Dallas Mavericks: Examining late game struggles and how offense changes

Tyler Watts
Dallas Mavericks Luka Doncic (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Dallas Mavericks Luka Doncic (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /
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Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic
Dallas Mavericks Luka Doncic (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /

Dallas Mavericks struggle when slowing things down

The Mavs started to slow things down after P.J. Tucker missed a 3-pointer with 2:31 remaining. It seemed like a smart thing to do. The Mavericks were up six. They wanted to hold onto that lead, and shrinking the possessions is one way to do it.

Slowing things down involved Luka Doncic holding the ball until about ten seconds left on the shot clock before getting into their offense. The Mavs scored on one of five possessions the 21-year-old superstar did this against the Rockets. The only make was a wide-open corner 3-pointer by Maxi Kleber.

This season, the Mavericks are 16 of 48 from the field in the final two minutes when they are ahead or tied according to NBA Stats. Of those 48, 23 come with less than seven seconds remaining on the shot clock. Dallas had made just nine of those. Luka has five of the nine.

They continue to shoot under 40 percent in the final two minutes when they are ahead or tied. It happened again against the Rockets. The Mavericks do not make shots when they slow things down. Kristaps Porzingis echoed that in his postgame presser. See his quote below.

"“I think we should have stayed more offensive-minded, the way we were the whole game. At the end, we tried to slow it down and the pressure was up obviously. We tried to slow it down and just cruise and win that game. Or maybe not lose that game. That was maybe our mindset a little bit. We just have to go out there and keep playing aggressively and attack.”"

Doncic did go to work quickly and scored a lay-in with 1:37 remaining in the game. There were still 14 seconds left on the shot clock when it went in. The Mavs rewarded themselves by continuing to run their offense. That may be something to think about moving forward.

Next: Stopping Doncic

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