The Dallas Mavericks played their final game of the calendar year on Wednesday night, and after falling in blowout fashion to LaMelo Ball and the Charlotte Hornets 118-99 at the American Airlines Center, they will be looking forward to putting the year 2020 behind them and turning the page.
Dallas, which is coming off of an historic blowout win on Sunday night, looked like a shell of itself just 72 hours later. The defense was porous, the rebounding was putrid, and the offense was pedestrian.
As a team, Dallas allowed Charlotte to hit 50 percent from the floor, and just over 44-l percent from three, and they were once again crushed on the glass 50-44. To make things worse, virtually every player who saw the floor for the Hornets finished as a net positive in the plus/minus category.
Dallas, on the other hand, finished with every starter with a net negative of at least -20, while star Luka Doncic was one of two players finishing with a team-worst -27.
Offensively, the Mavs hit a mere 38 percent from the floor, made just 26.8 percent from three, and even struggled from the free-throw line, converting 19-33 attempts.
Kidd's Mid-Range Shooting Plan? A Failure vs. Hawks
The Dallas Mavericks had a shooting plan. In Game 1 of the NBA season? The winning Hawks had other ideas.
'Falling Flat': Doncic's Mavs Flop vs. Hawks In Opener
After a promising preseason, Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks fell flat in their NBA season opener on the road against Trae Young and the Atlanta Hawks, 113-87
'Surprise'?! Mavs' Kidd on NBA's 75th Anniversary Team
Shortly after pregame media availability, the Dallas Mavericks head coach is announced part of the NBA's 75th anniversary team.
Speaking of Doncic, the 21-year-old had easily his most disappointing game of the season to date, finishing with 12 points, two rebounds, and five assists, while hitting 4-10 from the floor and a dreadful 0-5 from three in 24 minutes.
“I’ve got to do way better,” he said. “I’m 21 in my third season and I can improve so much. So I’ve got to work on my shots every day, and if you keep working at it they’re going to fall in.”
For what it’s worth, between postgame Zoom calls with the media, Doncic was back on the AAC floor ... working on his shot, into the night.
For anyone who wants to pin this on one person or one thing, coach Rick Carlisle fired off a response.
“I’m not going to get into a thing about conditioning and whatever,” he said. “This is a team game. We got our asses kicked by a team that played hard ... It wasn’t fun. Let's keep our eye on the ball.”
Luckily for the Mavs (1-3), they will not see the floor again until the year 2021, when they welcome Jimmy Butler, Goran Dragic, and the Miami Heat (2-2) to Dallas for a New Year's Day matchup at the American Airlines Center.
Miami has won the last six matchups against the Mavs dating back to December 22, 2017, and leads the all-time series over Dallas 36-31.