Just like last season, the Dallas Mavericks came into their final matchup against the San Antonio Spurs with a chance to sweep the season series, and just like last season, they failed to do so. With the game tied at 117-all, DeMar DeRozan put the final mid-range dagger into the Mavs with 0.5 seconds left to put the Spurs up 119-117 for good.
After being killed by DeRozan in the entire second half, the fact that the Mavs opted to not send a double-team his way on the final shot was puzzling.
"Just to clarify on the DeRozan last shot, we talked about the possibility of going, but we elected not to,” said head coach Rick Carlisle afterwards.
“We elected to let DoeDoe [Finney-Smith] guard him straight up. In hindsight, we obviously should have gone with that, and that’s on me. That’s my decision."
The Mavs got great production from both of their stars on Sunday night, with Luka Doncic scoring 29 points and seven assists, and Kristaps Porzingis putting up 31 points, 15 rebounds and three assists. Unfortunately, though, Porzingis' night was cut short when he fouled out in the final stretch of the fourth quarter.
Despite the great numbers from Dallas' two stars, the Mavs weren't able to overcome the off shooting nights from their dynamic bench duo of Tim Hardaway Jr. and Jalen Brunson. Hardaway Jr. went 0-for-5 from the field and scored just two points in 22 minutes. He was also a team-worst minus-17 in the boxscore plus-minus. Brunson shot 4-for-15 from the field for 11 points.
Defensively, the Mavs really suffered from not having Maxi Kleber on the floor. DeRozan and Dejounte Murray had their way against the Mavs, combining for 58 points and shooting a combined 24-for-42 from the field. DeRozan, who put in 33 points and eight assists on his own, is going to be an unrestricted free agent this offseason. The 32-year-old should definitely be on Dallas' wishlist. DeRozan would provide Doncic with another high-level ballhandler and would take a lot of pressure off of him in late game situations.
Dallas, now 29-23 on the season, will now shift its focus to the Philadelphia 76ers on the second night of a back-to-back in what could very likely be J.J. Redick's much-anticipated Mavs debut. If he does play, Redick's fresh legs could provide the Mavs with a much needed offensive spark against a really good defensive team.
CONTINUE READING: How Bad is Luka Doncic's Technical Foul Trouble?