Game 10 Recap: The Return of the Unicorn

On Wednesday, the Dallas Mavericks returned to the court following a coronavirus outbreak within the team that resulted in the of postponing their matchup against the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday. They will now be on the road for a mini two game road trip hoping the outbreak has been contained within the team. They will start by playing the Charlotte Hornets in trying to keep their three game winning streak alive.

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A Way Too Early Season Review

Image Credit: @dallasmavs twitter

Your Dallas Mavericks are officially an 1/8th of the way through the season with a record of 5-4 and riding a 3-game winning streak. This article will take a look at where the Mavs stand after the first chunk of the season has come to a close. We will look at player’s stats, how the Mavs stack up against their division and the rest of the West, and look forward to the upcoming slate of games.

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Game 9 Recap: Mavs vs Magic

Image Credit: @dallasmavs twitter

On Saturday, the Dallas Mavericks return home to the American Airlines Center to play the Orlando Magic following a three game road trip that saw them go 2-1 in that timeframe. The Mavericks are coming off a team win that saw them rally from behind and eventually seal the deal in overtime for a 124-117 win over the Denver Nuggets. Entering the new year of 2021, the Mavericks are able to get off to a 3-1 start following ending 2020 with a 1-3 record. Rick Carlisle went with a lineup change that saw Willie Cauley-Stein and Maxi Kleber in the starting lineup and so far that’s paying off as the team is 2-0 with that lineup. The Mavericks entered this game 6th in the western conference with a 4-4 record as they try to keep pace with the rest of the pack.

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One Positive Stat for Every Dallas Maverick’s Player: Part 3

Image Credit: @dallasmavs twitter

Welcome back MFFLs to the 3rd and final part of our Key Positive Stat series designed to bring light and positivity to each member of our beloved Dallas Mavericks. We have already looked at 8 Mavs players in the first 2 parts of this series (Part 1, Part 2) and now we will look at the remining 9 players including the two-way contracts. So leave your negativity and hatred at the door and let’s see what the Mavs are working with at the bottom half of their roster.

Dorian Finney-Smith

At age 27, Dorian Finney-Smith is now in his 5th season with the Dallas Mavericks after being signed as a undrafted free-agent in 2016. Through a tough stretch in Dallas Mavericks history Doe-Doe earned every opportunity to play and develop NBA skills in-game on a depleted Mavs roster. Even as an undrafted free-agent rookie, Dorian was able to log over 20 minutes per game for Rick Carlisle. He earned his spot with tough on-ball defense, terrific close-outs on shooters, high energy, and the prospect of developing an above average outside shot. All of that has come together nicely as Doe-Doe is now a productive 3 and D roll player who shot an impressive 37.6% from downtown last season.

Finney-Smith’s unique skill that separates him from other 3 and D players in the league is his ability to create second chances for his team. Since 2010 there have only been 10 players to average at least 1.5 made threes per game and 2 offensive rebounds per game over an entire season.

Kevin Love2013-1425MIN772.92.536.337.6%52.4%
Karl-Anthony Towns2018-1923MIN773.41.833.140.0%57.2%
Kevin Love2011-1223MIN554.11.93937.2%49.7%
Carmelo Anthony2012-1328NYK6722.33737.9%50.2%
Ryan Anderson2011-1223ORL613.72.732.239.3%54.8%
DeMarcus Cousins2016-1726TOT722.11.834.236.1%49.8%
Ryan Anderson2012-1324NOH812.42.630.938.2%51.9%
Kevin Love2016-1728CLE602.52.431.437.3%51.0%
Nikola Vučević2019-2029ORL622.31.632.233.9%52.5%
Dorian Finney-Smith2019-2026DAL7121.629.937.6%57.5%

Finney-Smith actually ranked 20th in the NBA last season in Offensive Rating thanks to his high efficiency and low usage. With Luka Doncic and all of the other efficient playmakers on the roster like Josh Richardson, Jalen Brunson, and Trey Burke (discussed in Part 2), Doe-Doe doesn’t have to be anything more than a 3 and D hustle guy to earn big minutes for this Mavs team. Although it would be nice to see DFS improve his handles and be better at attacking the basket, one of his best traits is knowing his role and doing everything he can in that role to help his team win.

