DIRK VS WADE ONE LAST TIME
In what we assume will be the final matchup between Dirk Nowitzki and Dwyane Wade, it was the 37-year-old Wade who had the last laugh, going for 22 points and leading a second half turnaround that saw Miami re-take the lead and build a comfortable margin. Dirk hit some shots but was just 2-10 from three and finished with 12 points. Fittingly, both checked in at the same time, leading to a loud ovation that then turned into obvious boo-ing that followed Wade the rest of the night.
LUKA JUST MISSED ANOTHER TRIPLE DOUBLE
Luka Doncic struggled again shooting the ball, converting just 5 of 17 field goals for 18 points, but the rookie did fill out the stat sheet, grabbing 12 rebounds and handing out 9 assists as well. He had been stuck on 9 since I believe the end of the third quarter, which touches on another issue we’ll get to. Miami was doing a lot of trapping in screen action, and they with their size and athleticism they were able to force some questionable passes out of the 19 year old Doncic. Still, with some better shotmaking, Luka would have undoubtedly had his fourth triple-double.
MAVS SHOOTING WOES CONTINUE
With several huge trades coming in the last few weeks, paired with injuries or age related regression for their bench, the Mavericks are majorly shorthanded right now in terms of being able to put out quality shotmakers on the floor. With Harrison Barnes gone, and Kristaps Porzingis being kept out, Dallas is really stretched to get good looks out of the rest of their roster, and it’s starting to show. They 38% from the floor and 28% from three Wednesday, with several of those misses being open shots.
20 POINTS FOR THJ
Tim Hardaway Jr. led the Mavs with 20 points, and it’s clear that the former Michigan Wolverine will be a key part of the Dallas offense for at least the rest of this season. So far through 5 games he’s averaging a little over 15 points on sub-optimal shooting(40% from the field, 29% from three), but this was his second 20-point performance and it will be worth watching to see if perhaps the Luka-Carlisle combination can generate more consistent good looks for him. It’s unclear what role Hardaway will have next season, but for now, Dallas needs every point they can get from him.
With the All-Star Break coming up, Dallas won’t play again for almost 10 days, taking on the Denver Nuggets next Friday at the AAC. See you then!