In an attempt to prevent a late-season collapse while also trying to reduce the workload of superstar Luka Doncic, the Dallas Mavericks became trade deadline buyers, ending up with Kyrie Irving. Yet, with just eight games left to play in the regular season, the Mavericks’ playoff hopes are dwindling.
Their three-game losing streak certainly hasn’t helped, with the most recent hiccup coming against the lowly Charlotte Hornets, who are already eliminated from playoff contention. Friday’s loss placed the Mavericks in 11th place in the Western Conference, just outside of a chance to advance in the Play-in Tournament.
Fully aware of how much each game matters, coach Jason Kidd couldn’t help but be overly critical of his team as of late. Specifically, coach Kidd does not like the effort being put forth by the Mavs, and he wasn’t shy about airing his grievances publicly.
Speaking after the team’s loss to Charlotte, Kidd acknowledged the fans at American Airlines Center who opted to boo the home team in the third quarter, with the Mavericks somehow trailing the Hornets by 18 points. Except Kidd says the fans actually should have started booing much earlier.
“We probably should have been booed in the first quarter.”Dallas Mavericks coach Jason Kidd after loss to Charlotte
Coach Kidd went on to say the team’s effort was “awful”, even in the first quarter, which led him to say the “interest level wasn’t high.”
While teams are always prone to an upset, especially if they overlook their opponent without putting forth enough effort, losing to Charlotte while playing host looks particularly bad. According to ESPN, the Mavs entered the game as 16-point favorites, making this loss the biggest upset in the NBA all season.
With just eight games left to play, the Mavericks will need to be locked in for their next matchup, which coincidentally, comes against the Hornets once again. But this time, Dallas hits the road for a 1 PM ET battle at the Spectrum Center in Charlotte on Sunday.
While they may be in 11th place now, the Mavericks can easily get back into contention if they can hit their stride during the final stretch. It all begins on Sunday.
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