Skip navigation
Favorites
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

Did Dallas miss its best chance to win a game in Boston?

BOSTON — For Dallas to hoist the Larry O’Brien trophy, it will have to win at least one game in Boston.

Did the Mavericks miss their best chance on Sunday night?

Boston opened the door with the bad shooting game that anybody who has watched them these playoffs (and for a couple of years) knows is coming — they shoot more 3s than any team and that leads to variance.

The Celtics were off Sunday night: 25.6% overall from 3 and a dreadful 5-of-27 on above-the-break 3s. They didn’t shoot well from the midrange either, going 8-of-18 between the restricted area and the arc (to their credit, Boston kept attacking and shot well at the rim).

The Mavericks didn’t take advantage. In fact, Dallas shot worse: 6-of-26 from 3 (23.1%) and were 5-of-21 from above the break — Boston again took away the corner 3 that had been a staple of the Mavericks’ offense the past two rounds. By the end, role players like P.J. Washington (1-of-5 from 3), Derrick Jones Jr. (0-of-3), and Maxi Kleber (0-of-2) looked shaken and a bit hesitant.

Luka Doncic was aggressive and brilliant (even with the eight turnovers, he took risks with his passing at points), he did his job creating looks, he just didn’t get enough help.

“Luka is a special player. He’s one of, if not the best player in the world, and he causes a problem. He’s able to find guys,” Mavs coach Jason Kidd said. “Again, creating open opportunities, and we just didn’t take advantage of it. And we’ll go back and look and see if we can get even better looks.

“But the looks that we got, we just missed some open threes.”

Dallas will likely shoot better at home and with a sense of desperation hitting them — the Mavericks know they need to win Game 3.

However, did they miss their window, because Boston isn’t likely to shoot this poorly from 3 again in this series?

“We didn’t hit shots tonight. I thought we had a bunch of great looks,” Jaylen Brown said. “If you go back and look in the first half, Sam [Hauser] had a bunch of great looks, [Derrick White] had some look that didn’t go down. But we didn’t panic. We kept guarding, we stayed in the game and we kept trusting it and we made enough tonight to win the game. But we expect to shoot the ball better going forward when we get on the road.”

If Dallas is going to come back and win this series, some fundamental things need to change for them (starting with a better outing from Kyrie Irving), but against an elite Boston team the Mavericks were only going to get so many chances. In Game 2, they let one slip through their fingers, and they may regret it.