Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks didn't exactly start off the 2020-2021 NBA season with the holiday spirit they had hoped to, as they lost to the Phoenix Suns, 106-102. Doncic finished with an impressive 32-point, eight-rebound, five-assist stat line, but he only shot 11-of-26 from the field, and the Mavs as a team shot an abysmal 9-of-37 from three.
"That was my bad,'' said Doncic of the Mavs' inability to execute down the stretch - something that plagued them often last season. "I got to stop taking these very bad shots. It wasn’t just the last one. There were a couple there.
“It’s not good for me. It’s not good for the team. And I got to change it.''
As noble as it is for Doncic to shoulder all of the blame for the Mavs loss to the Suns, there were a number other of reasons why Dallas couldn't pull through, including: the teams woeful shooting as a whole, no other Maverick aside from Doncic being able to score more than 12 points, and, in our opinion, Rick Carlisle opting to go with Maxi Kleber over Willie Cauley-Stein in the final three minutes of the game, despite the team playing much better in the limited time Cauley-Stein was on the court.
Luckily for the Mavs, though, they have a short turnaround and will have a chance to get into the win column with a primetime Christmas Day matchup against LeBron James, Anthony Davis and the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers. Will Doncic bounce back against his idol? Can the Mavs do anything at all to slow down Anthony Davis? Obviously, it's entirely too early to panic over one early loss, but how will we feel if the Mavs were to start out 0-3 after these upcoming games against the Lakers and Clippers?
All of this and much more is discussed on this week's episode of the Mavs Step Back Podcast:
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