The defeat capped off a 2-2 week for the Mavericks that keeps them two games over .500. It also keeps the Mavs at No. 10 in this week's power rankings from Sports Illustrated.
"Dallas lost to one of the worst teams in the NBA in its first game this season without Dončić," SI writes. "The league’s highest-usage player took a night off to rest, and the Mavericks managed just 92 points against the Rockets, hardly a defensive juggernaut. It was still a 2–2 week for the team with a win over the Clippers and a split against the Nuggets. In October, Dallas led the league in offensive rating. It’s down to No. 21 so far in November and No. 11 for the season. Dončić still leads the league in scoring (33.5 ppg), but even he can only do so much."
It's clear that the Mavs will go as far as Dončić will take them. Last season, with Jalen Brunson alongside him in the backcourt, the Mavericks had another creator who could shoulder those playmaking abilities when Dončić sat on the bench. However, the slack isn't being picked up enough by the supporting cast, and until Dallas finds another player to step up (Christian Wood maybe?), the Mavericks won't be able to compete like they did last year.
The Mavs are on the road this week facing the Boston Celtics (Wed.), Toronto Raptors (Sat.) and Milwaukee Bucks (Sun.).
You can follow Jeremy Brener on Twitter @JeremyBrener.
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