By Bryan Murphy
Wesley Matthews is back, folks. After having his worst game as a Maverick in the Friday night loss to the Houston Rockets, Matthews bounced back in a massive way Sunday night against the Washington Wizards. In the 116-104 win against Washington, Matthews hit 10 three-pointers on 17 attempts tying George McLeod’s previous franchise record. He finished the game with 36 points, tying his career high.
Matthews was his own biggest critic after the tough Rockets loss. “I suck right now, point blank period,” he said. “I got to find it on this road trip.” He did just that to start the Mavs two game east coast road trip.
With Chandler Parsons resting on the first night of a back-to-back, Dwight Powell out with a minor leg injury and J.J. Barea sitting his fifth straight game with an ankle sprain, other players were able to step up for Dallas. John Jenkins and Jeremy Evans each played 20 minutes and hit some big shots down the stretch in the fourth quarter.
The Mavs now head to the Big Apple for their only trip to Madison Square Garden this season to face Carmelo Anthony and the New York Knicks. We all know about Melo and his prolific scoring, but the guy the Mavs will have to look out for is rookie Kristaps Porzingis. Averaging 14 PPG and 9.2 RPG, Porzingis has received all sorts of early Dirk Nowitzki comparisons due to his style of play, length and outside shooting ability. Anthony averages nearly 22 PPG and will get his, Dallas just can’t let players like Porzingis and role players beat them in this game.
The Mavs then head back home to host the 13-9 Atlanta Hawks Wednesday night. Although the Hawks aren’t off to the same type of hot streak to begin the season like last year, it is still essentially the same exact team that won 60 games just last season, minus DeMarre Carrol who signed with the Toronto Raptors in the offseason. Atlanta is one of those teams that can easily play nine men deep but the real strength lies with the starting lineup that features four all-star caliber players. Jeff Teague is one of the more underrated point guards in the league and the big man duo of Paul Milsap and Al Horford give opposing teams fits nightly. Add one of the greatest shooters in NBA history in Kyle Korver and this is a very, very tough team to beat.
Dallas then has a rematch with the Wizards at home Saturday night to close out the week. The Wizards were without the services of Marcin Gortat, Nene, Drew Gooden and now John Wall could miss some time after going down with a leg injury late in the loss to Dallas. If all of those players are out again for this game as well, expect another huge game from your Dallas Mavericks.
Upcoming Schedule – All Times Central
12/7 @Knicks 6:30 pm
12/9 vs Hawks 8:30 pm
12/12 vs Wizards 7:30 pm