The Dallas Mavericks saw their five-game winning streak come to an end Tuesday night at the hands of the Los Angeles Clippers.
Dallas struggled on both ends of the floor in this one. However, defense felt to be the main culprit in this 114-99 defeat.
The Mavericks Fall to the Clippers
Struggles on the Glass
Not only did Dallas struggle a lot of the night defensively, but they struggled to protect their own glass. In the game, the Clippers pulled down 17 offensive rebounds.
That was good for 31.5 percent of the available rebounds while the Clippers were on the court.
there wasn’t really one player Dallas couldn’t keep off the glass. It was many different players grabbing either three or four offensive rebounds.
Rebounding has been a struggle for Dallas so far this season, but if they are going to take the next step as a team and be viewed as a serious contender, it is something they are going to have to get better at.
They are good enough to get away with it against a good amount of teams. However, against the league’s best teams, it has proven to be a real weak spot.
Lack of Bench Production
This Dallas bench has been something the team has been able to lean on so far this season. That wasn’t the case in this one, however. In defense of the Mavericks bench, the Clippers do have the best bench in the league, and that was true last season.
As most teams do, Dallas struggled especially to defend Montrezl Harrell and Lou Williams. Williams went for 21 points, six rebounds, and six assists, while Harrell went for 12 points and seven rebounds.
The game was largely over at that point though.
Don’t expect this bench to continue getting outplayed like this. This has shown to be a quality bench so far this season, but the Clippers bench is just at a different level.
Stars Being Outplayed
There were several reasons Dallas lost this game, but the NBA is a star-driven league, and the duo of Paul George and Kawhi Leonard simply outplayed the duo of Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis in this game.
Doncic finished with 22 points, eight rebounds, and six assists, but he had to get those points going 14/16 from the free-throw line, as he was 0/8 from three. Porzingis was able to put up a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds. He, however, only went 4/13 from the field.
On the other side, Paul George went for 26 points and grabbed six steals. While Kawhi Leonard got off to a slow start, George scored 17 points in the first quarter. Following that, Leonard was able to carry the load, going for 28 points on 11/21 shooting while grabbing eight rebounds.
It doesn’t go much further than the Mavericks stars being outplayed by the Clippers stars. The George and Leonard duo is at a different-level defensively, and Porzingis is still trying to gain his rhythm after not playing at all last season. This game can be a good learning experience for Doncic and Porzingis.
The Mavericks Lose to the Clippers: Overall Thoughts
This was a tough loss for Dallas to suffer after putting together a five-game winning streak. However, it’s still November and Dallas is still 11-6. So they are in a good position even with this loss.
This just needs to be a game they learn from that while they are a good team, there’s still another level this team needs to reach if they want to be taken seriously as a contender.
Next up is a three-game road trip starting in Phoenix and then heading to Los Angeles to play the Lakers before the road-trip concludes against the Pelicans in New Orleans.
Top Photo: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images/AFP