The Dallas Mavericks defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder 95-86. Luka Doncic returned but showed quite a bit of rust. The Mavericks chose to keep Jalen Brunson in the starting lineup which allowed Luka to play off ball a good deal more than normal.
Tim Hardaway Jr. also returned from protocols and tied for the team lead in scoring with 15 points in only 24 minutes.
Here are the stats to know.
15: Number of points Marquese Chriss scored in only 14 minutes
Chriss is a former lottery pick who has struggled to find his way but has an interesting skill set. Many have pined for Marvin Bagley as a buy low former lottery talent big man but Chriss duplicates his athleticism and finishing with no baggage. Chriss provides impressive bounce and the boundless energy of youth. He is a fun pick and roll partner for Luka going forward and should find his way to the permanent roster.
14: Total number of minutes played by player on hardship contracts
Theo Pinson played, but he played less than a minute meaning that Chriss’ 14 minutes represented all of the minutes played by players picked up to help during the Covid crisis.
The replacement players struggled at times but they brought a brand of fun, energetic basketball that the primary team has lacked at times. They will be missed as they fade into obscurity. Hopefully the primary roster can learn some lessons from them, while applying their superior talent.
50: Percentage Reggie Bullock shot from three
Bullock was the primary addition the team made this off-season. He got off to an unreasonably slow start but the team desperately needs him to be successful.
It is entirely too small of a sample size to draw meaningful data from but Bullock has shot much better in his two games since returning. He is now 5-for-9 on threes since his return after shooting 27.4 percent prior to entering protocols.
Hopefully Bullock and the Mavericks can make lemonade out of lemons by using the break as a chance for a fresh start.
Here’s our latest episode of Mavs Moneyball After Dark. If you’re unable to see the embed below, click here to be taken to the podcast directly. Or go to your favorite podcast app and search Mavs Moneyball Podcast.