The Dallas Mavericks defeated the Utah Jazz on Wednesday night, winning 103-100 and bringing their record to 4-3. It was a hard-fought win over an aggressive Jazz team that had surprised teams multiple times already in the young season. After the game, multiple Dallas players had a lot to say about the game, their teammates, and the team itself. Spencer Dinwiddie had the most to say, and it’s worth leading off with. But there’s also great comments from Jason Kidd, Luka Doncic, and a postgame Bally interview with Christian Wood.
(On if he thinks he has played up to expectations so far this year…)
“I think the great part and hard part about being me is just wearing a lot of hats and doing that to the best of your ability. [When] Luka [Doncic] is cooking, it’s time to be a spot-up shooter. When Luka is looking tired or something, then it’s time for you to be aggressive. Depending on the lineup that could be getting a switch and getting downhill if we are playing five out, if DP [Dwight Powell] is in the game or Javale [McGee] is in the game that could be playing pick and roll looking for the lob.
“In the same token, if C. [Christian] Wood is cooking, you have to make the right play call to be able to get him the ball, or get the switch, or orchestrate the floor balance so that he gets the switch and gets in a position so that he can score. It is just trying to be fluid and read the game. It has to be something that continues to develop across the board. But being able to isolate or get in the paint, whether it is for myself or others, is what I have been great at in the league for the last five or six years. Being able to press that button when Luka or C-Wood aren’t in there at the moment is what I have to do.”
(On Dwight Powell…)
“I mean, obviously he led us in +/- with the +25 [rating] and I said this on the radio as well – having been a guy, speaking for myself right now, that’s played every role from 15th man up until 2nd guy, right? Right around the All-Star level [and] everywhere in-between. Dwight being a guy who started on a Western Conference Finals team [and] lost his job is the first, second or third man in the gym every single day. Lifts after every game, eats right, takes care of his body, doesn’t drink [alcohol], does all of the things that you should do as an ultimate pro. Cheers the hardest for the people that play over him. JaVale [McGee] gets a dunk [and] he’s one of the first people off the bench.
“It’s an extreme credit to his character. It is the hardest role to have in this league to know that you can play, to have started and had success, and to be relegated to the bench not playing at all – staying ready, staying focused, and then when they call your number, to have extreme success whether it’s [on the] stat sheet or not. Sometimes, he doesn’t score or get a bunch of rebounds or whatever. I know Mavs fans give him a lot of flack for fouling a lot or falling on the ground or things like that, but the things that he does in terms of rolling every single time, regardless of whether he gets the ball – getting hit, getting hurt, getting knocked in the face and all that other stuff – that is a glory-less job that allows guys like Luka [Dončić] and myself to be able to make plays because his rim pressure is what then gets the weak side to pull in so we can pass to Reggie [Bullock] and Dorian [Finney-Smith] so they can hit corner 3’s where there is a lot of capability or putting decisions in the big’s mindset of ‘we can’t give up layups.’ So, in a lot of ways, he’s like that great left guard for a football team where Tom Brady is getting all the accolades and endorsements but if that dude isn’t protecting his blindside and isn’t doing it every single time, Tom Brady is getting his head knocked off. DP is the ultimate pro.
“I have the upmost respect for him and I hope every single Mavs fan listens to this monologue and has a different respect level for DP because everybody is not going to get to shoot 20 times and score 30 points and do all of the flashy stuff and dunk and stuff. You need guys that do things like that and are ready every single time, every single day. He’s probably in there lifting right now, to be honest. You know what I’m saying? I’m going home. He’s lifting. So like, that’s DP.”
(On responding to Utah early in the second quarter)
“We had to pick it up on the defensive end, they were getting a lot of easy looks, so we made it an emphasis to pick it up on the defensive end. And they came out and made shots in the third quarter, but we stuck with it. One of our words this year is ‘resiliency’ and we were very resilient tonight.”
(On how he’s liked his time so far with Dallas)
“It’s been great. The team’s been showing me love, the guy’s have been showing me love, Luka’s been showing me love. He made an emphasis today on trying to get me the ball more, so it’s amazing, I love playing with these guys.”
(On how he has been able to be so consistent and steady offensively to start the season…)
“I don’t know, I am just trying to win games. Whoever scores more is going to win the game. I think today was one of the best games I have played. Not forcing a lot, sharing the ball. I think we shared the ball great today. We did have a few turnovers that weren’t very good, or I did, especially at the beginning. But the way we handled the game was pretty good. Utah is a great team, and they are playing amazing right now.”
(On if he feels like he is on a roll even for himself…)
“Maybe yes, maybe no. I just know that I had to start better than last year because the way I started last year wasn’t acceptable. So, I tried to learn from that and just be better than last year.”
(On Reggie Bullock’s 3-pointer with 35 second left in the game...)
“It was big. It was a big trust, understanding we probably didn’t shoot the ball extremely well from the three … We got 38 of them up. But Reggie’s [Bullock] shot was big, and I think just the trust factor [with] that group that was on the floor, Luka [Dončić] getting doubled in the swing-swing, getting the wide-open three. [Bullock] makes it and we kind of take control of the game.
“It just shows the trust that his teammates and the coaches and everyone has in Reggie. We would say Reggie is not shooting the ball well right now, but that doesn’t mean that he’s not capable. Having him in not just for defense but believing he can make one of those shots … Doe [Dorian Finney-Smith] does it for us the other night, and Reggie does it tonight.”
(On playing zone defense tonight...)
“Yeah, we’re working on that since we can’t guard man-to-man right now, we’re going to try everything. We looked at the zone, zone helped us stay in the game. It’s just something that we needed to try to do. We’re struggling at times guarding, and especially in that first quarter, so after the jump ball we might start in the zone against Toronto. But we’ve got to get back on defense with them. [The Raptors] put up 143 tonight. We’ll get a good test. But to answer your question, we’re going to play zone whenever we get a chance.”
(On being ready when called upon…)
“I mean you said it right there. You have to stay ready regardless. At the end of the day this league is all about winning games and we are going to try whatever we can to achieve that goal. There are going to be different situations where you have to play different roles. You have to be prepared every night, every day, every practice, every off day to do the best you can to be prepared for whatever the situation may be that is coming your way.)
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