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Roundtable: The best moment of the first 20 games

Looking back on the first quarter of the season

Dallas Mavericks v Chicago Bulls Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

It’s December and the Mavericks have 20 or so games on the books already. After a slow start and a long losing streak, Dallas has found the winning combination and are back around .500. With that in mind, we’ve decided to look back at the first quarter of the season.

What’s been the most exciting moment of the season so far?

Ian: Maybe this is recency bias talking (this was written after the Mavs blowout in Houston), but I think the most exciting moment was that win against the Rockets. I will own this, but following the trouncing against Utah back in early November, with an absolutely brutal stretch upcoming, I thought this team was about to be buried, and fast.

Boy was I wrong.

Instead, Dallas has rattled off 7 wins in 8 games, most coming against quality opponents, and several in convincing fashion. This team isn’t buried; they’re ascendant, and while a playoff berth still feels like a long shot, given how tough the West is and the fact that it’s still November, it’s really exciting to watch them play well against the best the league has to offer, and especially with a young star in the making leading the way.

Sam: I’m going to say that the Mavericks’ 118-68 humiliation of the Utah Jazz has been the most exciting moment so far. At the time that game felt a little fluky. But looking back it was the beginning of an impressive stretch that the Mavericks have put together. Inside that game was a play I particularly got psyched about. Luka Doncic spinning Rudy Gobert around with a simple ball fake was one of my favorite plays this year. I grin every time I think about it.

Jordan: It’s hard to pinpoint an exact moment this season. Can I just say the times when the young guys have shown up? DSJ’s clutch shot against Minnesota, Luka’s shot fake shot clock buzzer beater against Boston, the surprise general play of Dorian Finney-Smith.

I’ll be honest, I still can’t figure this team out and what they are or who they’ll be — and that’s been the most thrilling. The unpredictability. But seeing these bursts of young players doing big things (Brunson’s lay up through the foul the other night, Kleber’s rim protection come to mind) is by far the most exciting. Wins are a plus.

Luka’s back to back threes in Houston, that half court jumper, all great. But this has been my favorite of all his highlights so far:

Brice: The most exciting moment for me came in the Boston game from when Jaylen Brown threw his shoulder into Luka. I went back and re-watched that game and noticed after every one of his big shots Luka was talking trash. Even as he was being bumped to the ground Luka wasn’t looking at Brown because he was talking smack to Kyrie. The whole team seemed to bond around protecting Luka and for me that was exciting to see a team with so many new pieces start to bond.

Kirk: It’s recency bias but I can’t stop thinking about that stupid 40 footer Doncic made before halftime against the Rockets.