That’s not good enough, in Jason Kidd’s view.
The lack of consistent outside shooting is what caused the Mavericks to slip, losing three of their last four and five of their eight.
They haven’t won a road game since October 27th, although you can’t do that against them because they’ve only played three games since then. They’ll have two prongs to get out of that slump over the weekend, in Toronto and Milwaukee.
The sad part of Wednesday’s 112-125 loss to the Boston Celtics is that the Mavericks played very salty ball in the second half. Whether or not the Celtics got off the gas can be debated, but the Mavericks were an Al Horford three-pointer away from making this very interesting in the final three minutes.
“We did a lot of good things in that second half, and got a lot of good looks,” Kidd said. “We’ve said this over and over again. We got a good look. Shooters don’t shoot at a high clip now.
“But what I loved about Luca was that he kept driving. He kept talking in the huddle to still believe and trust each other. And those guys on the ground did. It wasn’t pretty, but Luca kept us in the game and C-Wood did a great job too, performing.” At both ends.”
More on Luka Dončić and Christian Wood in a moment.
But the key to the Mavericks if you want to spin this forward is that they didn’t explode when they could have.
“We just have to stick together, and figure it out,” Luca said. “Obviously we didn’t win, but I’m proud of them. We stayed together when we were 27 in a place like the Garden, which is not easy. That was the key to the future.”
The Mavericks are hoping — no, expecting — to warm up from the three-point line. They can’t succeed with Tim Hardaway Jr. shooting 30 percent from the arc, Reggie Bullock shooting 29.5 percent and Doncic shooting 29.4 percent.
These are three of the three oversized point takers.
They need to become the three point makers too.
Here are our other conclusions from the loss in Boston.
make contact: Dončić had an impressive second half, collecting 39 of the Mavericks’ 63 points. A large number of Luca’s eight assists in the second half went to Wood. In the fourth quarter, they had 20 of the 27 points scored by Dallas. Is this the kind of run that will move McGee to the starting lineup in Toronto? Only Kidd and the coaching staff know the answer to this question for sure. But he hinted after the match that changes are always being considered. And when you lose three out of four, it magnifies the problems in the eyes of armchair keepers across the MFFL nation. “They have a great connection,” Kidd said. “They did a great job against one of the best teams in the league. Hopefully we can grow from this and we can get those two in Toronto.” I’m not sure if you should read anything into that last statement, but it’s clear that Kidd wants to stop these losses from mounting and if a lineup change can be such low-level shock therapy for this team, can it hurt? Luca looks like he’s all for it. “For me, it’s easy,” Luca said of playing with Wood. “Just pass the ball to him and he will do a lot of good things. He was great for us. He will do that many times.”
This is just in good Boston: You didn’t get the best record in the NBA by accident. Heck, the Celtics are 13-0 against everyone outside of Cleveland and Chicago (1-4 against those two). Jason Tatum scored 37 points and grabbed 13 rebounds, which turned out to be a regular night for him. “This is a team that’s been together for quite some time,” Kidd said. “They understand their roles. They can shoot all three. Don’t just take it, shoot it at a high clip. Tatum plays at MVP (level). (Jaylen) Brown is right behind him. Then (Marcus) Smart makes the plays. They’re selfless and it’s hard Warn them when you look at Boston and Golden State when they keep moving, one of them will be open. They just make the right plays.” Something the Mavericks can do. They just need to do it more consistently.
What is the real problem: A lot of the Mavericks are foreign-born players who didn’t grow up celebrating Thanksgiving. But they all know it, and what it represents. They know it’s not just an opportunity to get a big turkey and marinade meal. For Luka Dončić, he started early on Thanksgiving before Wednesday’s game. He spotted a young boy with a sign that said he had beaten cancer. Luca approached him and handed him the shoes he had been wearing during the early warm-up. “That’s it,” he said. “I even got a little emotional. But to be able to help him through the process means everything to me. That’s it.” This does not detract from what Luca did during the match. His 42 points, nine assists, and eight rebounds were impressive. But what he did earlier had an even greater impact.