The Dallas Mavericks defeated the Denver Nuggets 103-89. Luka Doncic led Dallas with 21 points, eight rebounds, and 15 assists. Nikola Jokic was the high point man for Denver with 27.
The Nuggets have been hit as hard as any team in the league with injuries, most notably with Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. The Mavericks were without Kristaps Porzingis, who is in COVID protocols despite sitting out Sunday’s game against Oklahoma City for rest.
The Mavericks were in control throughout the game despite some tense moments. Here are some thoughts.
Luka Doncic is leaning into his playmaking talents
Luka has generational ability as both a scorer and a playmaker. His added weight and his recent bout with COVID have completely taken away his burst though. To combat this, Luka has leaned into his generational playmaking ability to make up for the reduced scoring load.
He had 15 assists and only three turnovers. He also chipped in eight rebounds and four assists to go with his 21 points. Overall this game was a step in the right direction for Luka despite lackluster scoring.
Reggie Bullock shooting well is important
Bullock was 4-of-8 from three as he continues to shoot well after his stint in health and safety protocols. Luka is the best three point shot creator in the league. In order to take advantage of that, the team has to make shots and Bullock is a huge part of that.
The team was 14-of-37 overall from three which is a step in the right direction.
The Mavericks cannot return to being so reliant on Luka for shot creation
The most fun development of the replacement Mavericks was the ball and player movement. The team did not fully return to standing around watching Luka, but the team totaled only eight assists outside of Luka’s 15. While Luka’s playmaking is always welcome, the offense is best when multiple people make plays.
Overall this was a fantastic win. Nikola Jokic is an absolute monster and any win over a team employing that man is a win to be happy about!
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