Brought to you by: Big Shucks
After a slump reminiscent of the early season started putting the Mavs in some midseason blues, they got some pip in their spirit after the news that rookie phenom Dennis Smith Jr. will be participating in the 2018 Verizon Slam Dunk Contest during All Star weekend. Looking to flip their recent luck around on a road trip, Dallas looks to turn things around before the break arrives.
They started said trip against the Suns on Wednesday, where once again Dallas’ offensive struggled to deliver positive output. In the 102-88 loss, no one on the Mavericks passed the 20 point mark. While DSJ lead with 17 points and Harrison Barnes had 15 and 9 rebounds, the team will need these two to perform a lot better if they look to see success, even against lower tier teams like Phoenix. On a positive note, Dirk had a double-double of his own, with a light 14 points but grabbing 10 rebounds in a rare paint presence role we haven’t really seen from the veteran in these later years. Phoenix was led by rookie Josh Jackson who had 21 points, and it’s good to see another league freshman start to come into his own, especially after his and his team’s early season struggles.
Against the Sacramento Kings on Saturday, the Mavericks were deadlocked in a close game through 3 quarters, but pulled away with a big run in the 4th to win 106-99. While once again, no one passed the 20-point mark for Dallas, this win was a great team effort as 6 players crossed the double-digit point margin. Mavs’ go-to scorer Barnes led with 18 points, while Dwight Powell had a better-than-usual performance of 17 points and 9 rebounds. It’s good to see him finally lead the team (and whole game) in crashing the boards, something Powell’s struggled to do throughout the season.
With the trade deadline nearing, will Dallas move anyone? While the Mavericks’ organization with Cuban at the helm has been centered on loyalty throughout the years, when results aren’t being produced, Cuban could be faced with some tough decisions moving forward if the team wants to get back to the top of the Western Conference ranks in the future. With rumors swirling about, there’s been word of Wesley Matthews potentially being on the block, as well as Cuban pretty much willing to bargain with anyone but cornerstones DSJ, Barnes and Dirk, and much more surrounding the league, the Mavericks included. With how anomalous the league has been overall this season when compared to pretty much anything we’ve seen in the NBA before, be prepared for anything.
Dallas ends their road trip against the almighty Golden State Warriors this upcoming Thursday, Feb 8. Since the team often (surprisingly) plays up to Golden State’s level tempo-wise, it’ll most likely be a worthwhile watch, despite the Mavericks’ recent struggles.
Thu 2/8 @ Warriors
Sat 2/10 vs Lakers
Sun 2/11 @ Rockets