Bad from Dallas Mavericks first 2 games: Clutch time woes
The Mavs finished with the fourth-best record in the Western Conference last season, but they have struggled to win clutch games during the Luka Doncic era. Teams often sell out to stop number 77, and the supporting cast has not always knocked down open looks.
The Mavericks' negative-9.1 net rating in clutch situations was 25th in NBA last season. They were 15th in offensive rating at 108.8 and won 22 of their 38 clutch games, but their defensive rating of 117.8 ranked 27th.
Those clutch woes showed back up during the season opener in Phoenix. The Suns were down 15 with 8:31 left, and it looked like Christian Wood had put the final nail in the coffin by scoring 16 straight points, but Devin Booker and company had other ideas. Phoenix got hot and closed to within five points with five minutes left before completing the comeback. They rarely missed down the stretch, and the Mavs need to play better on both ends of the floor in clutch situations.
Dallas allowed a 185.7 defensive rating against the Suns in the final five minutes of that game, and their negative-85.7 net rating is shockingly only the second-worst in the league after just two games. Fans should be watching how Dallas performs in clutch situations closely as the season progresses, but the first close game could not have gone much worse for the Mavericks.