4 Things We Learned: The Dallas Mavericks fell to the Houston Rockets, 101-92

The Dallas Mavericks Lost 101-92 to Houston Rockets Wednesday evening. The Mavericks were without everything superstar Luka Doncic as Doncic was resting after the Mavericks played a game that was much closer than it should have been against Los Angeles Clippers the night before. Without their captain, and with their remaining players suffering from tired legs, the Mavericks may have played their worst game of the season.

Playing 41 minutes against the Clippers, Spencer Dinwiddie clearly didn’t have his legs. Facu Campazzo got his first long run of the season and provided a spark of energy early on. His ball movement triggered a Mavericks offense that was stuck in the mud. Unfortunately, the Rockets realized who he was and simply stopped guarding him. This resulted in Campazzo having to make some important tackles late in the third quarter. They were not even close to entering. Campazzo epitomized the NBA catchphrase “open for a reason” late in this game.

Reggie Bullock was coming off his best game of the season against the Clippers. He arguably played his worst tonight as he was scoreless on six shots in 32 minutes of action. The Mavericks took 102 pitches but only hit 31. This was such a huge loss, there is simply no way around that.

These are the things we learned.

Doncic’s dominance on the ball is justified

There is an ongoing chicken-or-egg debate as to whether other Mavericks are limited by the amount of ball Doncic has, or if he has so much ball because they are limited. It should be clear after watching this match that he has the ball because they are limited. With him unavailable, the Mavericks simply could not create a credible NBA offense resulting in an astonishing 19 blocks run by the Rockets.

Reggie Bullock is going through more than one early annual slump

Bullock struggles early in the season. This is a fact of life, but it wasn’t that bad. There was reason to hope he’d turned a corner after his fourth quarter against the Clippers, but that hope was clearly exaggerated. Bullock had another scoreless game and even his vaunted defense slipped. The Mavericks need him to find his game. They need him to find her now because they simply have no other options.

Try Christian Wood and Tim Hardaway Jr

With Doncic out and Dinwiddie struggling, the Mavericks were desperate for someone to create offense. Wood and Hardaway did their best. They were ineffective, as was everyone else in the Mavericks, but combined for 54 points off the bench. The Mavericks bench has been better than their starters so far this season and tonight that was even more apparent.

Josh Green isn’t ready to contribute constantly

Green played a great game by his standards vs Brooklyn Networks. It has been back to its old green ever since. In a game where everyone was so limited, the Mavericks were desperate for the green to create some offense. It seems the Rockets were built for him because their penchant for turnovers leads them to give up the fastest break points in the league. However, Green was unable to capitalize, scoring only four points, all from the free throw line.

Overall, this loss is frustrating, but the sky isn’t falling. Doncic will return. Doncic carries tremendous weight, but most nights he will be there to carry it. Nights like this remind us all of how important he is.

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