Dallas Mavericks: Taking their Lumps

Luka Doncic continues to impress on the court. Photo Courtesy: Dominic Ceraldi

By Joel Montgomery

With a little over a month left to go in the regular season, Dallas Mavericks’ newly blooming star Luka Doncic is trying to put the cap on a mighty convincing Rookie of the Year campaign. The rest of the team looks to follow suit as they continue to build chemistry for next year’s playoff push, and finish what seems to be Dirk’s final season strong.
vs Indiana Pacers (2/27)
The Mavericks hosted a gritty Pacers team that’s making a playoff push despite the loss of star Victor Oladipo. Bojan Bogdanovic (22 pts) led them in scoring on the night, and in his debut against his former team, Wesley Matthews (20 pts) wanted to make the most of this matchup, leading the team in minutes.
The Mavericks excelled on offense, as Luka and the wings were scoring in droves, all crossing the 20-point mark. Doncic (26 pts, 10 rebs, 7 asts) had yet another close call to a triple double. With this now being commonplace in his rookie year, fans can only be excited about what’s to come out of the Slovenian phenom for years to come. 
Jalen Brunson (24 pts, 5 asts) played well yet again, proving so far to be a steal from last draft’s 2nd round as he continues to score reliably. Tim Hardaway Jr. (20 pts) also resumed his positive integration into the team. Overall, it was great output from their starters that led to the victory for Dallas.
FINAL: Dallas 110 (27-34), Pacers 101 (40-22)
vs Memphis Grizzlies (3/2)
Hosting a Grizzlies team that has struggled throughout the year, the Mavericks couldn’t come with the same offensive intensity as last time to stay in the game with Memphis. Avery Bradley (15 pts, 5 rebs, 5 asts) and Jonas Valanciunas (20 pts, 10 rebs) performed well for their newest squad, as they try to make a new identity for this team in a post-Marc Gasol/Zach Randolph era.
Grizzlies’ Chandler Parsons (5 pts) was met with a gut-punch of jeers from his former team’s fans when he came into the game late in the 1st. He didn’t make much impact in his short playing time; some things never change, Mavs fans collectively thought.
Luka (22 pts) was the only Dallas player to reach a passable threshold offensively. On the bright side, in some extended play-time as compared to his first few weeks back on the court, Dirk Nowitzki (7 pts, 7 rebs) was able to see some good action (23 mins) and contribute on the boards more than he has so far in the season. 
FINAL: Memphis 111 (25-39), Dallas 81 (27-35)
@ Brooklyn Nets (3/4)
On Monday night, the Mavs traveled to the Barclay’s Center to face a Nets team trying to hold onto their playoff spot, and possibly even jump Detroit for the 6th seed. 
Dallas once again struggled to score from all facets. The one bright spot was Dwight Powell’s performance (20 pts, 6 rebs, 6 asts), continuing to build his résumé as a reliable big. This time even Luka (16 pts, 6 rebs) fell to the dry spell cast over the team as of late in this contest, but that didn’t stop him from nailing an awesome half-court shot at the half. The ROTY highlight reel extends…
Brooklyn came ready and raring to go. DeMarre Carroll (22 pts, 5 rebs) led the team in scoring, and Spencer Dinwiddie (16 pts) and Rodions Kurucs (19 pts) provided ample support. D’Angelo Russell (13 pts, 11 asts) had an easy double-double as he continues to take shape into the all star no one had foreseen while he was stuck in Los Angeles. And finally Caris LaVert (18 pts, 5 rebs, 5 asts) continues to wow basketball fans everywhere with a great comeback after one of the most grueling injuries of the NBA season. Overall, this squad is anticipating to make some noise in the East playoffs.
FINAL: Brooklyn 127 (33-33), Dallas 88 (27-36)
After a good start to the week, the Mavericks unfortunately had a few slumps where they just haven’t been able to find the bottom of the bucket. With some lower tier match-ups imminent, the team will look to start the last month push with a face-off against a tough in-state rival.
Upcoming Schedule – All Times Central
3/6 @ Wizards    6:00 p.m. 
3/8 @ Magic        6:00 p.m.
3/10 vs Rockets   6:00 p.m.