5 Takeaways from the Dallas Mavericks 103-114 loss to LeBron and the Lakers in Los Angeles Friday night.
1.) Harrison Barnes is a monster!
Harrison Barnes is a monster but he needs a facilitator to involve the rest of the team. HB is a very good ISO basketball player and as you saw last night he could put up 30 points (almost) on any team. The problem is the style of play that allows him to score is also the type that cuts the rest of the team off. When he’s not being used as the primary scorer he adapts and tends to involve the rest of the team but when the other starters aren’t knocking down their shots he’s not the one that’s going to get them back in the groove. This isn’t a knock on Barnes, getting the rest of the team back on track isn’t really his job. The simple breakdown: If Barnes’ points are coming from ISO you probably won’t win the game with this mavs team. If Barnes’ points are coming from ball movement you leave L.A. with a W.
2.) This was a classic tale of two halves.
This year the Lakers have earned a reputation of starting games hot out of the gate. I’m sure this is the reason that the Mavericks (who have a tendency to start slow) tried to throw a lot of energy on the court at the beginning of this game. It worked, after the first quarter they had outscored the Lakers by 10 and continued to increase their lead through the beginning of the second quarter. Unfortunately, they were outscored in every subsequent quarter and eventually lost their lead in the 3rd. We also learned late in the 4th quarter that apparently officials do not like being called a “disaster” when JJ Barea was quickly and comically ejected.
3.) Dammit, I miss Tyson Chandler.
Remember when management thought he was too old to pay big money? They wanted to keep the powder dry for big name free agents. Then they bring him back and let him go again. Why do the Mavericks keep doing this? He’s an invaluable asset to every team he’s played for and he just put up 13 pts and 12 rebounds against us off the bench 7 years after Donnie Nelson thought he might be getting too old to be productive.
4.) Rough night from 3 point range.
We have too many athletes on this team to be throwing up 39 3-pointers on a night that they just aren’t falling. The Mavs average almost 36% beyond the arc this year, last night they were shooting only 25%. Honestly, the percentage is only that high because Harrison Barnes was 4-6 from three, the rest of the team was a dismal 18% from downtown. When the shots are not falling this team needs to use that athleticism to drive to the basket, which will eventually lead to easier and more wide open shots from outside.
5.) Off night for Luka
This was by far the worst performance we have seen from Luka and he still led the team in assists, blocks, and steals. That’s pretty damn impressive. Back-to-back blocks on Lebron kind of makes me forget that he went 0-5 from beyond the arc and 2-13 total.
Luka and the Mavs will have a chance to rebound from this performance Sunday night at home where they are 8-2 so far this season against the 1 seed in the Western Conference, LA Clippers.