Monday will be Feb. 29. It's a day that only exists every four years, thanks to the leap year oddity of the Georgian calendar we all use. But something even more rare happened on Feb. 28: the Mavericks blew out a team at home.
Dallas jumped ahead early on Sunday against the Timberwolves, tying a season high with 39 points in the first quarter, and never looked back in a 128-101 blowout. Minnesota pulled within single digits briefly in the second quarter, but a mid-third quarter burst pushed the Mavericks ahead for good and turned the fourth quarter into a showcase for end-of-the-bench players.
Chandler Parsons looked on his way to break his Mavericks high of 32 points, but Dallas' pulverization meant he didn't step on the floor in the final frame. Instead, he settled for 29 points on 15 shots to go with six rebounds and four assists. Dirk Nowitzki dropped in 10 points on eight shots in a quiet night while Dallas nailed 12 triples as a team, ending their torrid shooting night with a bang.
This is how good the offense can be
I've talked about how Zaza Pachulia holds the offense back in some ways (although that isn't said meaning to take anything away from the consummate professional he's been this year). But even as the Mavericks sometimes lack the spacing they'd prefer, and even when Dallas pick-and-rolls fizz out unsuccessful when both defenders collapse on the ball handler while Pachulia just ineffectively floats into space, this is still an offense capable of being in or near the top-five in the NBA.
Minnesota is very bad defensively, but many of the things the Mavericks did Sunday can be replicated against better teams, too. Since Jan. 1, the Mavericks throw the second-most passes in the NBA (behind Utah), with that ball movement directly leading to the open three-pointers we see so frequently. This can all come together. Sunday was further proof.
Parsons balled out
Related directly to the point above, Parsons has been incredibly since mid January. His 29 points on Sunday seemed effortless on 10-of-15 shooting -- cuts to the rim, decisive slices to the rim, layups that looked all too easy despite a defender on his hip thanks to his 6'9 frame. He also did a solid job matching up bigger players like Karl-Anthony Towns. With another quarter, there really was a good chance he would have broken his Mavericks high, at least. But with the way he's playing, it's almost a guarantee he'll do that before the season's over.
Best stat of the night
Dirk Nowitzki, 17 minutes.