Ripping down offensive rebounds and hitting 3s while competing on the defensive end is exactly what the Mavs are looking for from Finney-Smith, and he is delivering. He is the kind of guy that doesn’t look great when he is on the floor with average players but when you surround him with offensive talent and playmakers he becomes an ideal role player for a Championship level team.

Willie Cauley-Stein

Willie Cauley-Stein is back for more with the Dallas Mavericks after opting out of his player option this summer and signing a new 2yr/$8.2M deal with the team. WCS was not given much opportunity with the Mavs last season, averaging 12 minutes per game in his 13 games played with the team. Up until recently it has been much of the same, limited but very productive minutes from Big Trilly. In fact, across 54 total games last season, split between Golden State and Dallas, WCS posted per 36 minute averages of 12.8 points, 10.3 rebounds, 1.6 steals, and 2 blocks. There have only been 4 other players in the NBA since 2010 who have matched that per minute productivity for a season.

Anthony Davis2017-187527.9111.52.555.2%
Nerlens Noel2018-197712.911.12.33.358.7%
Cole Aldrich2015-166014.8132.13.159.6%
Willie Cauley-Stein2019-205412.810.31.6257.9%
Jusuf Nurkić2014-156213.912.

Cauley-Stein’s length, athleticism, and energy have been infectious so far this year with the Mavs. He comes in for limited minutes and rips down offensive boards, has his hands all in the passing lanes, and attacks the rom on offense. There are a lot of MFFLs clammoring for WCS to steal some of Dwight Powell’s minutes, while this does not seem likely with the respect the organization continues to show Powell, if it does happen it looks like Willie Cauley-Stein will be ready.

Boban Marjanovic

Boban is a per minute beast when it comes to simply points and rebounds. When you are 7’4″ and 290 lbs, can hold the basketball like a tennis ball, and have a soft feathery touch around the rim, you can score and rack up rebounds while making it look easy. That is certainly what Bobi does, makes it look easy, like Wilt Chamberlain type easy.

In the history of the NBA there have only been a handful of players that have matched Boban’s per minute productivity with the Mavs from last season with 24.7 points and 16.8 rebounds per 36 minutes.

Wilt Chamberlain1963-6427SFW8028.817.452.4%
Wilt Chamberlain1961-6225PHW8037.41950.6%
Wilt Chamberlain1965-6629PHI7925.518.754.0%
Wilt Chamberlain1962-6326SFW8033.918.452.8%
Wilt Chamberlain1960-6124PHW7928.920.550.9%
Wilt Chamberlain1959-6023PHW7229.220.946.1%
Walt Bellamy1961-6222CHP7926.916.151.9%
Wilt Chamberlain1964-6528TOT7327.618.251.0%
Bob Pettit1960-6128STL7625.218.344.7%
Elgin Baylor1960-6126LAL7329.216.643.0%
Bob Pettit1961-6229STL7826.61645.0%
Giannis Antetokounmpo2019-2025MIL6334.916.155.3%
Bob Pettit1957-5825STL7024.517.341.0%
Boban Marjanović2019-2031DAL4424.716.857.3%

When Boban’s box score continually shows just 6 points and 5 rebounds on a nightly basis it is easy to forget just how dominant he is offensively when he is out there. Nobody can stop him from catching the ball in the post and nobody can stop with from putting his arm over his head and flipping one of his signature shots, they just have to hope it doesn’t go in. Any minutes that Bobi gets are welcomed by me and most MFFLs I am sure. He brings light to everyone’s heart and brings buckets when he is on the court. Cheers to 100 more years of having Bobi on the Mavs.

James Johnson

James Johnson is a swiss army knife type basketball player. He has the size, skills, and IQ to fill up the entire box score when given the opportunity. Last season, in 32 games with Miami and Minnesota, Johnson filled up the boxscore in his limited minutes going for 15.7 points, 6.9 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 1.5 steals, and 1.9 blocks per 36 minutes.

This is a very rare combination of production. Johnson was a defensive menace, good floor spacer, productive playmaker, and resident tough guy for his teams. Since blocks have been recorded, here is a list of all the players that have matched Johnson’s per 36 minute production from last season of at least 15 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 1.5 steals, 1.5 blocks.

