The Dallas Mavericks fell to the Minnesota Timberwolves Thursday night in Dallas, losing 119-101. The Mavericks began the game on a dominant 17-to-2 run with Luka Doncic establishing himself as big poppa Doncic once again. Unfortunately, the Mavericks could not do anything well after that. The Mavericks were outscored 117-to-84 after the first three and a half minutes.
The Timberwolves made more threes and grabbed 11 more rebounds than the Mavericks as a team. Doncic was visibly frustrated with the Timberwolves defense and some questionable no calls. He picked up yet another technical, which puts him on track for another possible suspension late in the season. The Mavericks simply weren’t good enough, but they did compete, and that matters.
Here are three thoughts from the game:
Doncic needs teammates to make shots
Doncic is one of the greatest offensive engines in the history of basketball. He can score for himself and create for his teammates. But the quality of the looks he creates for his teammates does not matter if they miss.
Everyone has bad shooting games. Tim Hardaway Jr, Derrick Jones Jr and Grant Williams combined to go 2-for-20 from three-point range. They have to be better.
Derrick Jones Jr. was phenomenal defensively
Anthony Edwards is an elite offensive player who can get to the basket at will, as well as score from deep. The Mavericks have historically struggled with those types of players, but Jones did a great job of limiting Edwards. He finished the game 3-for-19 from the field and scored nine points.
Dante Exum is here to stay
Exum had yet another good game. He chipped in 14 points, four rebounds and four assists. He even made 2-of-3 three pointers. Exum does a little bit of everything and his emergence will allow the Mavericks to play Williams in a more talent appropriate bench role once all of the Mavericks are healthy.
Overall, the Mavericks were simply outclassed by a bigger, better team. Those problems were exacerbated by the team struggling so much shooting. There will be better days ahead.