The Dallas Mavericks defeated the Los Angeles Clippers 110-104. Kyrie Irving began his career with the Mavericks with a win. He also showed off some of his dazzling offensive ability with fantastic finishes. He even chipped in with very good defense, though the Clippers made some difficult shots over him.
Reggie Bullock continued his recent hot shooting and looked like he did in the playoffs last season defensively. Josh Green did a little bit of everything as he continued to show the tremendous leap he has made this season. Most importantly he allowed the Mavericks to avoid double teaming Kawhi Leonard for most of the game.
Here are the stats to know:
24: Points scored by Irving
Irving is the biggest story of the evening. There were some hiccups as he expected cuts that his teammates didn’t make a few times resulting in five turnovers. But the offense was notably crisper than it has been in a while. The Clippers still have the ability to be a fantastic perimeter defensive team. The Mavericks still created a ton of open looks. Irving led the team in plus/minus at plus-11. All in all, this was a very good start for the Irving era in Dallas.
18: Points scored by Bullock
“Just like Novocain, give it time it always works,” Coach Boone said in Remember the Titans referring to his split veer offense. Bullock doesn’t run the split veer, but his shooting will always come around if you give it enough time. Yet again he started the season off incredibly slowly causing fans to grumble. Yet again as the season moves along, he has begun to shoot the ball very well. It is truly inexplicable why this happens. I do not know, nor does anyone else. But just like Coach Boone’s offense, it always works.
18: Turnovers by the Mavericks
The Mavericks looked a lot better tonight, but they threw some wild passes. One of the benefits of the ball always being in Luka Doncic’s hands is that he makes the right decisions. The Mavericks have to do a better job of taking care of the ball, and they will.
44: Rebounds for the Mavericks
The Mavericks outrebounded the Clippers by four, despite no player on the Mavericks having more than six rebounds. Irving was the low man among the starters with four. Dwight Powell led the starters with six, and the rest of the starters each had five. Christian Wood also had six and JaVale McGee had five in only seven minutes. The Mavericks are not a dominant rebounding team, but this is a blueprint for how they can compete on the boards as a team rather than relying on an individual dominant rebounder.
Overall, it was a good start to the Irving era with strong signs of things to come but also plenty of room for improvement.
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