2. Pit: Loss to Grizzlies with Luka Doncic out
Luka Doncic has only missed one game this entire season despite being listed on the injury report numerous times through 23 contests so far for Dallas.
Doncic's excuse for missing the one game? His fiancée and he announced the birth of his newborn daughter the day the Dallas took on the Memphis Grizzlies on December 1.
Funny enough, fellow teammate Dante Exum missed the same game against the Grizzlies for precisely the same reason, as he welcomed the birth of his newborn daughter as well.
Nonetheless, the Mavericks that were playing on that same Friday night versus the Grizzlies can't be looked past for having played one of their worst games of the season. Dallas had a hard time generating anything offensively, and Memphis did a great job of face-guarding and trapping Kyrie Irving.
Irving had his worst performance of the season as he finished with just 10 points on 3-15 shooting from the field. The rest of the Mavericks followed accordingly, as the Mavericks shot a collective 12-39 from 3-point range in the game. The Grizzlies were 5-13 the first time they faced Dallas and have fared just 1-3 since as they eagerly anticipate the return of star guard Ja Morant.
Memphis has struggled from a playmaking perspective this year, so it was especially disappointing that Dallas couldn't get the job done despite getting Jaren Jackson Jr. in foul trouble all night. The Grizzlies game showed that Dallas can be severely hampered from an offensive creation standpoint if one of Doncic or Irving isn't playing. Luckily for Dallas though, Dante Exum has been stepping up in the starting lineup to a premium for the ever since Irving's injury against Portland.