Dallas Mavericks vs. Denver Nuggets: A closer look at the Mavs' 3-point struggles

Do the Mavs even need offense from guys other than Kyrie and Luka? Kyrie Irving delivers in the clutch, Mavericks struggle from beyond the arc.

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Last night, the Dallas Mavericks snuck past the reigning champion Denver Nuggets 107-105, snapping Denver's five-game road winning streak. Kyrie Irving delivered an absurd left-handed running hook at the buzzer.

However, even though Dallas got the win, there were some box score discrepancies between the Mavericks and the Nuggets in terms of team play. 

The focus here is on starters, not bench players. In fact, both Dallas and Denver's benches scored 25 points exactly, practically mirroring each other. However, it was a different story for the starters.

While all of the Denver Nuggets' starters managed to score double-digits, the Mavs fell short in comparison. Only three Mavericks players tallied more than 10 points, Irving, Doncic, and Lively all among the select few. Rookie Dereck Lively contributed 14 points for the Mavs, making him the team's third-highest scorer behind Luka's 37 and Kyrie's 24. By comparison, the Nuggets only had four players score UNDER 10 points. Yet somehow, Dallas still managed to win the game.

A closer look at the Mavs' 3-point struggles

The Mavericks struggled shooting from the perimeter, going 0-13 beyond the arc excluding Kyrie and Luka. However, the dynamic duo combined for a 9-22 performance from downtown, with Luka sinking five 3s and Kyrie making four. Despite this, Dallas can afford games like these from their role players, as long as Kyrie and Luka are willing to shoulder the offensive load.

This is not only due to the immense talent Irving and Doncic possess but also because of the cohesive team built around them. The recent additions of Gafford and Washington have not only bolstered the Mavericks' defensive capabilities but also provided crucial depth.

This Dallas team boasts versatility, almost enabling its role players to engage in the game selectively. For example, P.J. Washington scored four points in 31 minutes but grabbed 11 rebounds, marking his most active performance on the glass since joining Dallas last month. In the end, this proved crucial as Dallas outrebounded Denver by 23 boards. Had P.J. played the same game as a Charlotte Hornet, the outcome might have been different. This underscores the impact of Kyrie and Luka, who allow their teammates to focus on the finer details of the game, beyond offense.

This final regular-season encounter between the Mavericks and the Nuggets marked Dallas' first victory against Denver. The major takeaway here though is, even on a terrible shooting night, the Mavs can remain effective, If I'm an opposing team, that worries me. 

Next. story link. You absolutely love to see it: Jayson Tatum explains why he hates sitting out games. dark