Even in a year where the team is surpassing most any reasonable expectation placed upon them, you still can’t quite take any win for granted with this Mavs team — especially at home. However, in this bout against the KAT-less Timberwolves, the Mavericks jumped out ahead early and kept the Wolves safely in the rear-view for the remainder of the game.
Dallas got a glut of scoring from starters and bench players alike. Luka led with a respectable line of 20/9/7, bolstered by solid scoring games from Tim Hardaway Jr’s 23 and double digit scoring off the bench from Kleber, Barea, and Wright. As a team, Dallas shot 51% from the floor and 37% from beyond the arc.
D’Angelo Russell did his level best, putting in 29 points, but there was definitely an unmistakable, Townes-shaped hole that the Wolves couldn’t overcome. Their defense certainly wasn’t going to win them any games, and they just didn’t have to fire power to hang with the Mavericks over four quarters.
We’ve still waiting on a long term prognosis for Jalen Brunson’s dislocated shoulder, but, by and large, the Mavericks have benefited tremendously from the team health getting back towards 100%. They’ve won 2 of the 3 post-All Star games they’ve played, both by sizeable margins, losing only against Atlanta on a back to back that saw them trying to put together a rotation with only 9 available players.
The team-wide health has allowed the team to get back to how they were playing before injuries got its teeth in to them. Getting back to the starter rotation they’d established has so far allow the bench to flourish. With having to plug holes in the starting lineup with key reserves, the bench is doing its part to extend leads, not just try to keep their head above water.
Don’t call it a win streak
But with this home win in the bag, the Mavericks are set to string some wins together as they head back to where their home really is... the road! In all seriousness, Dallas’ next four games are on the road, and since Rick Carlise is now allowing himself to look at standings for the first time this season, now would be a good time to start stringing some wins together. The 4th through the 7th seeds in the West are all within 2.5 games of each other, and teams are going to start jockeying in earnest for post-season positioning.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrest gets his first points as a Maverick
In a game where literally the entire Mavericks roster not only played, but scored, you can officially start counting stats for MKG. It took three games, but Kidd-Gilchrest has entered the box score.
You know it’s over when MKG is getting easy buckets. ✌ pic.twitter.com/MM275BdX0u— Mavs Lead (@MavsLead) February 25, 2020
On top of his bucket, he also had some decent defensive plays during the game, which is no doubt a big part of what the front office was looking for when they decided to bring him in after his buyout.
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.