David Robinson1993-94SAS8026.
G. Antetokounmpo2018-19MIL7230.413.
Julius Erving1980-81PHI8225.
Julius Erving1981-82PHI8125.
Julius Erving1979-80PHI7826.
G. Antetokounmpo2016-17MIL8023.
K. Abdul-Jabbar1977-78LAL6225.412. 55.0%
Chris Webber1999-00SAC7522.
Julius Erving1983-84PHI7723.
Anthony Davis2018-19NOP5628.313.
Josh Smith2009-10ATL8115.
Chris Webber1996-97WSB7218.
Mickey Johnson1979-80IND8221.
Alvan Adams1975-76PHO8020. 46.9%
Kevin Garnett1998-99MIN4719.
DeMarcus Cousins2017-18NOP4825.
Lionel Simmons1991-92SAC7816.
David West2017-18GSW7317.88.61.752.757.1%37.5%57.5%
DeMarcus Cousins2018-19GSW3022.811.51.952.148.0%27.4%51.5%
James Johnson2019-20TOT3215.

If per minute production isn’t your thing, we can show James Johnson’s versatility on a per game basis by going back to the 2016-2017 season when he had a much larger role with the Miami Heat. That season, Johnson averaged 12.8 points, 4.9 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 1 steal, and 1.1 blocks over 27.4 minutes per game. The only other players to match those numbers that season were Kevin Durant, DeMarcus Cousins, and Giannis Antetokounmpo.

This is an impressive list of players to be associated with and this type of skill set is something the Mavs really need. His offensive versatility and toughness on the defensive end make him an ideal role player for a Championship caliber team.

Josh Green

Josh Green had a very impressive freshman season in Arizona, leading to him being selected 18th overall by the Mavs in the 2020 draft. It is not very common for a freshman to fill up a box score the way Josh Green did last season for the Wildcats. This is a list of all the freshman in Pac-12 history to average at least 12 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 1.5 steals per game.

Jason KiddFR1992-93California29134.
O.J. MayoFR2007-08USC3320.
James HardenFR2007-08Arizona State3417.
Tony WrotenFR2011-12Washington351653.71.93.816.1%
Dejounte MurrayFR2015-16Washington3416.
Markelle FultzFR2016-17Washington2523.
Lonzo BallFR2016-17UCLA3614.667.61.82.541.2%
Josh GreenFR2019-20Arizona30124.

As a guard in the Pac-12 you can not hope for much more than to be on a list with these players. It is unclear if and what type of role Green will carve out for himself this season, it will be tough on a deep veteran team. Regardless, it seems like he has the opportunity to develop into a very solid NBA player with his skill set. The Coaching Staff already raves about his defensive ability and the stats say that he has all the skills on the offensive end to be a great role player. This is a great combination and one that I believe will keep Josh Green in the NBA for a long time.

Wes Iwundu

I have to be honest, finding a unique positive stat for Wes Iwundu was much harder than the other Mavs players. But we are going to try to stay positive. The Mavs signed Wes to a 2yr/$3.5M contract earlier in December and many were surprised when he took the last roster spot over our beloved JJ Barea. However, the Mavs organization has said and shown that they have put an emphasis on length and defense. Every move they made this offseason was to get longer, tougher, and better defensively to support their historically efficient offense led by Luka Doncic.

Iwundu has not really been able to get on the court this season, In order to do so I think he is going to need to see a big improvement in his 3-point shot to make himself more of a threat offensively. Luckily for Wes, he has shown glimpses of being an effective long range shooter.

It is common for players to shoot better on their home court than on the road, but Wes Iwundu’s home/away splits when it comes to 3 point shooting is quite drastic. At home, over 27 games and 36 three point attempts, Iwundu shot at impressive 44.4%. In contrast, in 25 road games on 46 three point attempts, Iwundu knocked down only 26%.

These wide three point shooting splits also show themselves when you look at his performance as a starter versus him coming off the bench. Last season in 21 starts Wes shot 39.5% on 38 three point attempts. Coming off the bench in 31 games, he shot 29.5% on 44 three point attempts.

