As Luka Doncic was ruled out before the game for stiff lower back, this game against a middle Eastern conference team instantly became much more difficult. Kristaps Porzingis has played some of his best games against Indiana, so there was some hope that Dallas could muster enough to take home the victory, but falling from beyond the arc ultimately meant the Mavericks’ offense didn’t have the ball. juice I needed. It looked like they could come back when they came up to four 84-80 early in the quarter, but from then on it was all Indiana.
The Pacers got contributions up and down the rotation. Six players scored in double digits and were led by the 22-point nights of Malcom Brogdon and Domantas Sabonis. Porzingis showed real effort and had his first double-double in the first half of his career with 15 points and 13 rebounds. He finished at 31 and 18 and had a solid defensive game, particularly as the Mavs were giving one last chance in the fourth.
Make or lose the league
While the Pacers matched a season high from beyond the arc, making 20 as a team with 40 +% clip, the Mavericks were nothing short of horrible. Going 8-35 isn’t going to be enough for a team built around being able to outperform the competition, despite an offseason attempt to shore up on the defensive end.
It’s a shame as the Mavericks really won the rebounding battle and matched Indy’s shooting total with both teams scoring 38 field goals from the court, but the Pacers’ power from center kept this game from being too competitive. .
A complete KP showcase
Porzingis led all scorers in the game with 31. That’s just one point short of the 32 total points contributed by the remaining starters. It was a given that in a game without Luka, Kristaps was going to have to take on much of the offense, but that kind of disparity doesn’t bode well in terms of winning.
In addition to his contributions on the offensive side, Porzingis also played tough on defense grabbing boards. 7 of his 18 total rebounds were of the offensive variety, and he drew a heavy load late in the quarter when Dallas tried to fight his way back into the game. Unfortunately, it was not enough. There are nits to choose from about KP’s game, but they generally pale in comparison to how bad shooting night was for the rest of the team. Without Luka, players just weren’t getting the quality look they need for this team to be a superior offense.
Does it seem like it’s nothing?
Maybe it’s just a case of changing some of the deep bench rotation and not having JJ Redick with the team yet, but we had an early sighting of Josh Green in this game and he played… not bad!
He checked into the game in the second quarter and played well on defense with the kind of energy you expect from youngsters trying to carve out a few minutes of rotation. He saved a rebound from going out of bounds, nearly caught a steal, and was generally a blight. His y-1 cube was a nice cherry on top of his 6 minute outing.
He reappeared at the end of the quarter when the game was out of control and achieved another garbage time and -1, making it +1 skill point to finish through contact.