Letting a 19-point lead slip away Friday night was a reminder that the Mavericks still have work to do on their roster, writes Tim Cato of The Athletic. Dallas controlled much of Game 2 after building an early 26-10 lead, but couldn’t stop the Warriors when it mattered and now faces a 2-0 deficit in the Western Conference Finals.
Coach Jason Kidd only has six players that he can trust for significant minutes, Cato notes. Frank Ntilikina played just four minutes in Game 2 and didn’t score. Kidd tried Josh Green in the second half, but he missed the only shot he took in five minutes. Spencer Dinwiddie had four points and four turnovers as the Mavs’ bench was outscored by Golden State’s 36-13.
Having a healthy Tim Hardaway Jr. might ease the problem, but he’s still recovering after having foot surgery in February. Cato adds that Dallas needs another two-way wing who can match up with the Warriors’ collection of talent at that position, but the team doesn’t have a good option currently on the roster.
There’s more on the Mavericks:
- Kidd believes his team helped Golden State by taking too many three-point shots, per Tim McMahon of ESPN. Friday’s game turned around in the third quarter as the Mavs scored just 13 points and shot 2-of-13 from long distance. “If you make [threes], that’s great, but you just have to understand, if you miss four in a row, you can’t take the fifth,” Kidd said. “You’ve got to make it. That just puts too much stress on yourself and on your team because, if you’re not getting stops on the other end, it turns into a blowout.”
- The Warriors won by controlling the area near the basket on both ends of the court, according to Eddie Sefko of Mavs.com. Dallas was outscored in the paint, 62-30, and was out-rebounded by a 43-30 margin. “Small, small-ball,” Kidd said. “When you say the overall playoffs, we did start off without Luka (Doncic), who is our best rebounder. But just being small. Sometimes, we’ll give up the rebound to take advantage of the offensive side. But when we do win, we rebound the ball, and we have to do a better job of that.”
- Hardaway is the only player listed on the Mavs’ injury report for Game 3, tweets Callie Caplan of The Dallas Morning News, who adds that the stitches Reggie Bullock received in his right eyebrow and the lingering pain in Doncic’s right shoulder don’t appear to be serious concerns.