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Roundtable: Who was the Mavericks’ MVP versus the Bucks?

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We’re still hyped from the big win.

NBA: Dallas Mavericks at Milwaukee Bucks Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Who was the most valuable player for Dallas against the Milwaukee Bucks and why?

Sam: My MVP was Seth Curry. Though Kristaps Porzingis has been inconsistent, it was almost a given Dallas needed him to step up in Luka Doncic’s absence, and he delivered. But with Jalen Brunson moving into the starting lineup, the bench needed a spark to create shots and facilitate the offense, and Seth Curry did that and some against the Bucks. With his three-point stroke falling, Curry was able to attack the teeth of the defense and hit his smooth runner off the glass a few different times. He connected on a four point play off a KP dish, and he hit a big transition three toward the end of the fourth after Porzingis’ two bombs. Ultimately, Curry was a reliable shot creator off the bench, and with Doncic out, that proved to be invaluable in a massive road win.

Kirk: Rick Carlisle for me. Porzingis and Curry led the team but getting that team ready against one of the three best teams in the league after losing a NBA MVP candidate seems impossible. Not only did Carlisle get them ready to play, they executed well (I’m going to ignore the last minute of the game for the sake of this discussion).

We’ve talked for years about how Carlisle is a dang warlock. Last night was a great reminder. I’m still in awe that they went on the road and beat a team that had won 18 straight.

Jordan: The MVP is the friends we made along the way. I missed most of the game and coming back to see Dallas was up was just outstanding. Our Slack was lit up and it’s just a lot of fun covering this outstanding team.

Christian: I mean it’s gotta be Porzingis, right? The Unicorn showed up in a big way, but was never “over-playing”. Stayed within his role, while maintaining aggressiveness on both ends of the floor. Stuffed the stat sheet and ultimately won the game for Dallas with back-to-back deep threes and a block off an offensive rebound in the final seconds. It would of been easy for him to simply force more shots, post-ups, etc. simply because Luka was out of the lineup, but Porzingis trusted the system and the offense that is currently the best in NBA history. KP has been playing great the last couple games, but his shot just hasn’t fallen. It was a lot of fun to see everything click in one outing. Unicorn for MVP... of last night at least.

Doyle: I was only able to watch the game intermittently thanks to a trip to the doctor’s office and the pharmacy. That said, the cream jokes were clearly the MVP of the game. They were aided by the fact that the Mavericks were creaming the Bucks until the nearly disastrous last minute in a half where Dallas forgot that it can foul someone before they get all the way to the basket, especially when that someone is a terrible free throw shooter. Nonetheless, cash rules everything around me, Mavs get the money. Dollar, dollar bill y’all.

Matt: If there’s a way for me to highlight the little guy, the underdog, I’ll generally find any way I can to do it. The stars get all the glow, understandably. Who wants to talk about a nice layup from Delon Wright when Luka Doncic just nailed a 35ft step back three? And it’s true in this game that a lot, if not all, of the “Other Mavs” in this game had big moments of their own (shout out, bench mob), but the MVP has to be Kristaps Porzingis.

He came into the season with All-Star pedigree, but has struggled in the first quarter of the season with his shot. When Luka went down with his ankle injury, there was a collective hush that fell across the Dallas fanbase, right before they all silently turned and stared at Porzingis, as if to ask “are we going to be bad now?” In press conferences following the injury to Doncic, KP put the pressure on himself to step up, and against Milwaukee, he answered the call with what was undoubtedly his best game as a Maverick so far.