From Despair to Hope: Can the Mavericks Bounce Back in Game 2?

WriterJames Johnson

23 April 2024

From Despair to Hope: Can the Mavericks Bounce Back in Game 2?
  • Key takeaway one: The Clippers took a surprising 29-point lead in Game 1, showcasing their dominance over the Mavericks.
  • Key takeaway two: Despite a late comeback attempt, the Mavericks' role players struggled significantly, impacting the team's performance.
  • Key takeaway three: The Mavericks' success in Game 2 hinges on improved shooting from players other than Doncic and Irving.

Boy, that escalated quickly. I mean, that really got out of hand fast. It jumped up a notch. Before you could say, “You stay classy, San Diego,” the Los Angeles Clippers, who once played in San Diego, jumped out to a 29-point lead in Game 1 en route to a 109-97 win and a 1-0 series lead over the Dallas Mavericks.

Almost everything that could go wrong did for the Mavericks. Eventually, Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving woke up and mounted a comeback that would fall short. Too little, too late. While Doncic and Irving were able to shake off the rust, none of their teammates did. The big question heading into Game 2 isn’t whether or not Kawhi Leonard will suit up for L.A.; it’s whether the Mavericks’ role players will show up.

The Mavericks only scored 30 points in the first half of Game 1. Doncic and Irving accounted for 17 of those points. When Dallas poured in 34 points in the third quarter, Irving had 20, and Doncic had nine. Where were the other players, you ask? That’s a great question!

Dante Exum, Daniel Gafford, Tim Hardaway Jr., Derrick Jones Jr., Maxi Kleber, Dereck Lively II, and P.J. Washington shot 10-35 for the game — 28.5 percent. That’s not great. It’s bad. Very bad. Like, worse than Morbs bad. Yes, worse than Morbs exists, and it is terrifying.

To draw even in the series, the Mavericks need one or all of these players to revert to their regular season averages. Doncic and Irving will carry the load, but they can’t drag a bunch of bricklayers to the second round. They looked like Sisyphus pushing Jason Kidd’s contract extension up a hill in Game 1.

Shooting for everyone not named Doncic or Irving must improve. That’s it. F-G-M. That’s how you spell redemption in Game 2. The pressure is on, and the clock is ticking. Will the Mavericks' role players step up to the challenge, or will the Clippers' lead in the series continue to grow? Only time will tell, but one thing is for sure: Game 2 is shaping up to be a must-watch showdown.

About the author
James Johnson
James Johnson

James Johnson is a seasoned sports writer with a deep passion for American sports, particularly basketball. Known for his insightful analysis and engaging writing style, James brings a unique perspective to the world of sports journalism.

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