There’s an old adage in sports that defense wins championships, and if that’s the case, the Dallas Mavericks will struggle to win big.
After allowing 136 and 140 points in two losses to the Blazers over the weekend, Dallas’ defensive struggles continued on Wednesday night when they fell to the Hawks 130-122 at American Airlines Center.
With the loss, the Mavs have lost three straight and five of their last six.
Dallas allowed the Hawks to shoot 57% from the floor and 50% from three-point range.
Luka Doncic, who had a game-high tying 30 points, four rebounds, and eight assists against the Hawks, wished he had answers.
“I wish I knew,” Doncic said. “If I knew, we wouldn’t struggle.”
During their three-game losing streak, the Mavs have averaged 121.3 points per game, but they’ve allowed 135.3 points per contest.
According to Doncic, the Mavs are scoring enough, but they need to put more effort into defense.
“I think our offense is fine,” he said. “We scored 122. That’s good. They scored 130. We’re good on offense. We just have to make sure we put in the same effort on defense.”
Mavs head coach Jason Kidd says it doesn’t matter how many points the team scores; if the team doesn’t defend, they won’t win.
“If it’s with this personnel, you have to keep asking or demanding for those guys to play defense,” he said. “It’s not, you know, just the offensive end, and tonight, again, we gave up 130. The team shot 57 percent … It’s a shootaround. You know, in this case, in this league, you do that no matter if you have Luka [Dončić], or Kareem [Abdul-Jabbar] or Lebron [James], you’re going to lose. It doesn’t matter how many points you score; you’re always going to be short. And so until we put a better effort into playing defense and understanding what we have to do, then we’re going to score 120, but we’re going to give up 130 and 140.”
Dallas recently got back two of their better defenders in Dorian Finney-Smith and Josh Green, waiting for another of their top defenders, Maxi Kleber, to return. However, Dallas has to figure it out on the defensive end, or Kidd’s right; they will score a bunch of points and give up even more.