Mavs Notes: Slump, Doncic, Brunson, Protest

Dallas’ recent slide down the standings went from bad to worse on Friday night as the Mavericks dropped a game to the lowly Hornets and were met with loud boos from their home fans in the third quarter when they fell behind by 18 points, writes Tim MacMahon of ESPN.

Most of the Mavericks’ recent losses have come with at least one of Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving unavailable, but both stars played on Friday as the club fell out of the top 10 in the Western Conference. The 36-38 Mavs now hold the No. 11 spot, putting them at least temporarily out of the play-in picture in the West.

According to ESPN, Dallas entered the game as a 16-point favorite, which made the eight-point Hornets victory the biggest upset of the NBA season so far. Head coach Jason Kidd described his team’s effort as “dog s–t” and said the Mavs probably should have been booed in the first quarter rather than the third, per MacMahon.

“The interest level wasn’t high,” Kidd said. “It was just disappointing.”

Here’s more on the struggling Mavs:

  • Doncic said after Friday’s game that he’s as frustrated now as he has been at any point since entering the NBA, MacMahon relays. “I think you can see it with me on the court,” Doncic said. “Sometimes I don’t feel it’s me. I’m just being out there. I used to have really fun, smiling on court, but it’s just been so frustrating for a lot of reasons, not just basketball.” Asked to clarify his “not just basketball” comment, the All-NBA guard cited issues in his personal life, MacMahon adds.
  • In an interview with Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report, Knicks guard Jalen Brunson expressed some regrets about the way his final year in Dallas played out, noting that he expected to be a Maverick for a long time and wishes things “would’ve happened differently.”
  • According to Haynes, Brunson would have been willing to sign the same four-year, $55.6MM extension that Dorian Finney-Smith got from Dallas if the team had offered it prior to the 2021/22 season instead of waiting until after the 2022 trade deadline. “There were two times that I thought we had offers on the table before the season, and then around, I think December or January, they looked the other way,” Brunson said. “They had every right in the world to do so. I don’t blame them for making any business decisions. That’s on them.”
  • The Mavericks officially submitted the paperwork and paid the $10K fee to formally protest Wednesday’s loss to the Warriors, tweets Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News. Appearing on ESPN’s Get Up (YouTube video link), Brian Windhorst explained why the Mavs shouldn’t count on the protest being successful.
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