The Dallas Mavericks fell to 0-3 Sunday night, dropping another close one to the Rockets at the Toyota Center in Houston.
The Mavs struggled mightily on offense against a suspect defense for the second game in a row, while also failing to prevent James Harden from getting to the foul line, especially on the game’s final play.
Wesley Matthews led the Mavs in scoring, but still shot a poor percentage. Andrew Bogut struggled to impact the game either on the boards or protecting the rim, and Harrison Barnes finally came back to earth after a promising first two games.
The Mavs bench is proving to be a very weak unit on this year’s team so far. J.J. Barea and Justin Anderson can only supply so much to the offensive end of the floor. The Mavs have not gotten the kind of defensive output they hoped to get out of a trio of Wesley Matthews, Harrison Barnes, and Andrew Bogut, as they surrendered 28 points, 7 rebounds, and 7 assists to star guard James Harden.
Offensively, the Mavs have lacked flow, rhythm, and play design. Deron Williams finished with 12 points, but only three assists. Wesley Matthews led the way for Dallas with 25 points, five rebounds, three assists, and two big steals in crunch time.
The Mavs are now 0-3 and will face a tough Utah Jazz team Wednesday night, followed by an even tougher Portland Trail Blazers team. The Mavs could legitimately be staring into an 0-5 hole to begin this season despite promising starts from Deron Williams and Harrison Barnes. The Mavs desperately need better performances from Andrew Bogut, Wesley Matthews and Seth Curry.
Perhaps most concerning for the Mavs is the health of Dirk Nowitzki. A sore Achilles and an illness sidelined the seven-footer for both matches against the rival Rockets.