By now you’re well aware that the Dallas Mavericks are 4-0 after they beat the Chicago Bulls in Dallas Wednesday night, winning 114-105. And if you know that, you may have seen some of the factors that contributed to the fantastic win, like Grant Williams hitting all the threes.
But have you heard from the Mavericks players and Jason Kidd? If not, here’s what they had to say after the big win.
(On the basket by Jaden Hardy to go up by six points with 1:41 left in the game…)
“I thought [Jaden] Hardy was great for us tonight, being able to be in the rotation defensively and offensively. He made some great plays for us offensively, getting to the basket, making plays for his teammates. He made some big shots. I think, again, Luka [Dončić] trusting his teammates to understand it wasn’t his typical night of dominating offensively. Trusting the other guys on the floor shows his maturity and trust.”
(On Jaden Hardy helping out when Luka Dončić was double-teamed…)
“Just understanding that [Jaden] Hardy is really good at being able to shoot it or read the situation or drive it and get to the rim. I thought he did a really good job of that tonight.”
(On the importance of Dereck Lively II’s offensive rebounding…)
“All seven. He had seven of them, so all seven were important, especially the one that he got — I don’t know how he got the one to tip it and was able to grab it and throw it to Timmy [Tim Hardaway Jr.] for the four-point play. That was a big-time play.”
(On what has been most impressive of Dereck Lively II’s play this season …)
“He wants to do the right thing. He wants to learn. He wants to help his team win. It’s not running a play for him. It’s about doing the little things. He understands Luka [Dončić] and Kai [Kyrie Irving] and his teammates are going to find him on the roll. Again, his IQ is high. We just talked about the play, getting the offensive rebound. A lot of times, those guys are looking to score, and he found Timmy [Tim Hardaway Jr.] for the shot. He did that a lot tonight. I think the other thing is, what I like — what we all like — is he can run the whole quarter. He went the whole fourth with the timeouts we used. Chicago used one, and then we followed up and used one so that we didn’t have to sub.”
(On scoring 10 of the team’s first 17 points …)
“I was just taking the shots that were available. The first one I think I made was a corner three they were sagging off, and I was told to not turn down shots, so that was the first one. And it felt good, so I kept going with it. You get a rhythm, and you just kind of just flow.”
(On starting the season 4-0…)
“We have, what, 78 more games to go. I’m not focused on the 4-0. I’m focused on Denver on Friday, but we have a lot we can continue to learn with. That’s the mentality of this team. We can’t get comfortable, because as you know in this league, you can win four and then lose four. So, be mindful of that and understand that we have to take it one game at a time and that we have to make each other better every single game.”
(On the confidence of the team to step up when Luka Dončić is not shooting well…)
“Luka [Dončić]’s, you know, it’s difficult to say he wasn’t superhuman, because of all the passing he did while double-teamed and making those plays for us was still incredible. You have to give him that credit. He draws all that attention allowing us guys to play four-on-four or four-on-three sometimes. It’s pretty special to play with him and watch him play. Honestly, it comes in flows. There are going to be some nights when Luka goes for 70, and there’s going to be nights we have to pick him up. Same way Jaden Hardy — shout out to him because he did an amazing job tonight — just being ready when his number was called. He came in, and he played 14 minutes, but most of those minutes were in the fourth quarter and had multiple clutch plays for us, not only with passing but taking tough shots for us. I just have to give him that credit — same with Lively, those two guys. We’re considered a veteran team, but we also have a bunch of youth, and those guys have been really, really impactful for us, not only with their energy every single day in the locker room but their approach to the game.”
Derrick Jones Jr.
(On if it was fun facing his former team and old teammates on the Chicago Bulls tonight…)
“Of course, basketball games are always fun for me. [I’m] just always happy to be out there playing. Of course, as a player, you want to go out there and face a team you used to play for and have a good game and get the win. For me, 17 points is good, but I’m just glad we got the win. That’s all I care about.”
(On his big dunk tonight and if he saw his former teammate Zach Lavine under the rim at the time…)
“No one boxed out. Of course, that isn’t going to stop me from going for an offensive rebound. I don’t care who is there. To be honest with you, I wouldn’t care if my mom is there. If [my] mom is there on the opposite team, she’s going to get busted.”
(On being 4-0 to start the season and what this team has going for them…)
“Like I said before, it’s our chemistry and trust that we have out there on the floor with each other, five guys on the floor and everybody else. When their number gets called, we just have trust in everybody whenever they step on the floor and trust that they are going to do it to the best of their ability.”
(On his late-game out-of-bounds save in the 4th quarter tonight…)
“My job is to clean up the dirty work, and that’s what it is. I see the loose ball. I see it flying out of bounds, and if I can get to it, I’m going to do my best to try to get it back into play. Just fortunate for Tim [Hardaway Jr.] to be in the right place [at the] right time. So, I was able to get him the ball, and he hit the shot. Being able to know I got shooters like that around me, that’s an amazing feeling to have.”
(On if he saw Mavericks guard Tim Hardaway Jr. on the out-of-bounds save…)
“Whenever I turned, I saw him, and it just came down to getting the ball there. As soon as I see my shooters, I know I’m going to try to get them the ball in the best spot, any way I can. Fortunately enough, I was able to make that pass, and I know he’s going to hit it in more often than not.”
You can listen to our latest podcast episode in the player embedded below, and to make sure you don’t miss a single one moving forward, subscribe to the Pod Maverick podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, Pocketcasts, or Castbox.
You can check out our After Dark Recap podcasts, Spotify Live recordings, Moneyball Minute shows, and guest shows on the Pod Maverick Podcast feed. Please subscribe, rate, and review.