It is no longer breaking news that the Mavericks are facing a rash of injuries. Maxi Kleber is out indefinitely. Dorian Finney-Smith and Josh Green should return at some point but those timetables are unclear. Kemba Walker also missed the game versus the Rockets as the Mavericks do their best to manage his usage and protect his knee.
In need of able bodies to provide depth off the bench, the Mavericks called on two-way contract guard McKinley Wright IV. In ten minutes of court time, Wright’s stat line of 2 points, 3 boards, 1 assist, and 1 hellacious block does not tell the whole story.
Energy off the bench is infectious and the Mavs needed what Wright IV provided against the Rockets. Outside of god-mode Luka Doncic, the Mavericks starters struggled in this game. It is an effort like this that can earn future minutes and trust from a coaching staff. In this play, Wright IV jumps into a passing lane, dives on the floor, and shuffles the ball to Davis Betrans to gain possession for Dallas.
Wright IV is a pass-first point guard but is also more than capable of scoring. His lone bucket of the night was this nifty runner in the lane over a decent contest off a screen from Christian Wood.
This was amazing. Wright IV chases down Rockets forward Tari Eason, dislodges the ball from his dribble, and saves his steal back inbounds straight to Luka Doncic.
Rockets big man Usman Garuba is 6’8 and around 230 lbs. Wright IV is just shy of six feet tall. Despite this height disparity, Wright IV is able to perfectly time this monster block without fouling. The block was so perfect that the carom straight to Tim Hardaway Jr felt more like a pass.
Luka Doncic was sensational and we should never take performances like the one he unfurled on the Rockets for granted. Dropping 50 in a Mavericks uniform is a rare spectacle to behold. Flying under the radar beneath the superstar’s greatness were these amazing ten minutes from the diminutive sparkplug. Will we see more impactful moments from Wright IV as the team’s depth continues to be relied upon?