What I take from all this is that Iwundu shoots a lot better when he is comfortable. My spin of positivity is that because of the Mavs great locker room and team comradery that Iwundu will be very comfortable in his time in Dallas, allowing him to focus on his game and improve over time, remember he is only 26.

Tyrell Terry

Tyrell Terry was one of the best shooters in the country last year in his lone collegiate season with Stanford, shooting 41% on 152 three point attempts and 89% on 110 free throw attempts across 31 games. Terry’s Stanford highlight reel shows he has endless range and a quick effortless release, two very definable NBA skills. These highlights also show Terry being very aggressive going to the rim, searching out contact to get to the free throw line where he excels. Only 4 freshman in NCAA history that played for a major conference have shot over 89% on free throws with at least 100 attempts on a season.

Troy Bell1999-00Boston College18089%14840%
J.J. Redick2002-03Duke11192%23840%2.521.21.615
Tyrell Terry2019-20Stanford11089%15241%
Salim Stoudamire2001-02Arizona11490%16145%

The other players on list this are mostly just shooters and do not do much in terms of rebounding or making plays for others. Terry, on the other hand, has a better all around game and contributes in many different ways. The path to playing time this season is a rough one for Terry, behind Luka, Jalen Brunson, Trey Burke, Tim Hardaway, Jr., Josh Richardson, and Josh Green on the depth chart. Regardless of playing time this year, Terry is a great prospect with an already NBA ready skill in his long range shooting. Improving his ball handling and the ability to create his own shots and shots for others will give him a better chance of earning some minutes in the future.

Nate Hinton

Nate Hinton is the ultimate hustle player. We saw it in the preseason, whenever he is on the floor, things happen. Whether it be coming up with steals, crashing the offensive glass, controlling the boards on the defensive end, or knocking down open shots Hinton looked impressive in his preseason action. At 6’5″ Hinton rebounds the ball like he is 6’10”, averaging 8.7 rebounds per game in his 31 games at Houston during his sophomore season. The uniqueness of Nate Hinton is in his incredible ability to rebound but at the same time be able to knock down threes on the other end.

In all of college basketball last season, only 10 players were able to average at least 8.5 rebounds per game and make at least 40 threes throughout the season. Aside from Hinton and Kim Aiken from Eastern Washington, no other underclassman was able to rebound and hit threes at this rate.

Terry TaylorJRGAustin Peay3336.621.84132.0%
Phlandrous FlemingJRGCharleston S.3235.417.74525.9%
Ethan StairSRGMercer3234.814.66035.3%
Tyrn FlowersJRFLIU3334.514.36130.5%
Kaleb WessonJRFOhio State3129.5144542.5%
Xeyrius WilliamsSRFAkron3131.613.96629.9%
Kim AikenSOGE. Washington3132.713.37633.2%
Andy Van VlietSRFWilliam & Mary3230.813.25335.8%
Will RaymanSRFColgate3432.912.65235.9%91.70.81
Nate HintonSOGHouston3130.310.64638.7%8.721.40.2

Hinton will start the season as one of the Mavs two-way players, thus he will not dress for every game. As an undrafted free agent rookie from Houston, I think he will take any roster spot he can get. I think that Hinton is the type of guy that won’t get discouraged by his role or lack thereof but I expect him to work as hard as anyone else and to be back better and ready to compete for minutes next season.

Tyler Bey

Tyler Bey is a defensive monster! His size, length, athleticism, and instincts make him the prototype for an NBA defensive stopper across multiple positions. Below is a list of players from major college conferences (aside from the last 3 players which I threw in as a bonus) that have matched Tyler Bey’s 13.8 points, 9 rebounds, 1.5 steals, and 1.2 blocks per game in a season.

