Game 1 of the second round was not kind to the Dallas Mavericks on Monday night.
When the final whistle blew, the Mavs were down 121-114 to the number-one seed Phoenix Suns.
From the very first tip-off, the Suns were in control of the game and were consistently making their shots, spacing the floor, and also swatting down Dallas with their defense.
What went wrong for Dallas?
Luka Doncic: "Our defense lost us the game today. I think our start on the defensive end was terrible, and we’ve got to change that. I know we can play way better defense, and I know we will."
— Callie Caplan (@CallieCaplan) May 3, 2022
The team’s star, Luka Doncic, has an idea.
Speaking to the press after the loss, Doncic said, “Our defense lost us the game today. I think our start on the defensive end was terrible, and we’ve got to change that. I know we can play way better defense, and I know we will.”
Doncic isn’t wrong – but will his team really correct the issues that sank them?
Damage Done To Dallas
Doncic was completely right about one thing: his team’s defense was pretty awful.
The game started off on the wrong foot for the Mavs: the Suns started the game with a 9-0 run and soon that lead was turned into 20-6.
It was obvious that the Mavericks weren’t able to stop the Suns.
In fact, there were six Suns players in double-digits.
That being said, there are some bright spots for Dallas, such as Doncic putting up 45 points.
Additionally, the team started to make it close towards the end of the game and some of the rotations were looking good, such as Dorian Finney-Smith playing like a center.
The Suns are obviously the odds-on favorites for this series, especially after Game 1, but that doesn’t mean the Mavs can’t figure their opponents out and turn things around.