For Jason Kidd, the overwhelming boos delivered by the fans inside the American Airlines Center were only fitting on the Dallas Mavericks’ horrendous spectacle against the Charlotte Hornets, absorbing a nasty 117-109 loss against one of the worst teams in the league on Friday.
As Charlotte’s margin ballooned by as much as 21 in the third frame, the frustrated Mavs fans showered their home team with such unwanted jeers to show their intense displeasure for a club that holds high aspirations of winning a title.
“We should have been booed in the first quarter – just (for) the effort and the play,” Kidd said in his presser. “They have a right, they paid to see a better show and it wasn’t there until the second half. We can’t come out like that, especially this time of year.”
What Kidd has pointed out regarding the first quarter of the match is inexcusable. The Mavericks allowed the Hornets to post a 37-point output in the first quarter, only to enlarge into 67 markers heading to halftime.
The Hornets, who are ranked dead last in offensive rating (109.1) and are shooting second to the worst in field goal shooting (45.5) throughout the league, were shockingly able to build these momentums even missing their floor raiser LaMelo Ball.
“It was awful,” Kidd said about Dallas’ first-half woes. “To talk before the game of what we’re playing for, playoffs or championship and to come out . . . in that first quarter and give up 37, the interest level wasn’t high. It was disappointing.
“At halftime, we talked about it. We put ourselves in a better position, but in the second half you got to be flawless. Every possession means something.”
Despite the efforts of Luka Doncic’s 34 points, 10 boards, and eight assists, the Hornets utilized a balanced attack to put a shocker in front of the Mavs. Seven players breached through the double-digit scoring, with both PJ Washington (28) and Gordon Hayward (25) leading the swarm.
In the minds of Kyrie Irving, who has been a particular target of hecklings given his controversial tenures for both the Boston Celtics and the Brooklyn Nets, the boos made by fans are nothing but irrelevant as they should maintain their focus on addressing their worsening play.
With the recent loss, Dallas (36-38) has dropped to 11th place in the Western Conference. This serves as a peculiar position for a franchise that was initially pegged as one of the best teams in the league and just went all in last midseason to acquire the talented, yet embattled star point man.
“So? So what? Just the way I feel about it,” Irving said, who dropped 18 points but had an inefficient 37.5 percent shooting. “I’ve been in New York City, so I know what that’s like. You obviously want to play well, but it’s only five people on the court that can play for the Dallas Mavericks. If the fans want to change places, then hey, be my guest.
“Got years of work ahead to be great enough to be on this level. But our focus isn’t necessarily on the boos. It should be on our performance and just being there for each other.”