half!
Not only was this Josh Green’s career high in points and his first double-digit scoring game of his career, he did it all in the first half! For a young player that has struggled to score (while showing other skills), it was amazing to see him score 11 points in eight minutes in the first half.
Green finished with 17 points, five rebounds, two assists, and two steals. It was a really nice game for Green and he took advantage of playing against a crappy team. More please!
Holy hell, the Rockets are bad
In a year of really bad defenses, the Rockets take the cake. I don’t know if I’ve seen an NBA team play worse defense than this Rockets team, who allowed a Mavericks team missing their two best scorers to put up one of their best offensive nights of the season. They let Josh Green score 17 points! They should be regulated.
What was particularly embarrassing was how easy it came for Dallas. The Mavericks didn’t do anything complex, but seemingly got whatever they wanted after their first action. Sometimes all it took was one screen and the Mavericks had a layup or a dunk. Sometimes they didn’t even need a screen! Wow, that was amazing(ly bad).
I like a lot of the Rockets young talent and Stephen Silas seems like a helluva guy and a better coach, but good grief. Houston was doo doo dog butt tonight.
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.