4. Pit: Blowout loss to Clippers on the road
The Dallas Mavericks have not had a lot of bad losses through 23 games, and at 15-8, you wouldn't necessarily expect them to have many blowout losses at this juncture in the season given their placement at third in the Western Conference standings. Dallas has performed way better in the clutch this season, as their ability to finagle wins regardless of the situation in the fourth quarter has become an extremely underrated asset of this Mavericks team.
Nonetheless, every NBA team is bound to have an exposing, sum-of-all-fears type of loss every once in a while. Unfortunately for the Mavericks, their rendition of that sort of loss came against the LA Clippers on the Saturday right after Thanksgiving on November 26. It was the cliche Mavericks loss of 2022-23 that fans were haunted by all too often after Kyrie Irving joined the Mavericks last season.
Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving both played solid games even if they didn't shoot the ball spectacularly from outside as the pairing finished with a combined 56 points on 23-49 shooting from the field. Doncic and Irving played solid, but Dallas couldn't buy a shot otherwise as the game marked Dallas' lowest-scoring total of the year with 88 points. Dallas shot 37.4 percent as a team and only canned nine 3-pointers out of 38 attempts.
It should be noted that Dallas was missing rookie center Dereck Lively II in this contest and Dallas beat the Clippers in their first matchup this season at the AAC, but the Clippers were still acclimating James Harden at that point in the season.
The Mavericks have certainly gotten more from their role players from an offensive perspective in other games, as Derrick Jones Jr. has shown a lot of versatility on both sides of the ball after Dallas was plagued by one-dimensional 3-and-D wings last season.
However, against teams with elite length like the Clippers, Dallas will need to be more careful going forward, as a team with that kind of defensive prowess can certainly negate a lot of the activity created on offense by Mavericks' role players if they aren't completely locked in.