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ORLANDO If you think about it, it’s really amazing how much things have changed for the Mavericks.

No longer the pretty team that can score every which way but mostly took a defense optional approach, the Mavericks now can hold just about anybody under 100 points but can’t score to save themselves from loss after loss.

And all the Mavericks have upcoming is games against San Antonio, the and Cleveland all of whom are legitimate championship contenders.

Think of the Mavericks’ situation like this: Harrison Barnes and Andrew Bogut didn’t have 10 losses all last season as members of the 73 9 .

“You have to have a little perspective,” Barnes said. “Being in such a great situation, winning a lot of games, I see what it takes.

“This is starting from the bottom. We’re banged up, but the guys here are competing. We’re going to figure it out.”

When? That remains the question. On Saturday, the Mavericks even got a landmark performance by rookie Jonathan Gibson, but couldn’t capitalize on his 26 points in just his second NBA game.

Since the 1995 96 season, according to STATS research, only three rookies have scored more points in their second game John Wall (28, 2010), Karl Anthony Towns (28, 2015) and Kevin Durant (27, 2007). Damon Stoudemire in 1995 also had 26 points in his second game.

In addition, the last undrafted player to score at least 26 points in his first or second NBA game was Lloyd Daniels of the , who had 26 on Nov. 7, 1992 in his second game.

Not that it mattered, really. It made the Mavericks’ offense look a little better for a moment. But the bottom line is that they still just shot 33.8 percent as a team and had just 18 points in the fourth quarter, which they began with a three point lead.

“We have to reward ourselves for playing defense,” Wesley Matthews Wholesale Jerseys
said. “There haven’t been many games where teams have scored 100 points on us (four of 12). We got to reward ourselves. If we’re going to bust our asses on the defensive end and get stops, then we got to run and put pressure on the other teams.

“Right now, we’re rope a doping, but we’re not punching back.”

The Mavericks had a horrible night rebounding the ball and also were doubled in points in the paint (32 16). They had a 77 76 lead with 7:23 to play after Gibson’s two free throws, but were outscored 19 10 the rest of the way.

“We play our butts off to get a three point lead going into the fourth, and two or three mistakes at the wrong time and the game pops open the other way,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “We’ve got to keep working on being perfect out there. It’s difficult, but we can always do a little better.”

Perfection never happens in a basketball game. But right now, that’s what it seems like the Mavericks need if they’re going to pull out of this season opening tailspin.

“It’s difficult,” Barnes said. “You put out a good effort and you’re right there. That’s starting to become a trend and it hurts. But that’s the difference between winning and losing. There’s no margin for error.”.

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