Man. Traffic on Nowitzki way Is insane....— Dirk Nowitzki (@swish41) November 23, 2019
Mavericks Father Dirk Nowitzki made his first appearance as normal street clothes wearing basketball fan Friday night, when the Dallas Mavericks wrapped up a four-game homestand against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Nowitzki, who has been enjoying life as a run-of-the-mill retired 41 year old, got the crowd cheering early while the game got off to a rather slow start. And it was the bench that came in and did major work to extend the Mavericks lead, with Dallas leading 66-42 at half.
Though the Mavericks have a habit of slow starts after halftime, it was the third quarter that really sealed the game. Kristaps Porzingis, who had just two points in the first half, came out aggressive going 7-of-7 from the floor with 15 points. In addition, Luka Doncic checked out with 1:03 left in the quarter after scoring 30 points in his third straight game (the first Maverick to do so since Dirk Nowitzki in 2010).
Fan favorite JJ Barea also go to see time in the fourth quarter, in just his second game of the season. He knocked some rust off, putting up 12 points and two assists, all dedicated to his beloved Dirk. Justin Jackson, who got to play much of the fourth, had 19 points while hitting 4-of-6 from deep. The Mavericks won 143-101, putting up over 140 points in back to back games.
Tim Hardaway Starter
With starting shooting guard Seth Curry out the last two games with an illness, Tim Hardaway Jr. has filled in as starter. And he’s making an impact. Playing with good energy on both ends, showing some ability to find cutters, and connecting from deep, it’s by far the best Hardaway has looked with the Mavericks.
In two games he’s averaged 18 points, four assists, while going 8-of-9 from three (20 minutes per game). Hardaway had to leave the game early in the third after a collision with Porzingis sent him briefly to the locker room. It should be noted that the opponents in both games were below average, but this should hopefully serve as a great jumpstart for Hardaway’s game. Carlisle said after their game against the Golden State Warriors that Curry would remain a starter in his return. But good on Hardaway for being ready and taking advantage of the opportunity.
The Mavericks: Good at Threes
It’s been an up and down season for the Mavericks from deep, though they’ve never tired of taking them. But as of late they’ve looked downright unstoppable. And it’s coming from all directions.
In their last three games the Mavericks have gone 59-of-116 from three. That’s 51 percent. I’ll go back and repeat just in case you’re scrolling fast. THAT’S 51 PERCENT.
The Mavericks are really on one right now, and when they’re clicking like this as a full rotation, they will be tough to beat. Yes, they have a handful of somewhat streaky shooters and will surely go through droughts. But it’s exciting to see the potential top to bottom.
There’s no place like home
The Mavericks were a bit of a national embarrassment just a week ago when they lost to the New York Knicks for the second time in a week, on national television no less. But the Mavericks bounced back nicely, knocking off the Toronto Raptors and three other teams really hurting early this season.
Coming into this homestand the Mavs were inexplicably 2-3 at home, but wow does it do the body good to have a relatively light slate at home for a full week. The Mavericks will have a tough schedule next week — they face the Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Clippers, Phoenix Suns, and Los Angeles Lakers (three on the road) — so stacking wins like this is vital. The hope is that they carry the rhythm and momentum they’ve created here this week to stay competitive against a couple elite teams.
This was the sequence of the game. More of this please.
Here’s the postgame podcast, Mavs Moneyball After Dark. If you can’t see the embed below “More from Mavs Moneyball”, click here. And if you haven’t yet, subscribe by searching “Mavs Moneyball podcast” into your favorite podcast app.