Jason Kidd Says Mavs Need More Than Luka Doncic to Beat Suns: 'No One Else Showed'

Adam WellsMay 5, 2022

PHOENIX, ARIZONA - MAY 04: Luka Doncic #77 of the Dallas Mavericks reacts during the second half of Game Two of the Western Conference Second Round NBA Playoffs against the Phoenix Suns at Footprint Center on May 04, 2022 in Phoenix, Arizona.  The Suns defeated the Mavericks 129-109. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Dallas Mavericks are searching for answers in the Western Conference semifinals against the Phoenix Suns after dropping their second straight game on Wednesday night with a 129-109 loss. 

Speaking to reporters after Game 2, Mavs head coach Jason Kidd said the players around Luka Doncic needed to step up their performance. 

"He had a great game, but no one else showed," Kidd said. "We've got to get other guys shooting the ball better. We can't win with just him out there scoring 30 a night—not at this time of the year. And we're playing the best team in the league, so we've got to get other guys going."

Doncic has been doing his best to give the Mavericks a chance in their first two games against the Suns. He dropped 35 points (13-of-22 shooting), seven assists and five rebounds in 36 minutes in Game 2. 

In Games 1 and 2 combined, Doncic has 80 points, 17 rebounds and 15 assists. He's shooting 28-of-52 from the field, including 9-of-21 from three-point range.

Jalen Brunson has been the biggest disappointment for Dallas' non-Doncic players. The 25-year-old scored just nine points in Game 2 and is shooting 32.1 percent overall in the series thus far. 

After a strong start to the postseason, Brunson's performance has fallen off a cliff in five games since Doncic returned to the lineup. 

StatMuse @statmuse

Jalen Brunson shooting without Luka this playoffs:<br><br>— 50.7 FG%<br>— 41.2 3P%<br><br>Jalen Brunson shooting with Luka this playoffs:<br><br>— 41.0 FG%<br>— 30.0 3P% <a href="https://t.co/Vb2ehoEFsz">pic.twitter.com/Vb2ehoEFsz</a>

Brunson is hardly the only Mavs player struggling right now. Dorian Finney-Smith only attempted two shots in Wednesday's game. He tied a season-low with just two points. 

This isn't to say that Doncic should be absolved of blame for how the Mavericks are playing. He has 12 turnovers through the first two games. The Suns averaged 1.72 points per possession on 50 attempts with Doncic as the primary defender in Game 2. 

But Doncic's offensive output is so completely overwhelming everything the rest of his teammates are doing that someone needs to start making shots consistently to ease some of the burden on him. 

Perhaps returning to American Airlines Center will make the Mavs feel more comfortable. They will host the Suns in Game 3 looking for their first win in the series on Friday at 9:30 p.m. ET.