Lack of Energy Dooms Mavs in Loss to Celtics; Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown Out-Duel Luka Doncic, Kyrie Irving

If you’re going to beat the best team in the NBA, you must bring the correct energy for all four quarters, and the Dallas Mavericks failed to do that against the Boston Celtics on Monday night.

Although the Boston Celtics are the best team in the league, the Dallas Mavericks had a significant rest advantage on Monday night when the two teams met at American Airlines Center. Dallas was coming off four days of rest, while Boston was playing on the second night of a back-to-back and its third game in four nights.

Despite that advantage for the Mavs, though, it was the Celtics that looked like the more energetic and engaged team for most of the game, and they ultimately came away with a 119-110 road win.

Luka Doncic finished with 33 points, 18 rebounds, 13 assists and two steals, but that stat line doesn’t tell the story of his struggles against the hard-nosed Celtics defense. Doncic shot just 12-30 from the field, including 2-8 from deep and 7-11 from the free-throw line. He also ended up being a team-worst -13 in the box score plus/minus.

Dallas could’ve used some better production from key role players like Grant Williams and Derrick Jones Jr., who combined for seven points on 3-12 shooting, but when your superstar isn’t firing on all cylinders, it’s hard to win against a team like Boston.

Kyrie Irving provided Doncic with some support by putting up 23 points, six rebounds, three assists and two steals while shooting 9-20 overall, and Tim Hardaway Jr. finished with 20 points off the bench on 8-13 shooting.

“I think we were just a little bit frustrated with the officiating and we lost our focus,” Mavs head coach Jason Kidd said. “We’ve got to be better.”

Too many times this season have we seen the Mavs lacking focus and energy, and at some point, Kidd will have to take the responsibility of reeling his team back in instead of letting the lull go on for multiple quarters. After a decent first quarter, the wheels fell off Dallas’ defense in the second quarter, losing the period, 41-33. The Mavs then came out of halftime and lost the third quarter, 29-24, and by the time they tried to make a run in the fourth, it was too late.

 

 

Gideon Canice

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