The Dallas Mavericks fell to the Memphis Grizzlies at home on Friday night, losing 108-94. Desmond Bane torched Dallas to the tune of 30 points. Grant Williams and Derrick Jones Jr. were the high scorers for Dallas in defeat with 16 each.
With the Dallas Mavericks missing Luka Doncic and Tim Hardaway Jr., it seemed like an ideal game for certain Dallas players to shine with more opportunity against a downtrodden Memphis team. Unfortunately, the first quarter ended up being a rough start. Poor defense plagued Dallas and Desmond Bane and Jaylen Nowell took full advantage, scoring easily. After one quarter, the Mavericks found themselves down 28-20.
Lucky for Dallas, the Grizzlies were playing even deeper into their bench than Dallas due to injuries and an offensive flurry from Josh Green helped Dallas get back within a basket, which forced a Memphis timeout. The Grizzlies responded, building their lead to its largest point in the game to that point, exploiting sloppy play from Dallas. It didn’t get better for Dallas though, with awful play on offense from every Maverick that touched the ball. The Mavericks went down by a many as 19 in the frame but entered halftime, 59-44.
The Mavericks attempted multiple runs in the third quarter to make it more of a basketball game. The first time, they closed the gap to nine only for Desmond Bane and Santi Aldama to answer and push the lead back up to 15. A quick flurry of scoring from Memphis turnovers cut it down to seven at just under the five-minute mark. The Mavericks chipped and chipped, led by a strong Seth Curry effort, but they couldn’t close the gap any tighter than seven and finished the third quarter down 79-72.
One would hope the Dallas Mavericks could’ve rallied back, but despite closing it to as few as six points, the Mavericks didn’t have enough... well, anything and ended up getting blown out. I’d write about the fourth quarter, but it was pretty maddening past the nine-minute mark where Dallas let a six point deficit turn into a 16-point one in just three minutes. Dallas lost this ugly game 108-94.
Now, some thoughts:
The Dallas Mavericks are too small
This will be a recurring thing in these recaps until they do something about it, which might not be this season. Without Doncic, Dante Exum, or Tim Hardaway Jr. Dallas ended up playing ultra-small for large portions of the game to no avail. Every offensive run they’d go on with solid shot making from their smaller skill players would get answered on the other end as someone like David Roddy would big boy whatever Maverick guarded him.
It’s unfortunate too that Dereck Lively II had one of those games where he reminded everyone he’s a 19-year-old. As he’s the lone player with size in most line ups these days, when he has a less-than-spectacular game, it really shows.
Jason Kidd needs to use timeouts more productively
This was the sort of game where as a fan I call into question whether Jason Kidd knows how to use a timeout or call a play. Dallas called two timeouts in the first half, one at the 2:45 mark of the first quarter, and one at the 3:16 mark at the second quarter (and I presume it’s one of those he use or lose). He then called one more at the 10:08 point of the fourth quarter. That’s no timeout in the third, for those following along at home.
Teams are granted SEVEN. What is he holding on to them for? Dallas got down in the second quarter by 19 points and he called one timeout as that lead built. The Mavericks were clearly having trouble scoring, you’d think he might call something to get an easy bucket. It never happened.
I know he wants sports reporters to write something positive and since we’re making requests, please use a timeout and do something with it.
The “Kyrie Irving make some baskets” challenge
Our second star shot 3-of-15 tonight, easily his worst shooting performance on the season. After tonight’s game, Irving is shooting 131 for 288 on the year, and that 45.4% from the floor would be among the lowest in his career if stretched over the season. I say that largely because I think a massive positive regression is coming at some point; I thought it had arrived already after his two-game performance in Los Angeles. Unfortunately, tonight proved me wrong.