Welp the Mavericks lost again, this time to the Nuggets in Denver on a shot at the buzzer of Nikola Jokic. Dallas loses 100-99 after playing a really good game for that, 34 minutes.
Let's just come to the good things since it's late and I'm cranky.
DAT DONCIC DOE
Luka had a very pedestrian fourth quarter as Mavericks coughed up a lead and when he only vigorously shot a basketball down in Denver's throat:
Mavericks spirals down the stands, but Luka wants Really win these games and it is very obvious. It sucks that his freestanding cheeks came up last time, which allowed Denver to go out on a jokal shot at the buzzer on the next game. Ugh.
Maverick's offensive cooking until they were and fell down
After a couple of wet offensive performances in the past week, Mavericks really fell against the Nuggets. The ball did not stick, Doncic picked up shots in the corners and the rest of the Mavericks around him took advantage of the space he gave them.
Everything seemed synchronized all night. Doncic would drive hard, pull a double, pass out to the perimeter and then only one or two passes later, the Mavericks were opened on the edge or behind the arc. Dallas was 12-of-37 from three but dropped significantly in fourth. They had five players in double numbers, which feels like it hasn't happened in months.
The pristine crime did not last when Mavericks stuffed things in the fourth quarter when the Nuggets turned up the pressure. Still, it was encouraging for most of the night, on the road in a tough environment against a good team.
A sweet game from Dirk Nowitzki, who had nine points on three 3-pointers. He looked very comfortable and made a third in the third quarter which helped to push Mavericks into a decent lead before things got tight in fourth. Momentum swinging Dirk three years still makes me feel things.
Dirk did not play in the fourth (still technically on the bench though) so he is now only 17 points away from Wilt Chamberlin in the scoring list. With two home games up next there is a decent chance Dirk may do this in Dallas.
Mavs needs more from Dorian Finney-Smith
I love Finney-Smith's games, his attention and his patience in defense. He's probably the best offensive rebounder on the team and while you wouldn't confuse him for a game master, he's good at keeping the ball moving.
If he could just hit a few three Finney-Smith showed a promise early and made three on an over average clip but he has been in a serious funk lately. He shot 22.6 percent from three since the All-Star race and went 0-for-3 from deep tonight. Here are his three monthly shares starting in December:
December: 30.3 percent
January: 32.6 percent
February: 25 percent
March: 28.6 percent.
It's just not good enough. It is very interesting to see how much Mavs pays Finney-Smith this summer, because the league is run with 3-and-D wings – Dallas desperately needs shooters that surround the delicious Luka and Kristaps Porzingis picks and rolls.