In a close game against the Houston Rockets, the Dallas Mavericks walked away with a 1 point loss. Amid a game where offensive mistakes meant defensive success for both teams the game never seemed out of touch for either opponent. This head to head matchup this heated there’s bound to be things you learn from them so here are three takeaways.
The Mavs need to lock Jalen Brunson down NOW
In Brunson’s 24th start of the year, he posted an 18 point 7 rebound and 4 assist stat line. I’ve raved about his composure all year and it still stands out. Tonight Brunson once again shows he does the small things at an above average level. Tonight he consistently made the extra pass and sunk free throws when it mattered. Plus the box score shows he won a match up against an all-time great point guard in Chris Paul even he had an off shooting night.
Brunson already looks like a top 5 point guard out of his draft class. The 22-year-old rookie is the complete package for a backup lead guard. He’s top 15 among rookies in most statistical categories including minutes, points, assists, field goal and three-point percentage, and win shares. Whenever the Mavericks can extend him, they should pull the trigger before anyone else.
Mavericks need a lot of work
As constructed right now this Dallas Mavericks roster is very underwhelming. If Dallas is set on trying to keep their draft pick this year, they’re on the right track. This loss marks their fifth in a row yet this game was the best loss of the streak.
This current team does nothing well. Last month there was at least some fire between the baselines but tonight someone needed to thaw out the Mavericks.
The team looked disengaged
With less than 16 games to go in the season, most teams destinies are sealed and the Mavericks are one of them. Statistically there season is over and the Mavericks know it. Tonight they were competitive almost by default thanks to more than a few Rockets mishaps.
With all the missed assignments, lack of physicality, and questionable body language it’s obvious that the guys have checked out. When the team doesn’t notch up their intensity for an in-state rivalry the writing on the wall is not only visible but may be italicized and bold they’re packing it in.