Kevin DurantFR2006-07TexasBig 123511.
Mike SweetneyJR2002-03GeorgetownBig East3410.
Drew GoodenJR2001-02KansasBig 123711.421.81.42.519.8
Bonzie ColsonSR2017-18Notre DameACC2110.
Sam ClancySR2001-02USCPac-10329.
Shelden WilliamsSR2005-06DukeACC3610.
Damion JamesSR2009-10TexasBig 123410.311.71.22.918
Al-Farouq AminuSO2009-10Wake ForestACC3110.
Trevor BookerJR2008-09ClemsonACC329.71.71.521.715.3
Lawrence RobertsSO2002-03BaylorBig 122610.
Travis WatsonSR2002-03VirginiaACC3110.
Ethan HappSO2016-17WisconsinBig Ten3792.
Tyler BeyJR2019-20ColoradoPac-123191.
Paul MillsapJR2005-06Louisiana TechWAC3313.
David WestSO2000-01XavierA-102910.921.42.12.817.8
Kenneth FariedSO2008-09Morehead StateOVC36131.

Not all of these players went on to be productive NBA players but there are a lot of really good all around big men on this list. What’s more impressive is that Tyler Bey did this while also shooting 42% on his 1 three point attempt per game. If the three point shooting is real and improves and if Bey continues to add strength I don’t see any reason why he cannot be a very solid 3-and-D or undersized stretch big man in this League. Like Hinton, Bey starts this season as a two-way player but I think the Mavs love his defensive upside and will look to groom him for a roster spot in future years.

Game 8 Recap: Mavs at Nuggets

Photo Credit: @dallasmavs twitter

On Thursday, the Dallas Mavericks played the Denver Nuggets in the final stretch of their three game road trip. The Mavericks are coming off a impressive 113-100 win over the Houston Rockets to improve their record to 3-4 and are looking to garner a winning streak for the first time this season. Carlisle and company are looking to remain “above water” in the Western Conference as Kristaps Porzingis is inching closer to a return back to the court. The Mavericks were a fix able to fix their rebounding woes by going with a lineup change that saw Willie Cauley-Stein being the starter in place of Dwight Powell. We will see if that remains consistent going forward with this upcoming matchup against the Nuggets.

On Monday, the Mavericks played the Houston Rockets on the second night of a back-to-back. Luka Doncic returned from a quad contusion and bounced back with a triple-double of 33 points, 16 rebounds and 11 assists. The always dangerous 3-point shooting Rockets struggled massively by making just 11 of 40 (27.5%) 3-pointers with James Harden making only 3 of his 11 attempts. DeMarcus Cousins was ejected from the game by arguing with an official due to not getting a foul called after a layup, it would be his second technical foul in three minutes of playing time and was immediately ejected. The officials were not afraid of using their whistles in this one as there were a combined 7 technical fouls called on both teams, including a flagrant foul on James Johnson of the Mavericks. Tim Hardaway went off in his first game coming off the bench in quite a while by scoring 30 points with making 8 three’s. The Mavericks went on a 14-3 run in the fourth quarter in what would turned out to be pivotal in sealing the deal for a 113-100 victory. The Mavericks out rebounded the Rockets 57-41 as they saw improvement putting Willie Cauley-Stein in the starting lineup which is a good sign as they were coming into this game being ranked 27th in the NBA in rebounds.

The Denver Nuggets are coming into this game with a record of 3-4 with back-to-back wins over the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Nuggets are always a dangerous team to face when you have to deal with containing Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray for 48 minutes. The Nuggets are coming into this season after having an impressive run in the NBA playoff bubble that saw them coming back from a 3-1 series lead twice versus the Utah Jazz and Los Angeles Clippers in the first two rounds. The Nuggets made some changes to their roster that saw them draft RJ Hampton with the 24th overall pick in the NBA draft while also signing JaMychal Green in free agency. The team said say goodbye to Jerami Grant as part of a sign-and-trade with the Detroit Pistons. The Nuggets are looking to build off last season by trying to make another deep playoff run this season.

Entering this game versus the Nuggets, the Mavericks took two out of three matchups in the regular season series last season with claiming the most recent win on March 11th, 2020 in what would be the final home game at the American Airlines Center as the NBA would pause the season due to Covid-19. These teams will meet one more time in the first half of the NBA season on January 27th in Dallas. The home team has taken 20 of the last 27 matchups with the Nuggets claiming 7 of the last 10 matchups. Luka Doncic averaged 22.3 points per game while Nikola Jokic averaged 19 points per game in their three matchups against each other last season. Overall, the Mavericks lead the all-time series lead with a record of 90-86.

