The Mavericks lose in extremis and Doncic gets angry: "Coach's decision ..."

"I'm not going to comment on it in public," Carlisle says about whether he spoke to Doncic after a game where the ball didn't go into his hands in decisive action.


Last season, the Bucks beat almost everyone ... except the Mavericks: 0-2 in Regular Season against the Texans in a European Giannis Antetokounmpo-Luka Doncic duels that go for classics of this NBA generation. The Bucks, who squeeze in the East (now 9-4) while they look askance as a giant rises in Brooklyn, removed the thorn with a victory (112-109) that left the Mavericks almost 50% (6 -5), with their four-game winning streak slowed down and frustrated because they had up to three shots to change the final result.

But, that's the long-term question, Rick Carlisle's people will end up drawing positive conclusions from the visit to Wisconsin. They are still in the picture due to the health protocols (without Richardson, Brunson, Finney-Smith, Powell and Kleber) and Kristaps Porzingis (15 + 10 but 6/19 in shots and 4 losses due to an assist) made it clear that he still has to catch a rhythm of game in the second game after his injury (he moved well, executed poorly). And the Bucks threatened to break the game in the first half (43-29) before a reaction led by the second unit. Adding all that up, and seeing the rival in front, the game was, despite the defeat, a sample of the Mavericks' competitiveness ... who ended up losing, of course.

And Luka Doncic didn't like it. The Slovenian finished with 28 points, 9 rebounds and 13 assists. He stayed at 1/7 on 3s and 3/7 on free throws, but led his team's final charge with 11 points in the final six and a half minutes. The Mavs went from slipping (100-94) to leading (103-104) after seven straight points from Doncic and a triple from James Johnson. That's where Khris Middleton emerged (25 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists). The guard, one of the best players at the start of the season, applied surgical precision to score two essential triples and stack two free throws for eight final points in the last 150 seconds. Brook Lopez scored the last free throw but before, with 109-107 and in the last minute, the Mavericks had three options to change the game. Doncic missed two and then, in the next attack after a mistake by Jrue Holiday, Trey Burke missed a triple (-21 seconds), Cauley-Stein took the rebound and the Mavs extended the attack without asking for time and without putting the ball in The hands of a Doncic who aired his frustration when (-10 seconds) it was Porzingis who missed the next shot, a triple not badly selected but who did not come close to entering.

After the game, Doncic did not want to go much further and expressed himself with significant diplomacy: "It was the coach's decision," he said about the extended attack without asking for a timeout after the offensive rebound, "if we had made the shot, everything would have been fine. . You take the shot and everything is different. But I don't know, it's the coach's decision to ask or not to ask for a time-out, so I think it's a good decision ”. And Carlisle did not want to clarify if he had spoken with his star about the anger he aired on the track ("I'm not going to talk about it in public") and explained the logic of his decision: "We had two good shots, we saved a time out ... the best you can ask for in such a situation. It's hard to ask for a timeout to come out and play the well-positioned Bucks defense again. If you can put the ball in the hands of your best player, you will have better chances. But I think we had two good options. ”

The Bucks (6-1 on their track) won with 31 points, 9 rebounds and 1 assists from Antetokounmpo, who lost 5 balls and stayed at a terrible 1/10 in free throws (12/25 the Bucks!). In the decisive moments, when Middleton appeared, the Greek seemed more self-conscious than usual and struck less towards the rim, perhaps because he didn't really want to go over the free throw line.

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