Expect coach Rick Carlisle to work his Dallas Mavericks hard after a embarrassing defeat to the Los Angeles Lakers. The Mavs came into last night’s game looking to go 2-1 on their home stand but the Lakers had other plans.
Los Angeles finally wins one on the road for the first time this year and they did it with ease. They demolished the Mavs 115-89. Dallas fell as much as 37 points in the game and they never had a shot in coming back.
Who’s to blame for such a embarrassing lost? Players? Coaches? The answer is: Both. First with the players.
It is sad when the leading scorer for the team did not come from their starting line-up but from their bench. Vince Carter lead the team with 16 points with Jae Crowder right behind him with 15 points. The fact that the leading scorers came from the bench is not a bad thing. The issue here is the three point shooting.
They have to face facts that when they are down three point shooting is not going to save them. They were 10-28 from behind the arc. That could have been the main reason why the Mavs never made a comeback. They got nervous and frustrated, so they decided to try to get themselves out of it by shooting three’s.
It was not just the shooting that the Mavs were having trouble with. it was pretty much everything. The rebounding, the turnovers and the points in the paint. Actually the turnovers were not as bad as it has been and the Lakers turned the ball over more than Dallas did last night. However, the 19 turnovers compare to the Mavs 14 was not much of a different in the outcome, obviously.
Another question that Mavs fans and players need to ask themselves is that is Carlisle doing enough to build up the chemistry on this team? Also is the decision on his rotation a good one?
The game on Wednesday against the New York Knicks the Mavs benched Elton Brand from the starting line-up and they eventually won the game. Last night he was put back in the starting role and again was not a factor.
He only played 17 scoreless minutes with only four rebounds and a block. If Carlisle keeps putting Brand in the starting rotation with him not even producing on the court then his coaching decision will need to come into question.
Even though they lost horribly, Carlisle gets a pass for this one. At least for now.
Another decision that I question is putting Brandan Wright as the starting center instead of Chris Kaman. I know that Wright can have some streaks during a game, but he is still not a consistent player. Although, Kaman did not have a good game coming off the bench with only four points in 24 minutes of play. It could have been the fact that he was not starting.
Both Kaman and Brand are starters and know that with the Mavs they will not start in every game. However, at least one of them needs to have that starter role. Since Brand has yet to prove to Dallas that he deserves a spot then that starting role needs to go to Kaman.
If he starts in last night’s game then maybe Kaman would not have a poor performance. Who knows? Last night was a game that I hope for the Mavs perspective it will not happen again. Yes, every team goes through a night where nothing is going their way, but the way it happened was something that is hard to get over.
Now the Mavs face a difficult task ahead of them. Their next 11 of 15 games are on the road. With Dirk Nowitzki still aiming for a mid-December return the Mavs are going to need to patch everything up quick before they find themselves in a big ditch. A ditch not even Nowitzki can help the team get out of.