The Dallas Mavericks lost 106-105 to the Milwaukee Bucks. The game was incredibly strange but a ton of fun. The Mavericks had their four best dunks of the year. Maxi Kleber did a fantastic job defending Giannis Antetokounmpo. Doncic had on his Superman cape and Antetokounmpo fouled out. The Mavericks still managed to lose. Here are the stats to know.
8: Free throws the Mavericks missed in the fourth quarter
Spencer Dinwiddie made the first three free throw attempts of the fourth quarter. Then he missed one. Doncic split a pair. Josh Green made two in a row. Dwight Powell made the first of his two attempts. Then the Mavericks missed their last six free throws in a game they lost by one. Tim Hardaway Jr missed all three after missing two in the last game. Dorian Finney-Smith missed two free throws when the Bucks had to foul.
Free throw shooting is an ongoing struggle that the Mavericks have to fix. The previous iteration of the Mavericks was spoiled in this area because Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Terry were both all-time great clutch free throw shooters. The ability to close the game by making free throws is important. The Mavericks simply has to get better in this area.
33 and 11: Points and assists for Doncic
This game ended poorly but for large portions of the game, Doncic made it clear just how special he is. Doncic was the best player on the court in a game that featured his chief competition for best player in the league honors. Antetokounmpo worked his way to a good game despite a slow start, but Doncic was clearly the individual star of the night.
2: Blocks for Maxi Kleber and Finney-Smith
This number undersells how good both were defensively in this game. Antetokounmpo didn’t simply struggle on his own in the first half. He was limited by the teamwork of these two players doing a fantastic job to contain a force of nature. The game ended on an especially sour note for Finney-Smith, but the defensive structure that helped the Mavericks last season is returning. These two players are the core of that structure.
Overall, as poorly as this game ended, there are lots of positives the Mavericks can take away. Their guards have apparently had pogo sticks inserter in their shoes. The Mavericks showed many strengths and flaws which can be fixed.
You can listen to our latest podcast episode in the player embedded below, and to make sure you don’t miss a single one moving forward, subscribe to the Mavs Moneyball podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, Pocketcasts, or Castbox.
You can check our our After Dark Recap podcasts, Spotify Live recordings, Moneyball Minute shows, and guest shows on the Mavs Moneyball Podcast feed. Please subscribe, rate, and review.