Welp the Mavericks lost again, this time at the Nuggets in Denver in a knock on Nikola Jokic's bell. Dallas loses 100-99 after playing a good game for 34 minutes.
Let's move on to the good stuff since it's late and I'm irritable.
DAT DONCIC DOE
Luka was having a very fourth quarter pawn when the Mavericks lost an advantage and then forcibly pushed a ball down Denver's throat:
The Mavericks are spiraling down the rankings , but Luka really wants to win these games and it's very obvious. It sucks that his free shooting lips have risen for the last time, which has allowed Denver to walk if not on a Jokic shot at the buzzer of the next game. Uff.
The Mavericks offense was cooking, until they flickered and fell
After a couple of offensive offenses in the last week, the Mavericks were unleashed against the Nuggets. The ball was not attacking, Doncic was selecting shooters in the corners and the rest of the Mavericks around him were making good use of the space he was providing them.
Everything seemed to be synchronized all night. Doncic drove hard, draws a double, passes to the perimeter and then only one or two passes after the Mavericks open on the edge or behind the bow. Dallas was 12-on-37 by three, but was notably reduced in the fourth. They had five players in double figures, which seems not to have happened in months
The original offense didn't last, as the Mavericks clogged things in the fourth quarter when the Nuggets put up the pressure. Despite this, he was encouraging for most of the evening, in a difficult environment against a good team.
A sweet game by Dirk Nowitzki, who had nine points on three 3-pointers. He looked very comfortable and made a third in the third quarter that helped push the Mavericks to a decent advantage before things got tight in the fourth. Momentum swinging Dirk threes still makes me feel things.
Dirk didn't play in the fourth (he still has a coach on the bench) so now he's only 17 points behind Wilt Chamberlin on the list of all-time scores. With two successive home games there is a fair chance that Dirk will do this in Dallas.
Mavs needs more from Dorian Finney-Smith
I love the game of Finney-Smith, his behavior and his tenacity in defense. He is probably the best offensive rebounder on the team and, even if you don't confuse him with a playmaker, he is very good at keeping the ball moving.
If only he could hit some three. Finney-Smith showed some promises in the beginning, doing triples in a clip above average, but lately he had a bad funk. It picks up 22.6% from three since the All-Star break and has gone to 0-for-3 from the depths of tonight. Here are its monthly percentages from three starting in December:
This it's not good enough. It will be really interesting to see how much the Mavs pay Finney-Smith this summer, because the league is studded with wings without 3s and Ds – Dallas desperately needs shooters to surround those tasty Luka and Kristaps Porzingis dishes.