The Mavs Keep Fucking Up

I’ve said all along the only playoff matchup I’m scared of is the Clippers, and unfortunately that means a one-and-done for the Mavs this year because we are locked in as the 7 seed to play them. Climbing the standings was an uphill battle to start with because we had already played three extra games and our win percentage was inelastic relative to everyone else’s. We had a reasonable shot to overcome that but were undone by the same problems that kept knocking us down pre-covid.

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Friday night vs houston was about as must win as these games can get and we looked to be cruising for most of it. 85 points in the first half! We had a surefire 7 point lead with 45 seconds left, but ended up choking in a manner all too familiar with our woes from normalcy era.

Trash defense and trash rebounding (ultimately lost because we couldn’t rebound a missed free throw with 3 seconds left) are the obvious culprits for our clutch time issues, but the offense is surprisingly a major issue too. We have the #1 ranked offense in the league, possibly in league history stats-wise, but in clutch time that rating plummets to #29 (out of 30). How is that even possible?

The first is an over reliance on threes – over 50% of our shots come from behind the arc in clutch time. We hit 21.4% of those, down from 36.8% normally. We don’t have another ball handler to take pressure off of Luka, and he’s way overconfident in his step back when trying to overcome that extra attention. When we do get open looks, we’re not as confident in hitting them. Most concerning though is the free throw issues…

Brutal. Luka definitely needs to improve before he graduates from just goat-in-training status. Seth Curry is also perplexing because he’s the second best three point shooter of all time. He missed one that would’ve iced the game on Friday and now probably won’t be able to make up for it until next year.

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Last night against the trash ass Suns, we looked to be cruising to a laugher again until deciding to take the third quarter off. The same thing happened vs Phoenix earlier this year and it was another all too common problem from the normalcy era.

Because these issues are mostly mental, and considering we didn’t have these problems two years ago with a lesser roster, I thought the happiest team on earth could’ve used all these bubble factors to make some noise and kickstart the dynasty talk up a year. Alas, we will have to wait.