Frustrating loss sends Mavs to their roots heading into “The Ticket”

The Golden State vs. Dallas matchup hasn’t been too friendly to Dallas over the years. From the first round playoff series in 2007 to the current dynasty run the Warriors are on now, looking back on previous matchups isn’t that enjoyable from a Dallas perspective.

And the NBA2K League continued that trend over the weekend, despite the Warriors being one of the worst teams in the league according to the standings.

Heading into the matchup, the Mavs were coming off a week they labeled as a “reboot” week. With an update to the game that happened earlier in the week, Dallas viewed it as a fresh start heading into their matchup with the 1-6 Warriors.

Arriving to the studio two hours before tip, the team took their time to get settled in before taking part in their weekly pre-game scrimmage with another team in the league. View it as a warmup of sort.

Two overtimes and over a 100 points given up, one thing was evident; their team defense needed to improve…fast.

A little over an hour later, the stage was set and their matchup with the Warriors was underway. Golden State outscored the Mavs 17-12 in the first quarter. The problems surrounding their team defense had yet to be resolved.

Dallas flipped the script in the second quarter as they outscored Golden State 18-8 and held the Warriors to just two three pointers in the half. They took a 30-25 lead into the second half.

At halftime, head coach Jonah Edwards circled his team up to talk second half adjustments. Similar to defending the NBA Warriors, continuing to limit their three pointers was the focus. Except that wasn’t the case in the second half.

“When we were up by ten we said no threes,” Dimez said.  “And it felt like that is all that we gave up.”

In the second half, the Warriors would shoot 6/7 from behind the arc.

Taking a single digit lead into the final minutes of the game, late game execution didn’t go in the Mavs favor. Down by one point, Dimez drove the lane for a wide-open, game leading layup. It rolled right off the rim.

“I just missed the layup,” Dimez said. “There is literally nothing I can do. He just missed it.”

“It is just the game. Something you can’t control,” Dayfri added.

The Warriors would hit a contested three on the next possession that would end up being the dagger. Mavs Gaming would lose the game 60-63.

This would be their third loss in four weeks with this loss coming against a team that had won just one game all season long. Some would call this rock bottom for the Mavs.

“This is the lowest of the lowest of the low,” Dimez said. “It is just terrible man. We just keep losing games that we should win.”

“I think we are pretty close to it. I hope this is rock bottom,” Dayfri added.

Edwards, being the head coach, took a more positive route to the question.

“No, I don’t think so,” Edwards said when asked if this was rock bottom. “There is still a lot of good we can take from these games.” He would go on to specifically mention the efficiency of Dayfri and how Dimez is taking better care of the ball.

Dimez would finish the game with 17 points and 13 assists while Dayfri led the way with 23 points and five rebounds. Seem, who is considered the best shooting guard in the league, had another quiet game with five points as the team could never get him fully involved.

“If we can’t get Seem going it is just me and Dimez. That is pretty tough,” Dayfri said.

On the other side, it was LYKaPRO who led the way with 20 points while three other starters scored double-digit points.

So where do the Mavs go from here?

“We are going to go back to our roots a little bit,” Edwards said. As he labeled last week as a “reboot” week, I jokingly asked what this week would be called after such a tough loss. He responded with “roots week.”

In the NBA2K game, anyone who owns the game and wants to play with his or her friends over the Internet typically plays a game mode called Team Up. This allows a person to control one player on the court with four other friends around them on the same team. It is the very basic format of what the NBA2K League is built on.

Edwards wants his team to go back to the beginning and find the foundation in which they built each of their careers from.

“It helps us get back to the basics on defense,” Dayfri said of the benefit of going back to Team Up this coming week.

Edwards says that it makes you think about things you would never think about when playing in the league. “It harnesses the skills you don’t think about in 2K,” Edwards added.

With the team heading back to their Team Up roots, they must figure it out quick, as the third mid-season tournament is this coming weekend. The official name for this tournament is called “The Ticket” as whoever comes out of the single elimination tournament on top earns an automatic spot in the playoffs come August.

Oh, there is also a $150,000 prize pool for the tournament.

“Have to go back to the drawing board,” Dayfri said. “We can’t go into this tournament and get bounced in the first round.”

A big practice week is ahead. But no matter how well the week goes, it is how well they perform on the stage that matters the most.

“You can only lead a horse to the water, but you can’t make it drink,” Dayfri said. “We know we are one of the better teams in the league, we just haven’t proved it yet.”

Overall, Mavs Gaming is tied for the fifth best record in the league at 5-4 still. But since the seeding for the upcoming tournament is based off the past four weeks, Dallas’ 1-4 record earned them the 14thseed.

To the Mavs, seeding doesn’t matter at this point because they know they will have to beat the best of the best eventually if they want to make a deep tournament run.

“To me, you have to beat everyone regardless,” Edwards said.

“At this point, we are back to square one,” Dayfri added.  “We just have to find a way to win.”

You can watch Mavs Gaming face off against Pacers Gaming this weekend on Time and date to be determined.