Watching the Mavs and the All Star game at Big Shucks is a slam dunk!
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The long and daunting first half of the season is done and after an eventful trade deadline day and the All Star being just a week away, the Dallas Mavericks come out of the smoke for the most part unscathed. However in an effort to begin the next chapter of the franchise, owner Mark Cuban was faced with a tough decision/transaction that saw a long-time Maverick say goodbye.
The Mavericks started their week on Monday visiting the Staples Center against the Clippers, where in a closely contested match, Dallas was slightly bested 104-101. After dealing away their marquis-star Blake Griffin, Danilo Gallinari knew he had to step up with the burden of Griffin now passed to him, as he lit it up with a 28-point performance in LA’s close win. Dallas was led in scoring by Wesley Matthews (23), as the majority of the team failed to make much noise offensively in the loss. Devin Harris had 16 points in his final game with the team.
Before the end of the trade deadline, the Mavericks made one move in a three way deal between them, the Knicks, and the Nuggets in which they gave up long-time Mavs guard Devin Harris in exchange for Doug McDermott from the New York Knicks. McDermott, a former high school teammate of fellow Maverick Harrison Barnes, will look to be a part of the Dallas’ new youthful foundation that’s been brought to more light with this tough movement of a veteran by Cuban.
On Thursday, the Mavs traveled to Oracle Arena to face a Golden State Warriors squad that has actually had some trouble as of late, dealing with the rampant loudness of Draymond Green and Kevin Durant on a weekly basis stacked on with their recent struggles against playoff teams they’re bound to face later on, the team is practically in a crawl to make it to All Star weekend. However, all this isn’t enough to stop this super team against a lower-end opponent, and so the Warriors easily handled Dallas in the 121-103 rout. Golden State was led by Kevin Durant (24 pts) and Stephen Curry (20) who showed that when healthy, the Mavs are no threat to them. The Mavericks had some pretty good play from their starters, including Dennis Smith’s 22 points and Dwight Powell’s 18, but it simply wasn’t enough to compete with the super team.
On Saturday night, the Mavericks went back home to host the Lakers, where Isaiah Thomas made his debut in gold and purple after being dealt there last week by the Cavaliers. Despite Thomas’ hopeful 22-point debut and another solid performance by Brandon Ingram (22 pts), it wasn’t enough to stop Dallas’ offensive barrage in this high-scoring bout. In the 130-123 win, Dirk Nowitzki led the Mavericks with his 22 points, as Dallas notched at least 30 points in every quarter in this offensive lightshow. This win was uplifting for the Mavs against another young, dream-filled team building from the ground up that’s given them some trouble over the season.
On Sunday night the Mavericks visited the Houston Rockets, who have become the new big bad wolf in Texas pro basketball with their new Harden and CP3-manned D’antoni offense. The Rockets have had no trouble dealing with Dallas this season, and this contest was no different. In the 104-97 win, the Rockets’ duo in Harden (27 Pts, 6 Reb, 5 Ast) and Paul (25 Pts, 8 Reb, 9 Ast) took command on their end. Dallas was led by Dennis Smith’s 22 points.
Despite much speculation due to the odd distribution of his minutes and numerous words of contract dispute, Nerlens Noel was not moved by Dallas by the end of the trade deadline. Even though it seemed clear the team was ready to move him, they were unable to get any deal done in time. As this season closes out, we will see what changes in Noel’s quantity of play, and perhaps quality in terms of him deciding if this is where he wants to play in his future or not.
During the week the Mavericks signed young guard Kyle Collinsworth from their G-League team to add to the young core they’ve begun to establish. With little playing time over the course of the week, his development will be tracked to see if he starts to get some significant play.
Another week brought another 1-3 stumble for the Mavericks, making them fall to 18-39 on the season. That’s tied for second worst in the league, so they’ve definitely been falling ever since their little spark at the beginning of the year. Thankfully the All Star break is finally here to hopefully crick some necks where needed. If things don’t turn around for Dallas in this last leg of the year, well, at least the hope for a great draft pick grows evermore guaranteed.
Be sure to check out the 2018 Verizon Slam Dunk Contest this Saturday night, Feb. 17 at 7pm CST on TNT, where the Dallas Mavericks’ young rookie phenom Dennis Smith Jr. will look to put on a high-flying show against some tight competition for the NBA world on a packed All Star weekend.
Tue 2/13 vs Kings
*** ALL STAR WEEKEND: 2/16-2/18 ***
Fri 2/23 @ Lakers
Sat 2/24 @ Jazz