Dallas Mavericks: Thankful for a Winning Week

JJ Barea was flying high against the Thunder. Photo Courtesy: Michael Kolch

By Joel Montgomery

After a 6-game losing skid, the Mavericks this past week looked to bounce back and convince the worried fanbase that this isn’t the same story as last season. Here’s how things unfolded:

vs Washington Wizards (11/6)
On Tuesday night, the Mavs hosted a wilting Wizards team that’s franchise looks on the verge of flipping on its head. Dallas got off to an incredible start by posting 70 points in the first half, on the way to a lopsided 19-point win. Rookie standout Luka Dončić continued to impress as he led Dallas with his 23 points. Harrison Barnes looked to be making his way back into the rotation with aplomb after his 19-point, 13 rebound double-double. Dennis Smith Jr had 19 of his own. 

John Wall led the Wizards with 24 points and 10 assists in his team-high 41 minutes. The struggling Wizards find themselves at the bottom of the Eastern Conference at this point. Is their “contending” window already over? Will they have to blow this thing up sooner than later? All looks to be answered sooner than we ever thought.

FINAL: Dallas 119 (3-7), Washington 100 (2-8)

@ Utah Jazz (11/7)
After a solid home W, the Mavericks had to make their way to Utah that very night for a road back-to-back game that very next day. As one who is familiar with this sort of situation would come to expect, the Mavericks struggled early to get things going offensively, and found themselves at a 23-point deficit in the first half. Despite a 38-point 3rd quarter by the team, their early struggles proved to be their ultimate downfall in the end. 

Despite the loss though, the Mavs got some positives out of their rookies, with Dončić once again leading Dallas offensively with 24 points. Also, Jalen Brunson was one of seven Mavericks players to score in double digits, making efficient use of his 16 minutes of playtime. Utah was led by Donovan Mitchell’s 23 points and 7 assists, as well as double-doubles from their other cornerstones in Ricky Rubio and Rudy Gobert.

FINAL: Utah 117 (5-6), Dallas 102 (3-8)

vs Oklahoma City Thunder (11/10)
On Saturday night, the Mavs debuted their new “City” uniforms in their home contest against the Thunder, and did so with a fantastic team performance in the end. They also debuted long-time veteran Devin Harris for the season, who while not putting up huge numbers in his 12 minutes, helped lead Dallas on a scoring run that got them to a comfortable lead early. With this efficient of a start for Harris, it only makes the anticipation for Dirk’s 21st season debut grow evermore. 

Luka once again led the team with an impressive 22 points, 6 rebounds, and 8 assists, and despite him having an injury scare in the 3rd quarter collision with Paul George that likely stopped the hearts of Mavs fans, he seemed to be fine as he’d return in the fourth quarter to finish the game. 

The Thunder have been persevering without Russell Westbrook, whose been out due to an ankle injury. Despite Paul George and Steven Adams both posting up 20 points and 13 rebounds each, as well as Dennis Schröder’s 19 points, the rest of their team couldn’t get it together offensively.

FINAL: Dallas 111 (4-8), Oklahoma City 96 (7-5)

So, while things weren’t perfect for the team over the course of the week, it was still a major improvement over their previous losing streak. Luka Dončić continues to prove he’s the new centerpiece that Mavericks have been waiting for as he asserts his offensive presence, and as long as the organization does what it can to keep him healthy and put pieces around him, the future’s looking bright.

Upcoming Schedule – All Times Central
11/12   @ Bulls         7:00 p.m.
11/14   vs Jazz          7:30 p.m.
11/17   vs Warriors  7:30 p.m.