The Mavericks began this game sticking to their lineup with Willie Cauley-Stein and Maxi Kleber that saw success from the defensive end and are riding that momentum. Right on cue, Willie Caulie-Stein scored the first basket for the Mavericks as both teams tried to get in a rhythm. The Nuggets got things going by forcing a couple of turnovers leading to fast break points on the offensive end as a result of an 8-2 run in the early stages of the first quarter. There was snow in the area and maybe the Mavericks were slow to warming up as Rick Carlisle called timeout with 8:15 left. Coming off the timeout, the Mavericks finally saw a basket go in by Luka Doncic to end the 11-0 scoring run by the Nuggets. The Mavericks were able to come back to tie the game at 14-14 after being down 11-2 with Luka Doncic hitting a 27-foot three pointer in the later stages of the quarter. Boban Marjanovic gave the Mavericks their first lead to this slow starting game by completing the three point play at the free-throw line with 2:37 left. In the final minutes, Jamal Murray, Tim Hardaway Jr and JaMychal Green each traded three point field goals that resulted in the Nuggets retaking the lead. The Mavericks thought they were getting free-throws in the final seconds of the quarter but the Nuggets decided to challenge the play and it be deemed a successful challenge. The successful challenge resulted in Jamal Murray hitting a buzzer beating 36-foot three point jumper to take a 28-22 lead heading into the second quarter. The Mavericks had trouble protecting the ball as they had 5 costly turnovers that gave the Nuggets a chance to find their rhythm.

The Nuggets started out the second quarter with the way the first quarter ended with a Jamal Murray hitting a basket, giving him with 15 points to this point. The Mavericks found themselves late in the shot clock in the first couple possessions in the quarter ultimately resulting in bad shots being taken. The Mavericks were able to be in the bonus with 8:30 left in the quarter hoping to use that to their advantage. The Nuggets were able to increase their lead to 11 points thanks to a 7-2 run to begin this quarter that resulted in Rick Carlisle calling a timeout in an effort to kill the run. Turnovers seem to be an issue in the early goings in this game as the Mavericks better protect the rock or else this will be a blowout soon. Coming out of the timeout, the Mavericks got things going on offense as they were able to create a 6-2 run to get within 6 points of the Nuggets midway through the second quarter. In the final 2:00 minutes of the quarter, Doran Finney-Smith had a put back thunderous slam trying to give the Mavericks some energy to finish the quarter. The quarter would end with both teams trading three point shots with the Nuggets increasing their lead to 9 points in what would be a 52-43 lead in a low scoring first half. The Mavericks have got to shoot better from deep as they shot 4 of 21 (19%) as that will not cut it in bringing a victory out of this one. Luka Doncic put up 14 points in the first half but had 4 turnovers as the Nuggets used that to get things going. Jamal Murray had 15 points on 5 of 9 shooting from the field as he was able to get going in the first half. The Mavericks were able to go to the free-throw by making 11 of 15 as they were able to use that to maintain within reach of this game. Luka Doncic would need the rest of the supporting cast to pick up the slack as the starters only scored 14 points matching Doncic’s total of 14 points. The Mavericks have to know when to stop shooting threes and when to drive to the paint and get easy buckets as shooting 33% from the field is not a recipe for a win.

Coming out of the half, both teams were able to trade baskets but a turnover by Nuggets saw Luka Doncic making an easy layup off the fast break to try to spark a Mavericks run. With Dorian Finney-Smith hitting a 25-foot three point jumper that gave him 11 points as he would become just the second Maverick to reach double figures in points with 8:26 left in the third quarter. With a timeout on the floor, the Nuggets were able to draw up a 4-2 scoring run to increase their lead back to 9 points as the Mavericks were threatening to stage a comeback as Nikola Jokic took a page out of Dirk Nowitzki’s as book by hitting a one-legged fadeaway jumper. Coming off the timeout, Josh Richardson hit a badly needed three as Luka is looking for somebody to give him some support. The Nuggets were able to take the biggest lead in the game by Monte Morris hitting a 26-foot three point jumper increasing their lead to 12 points with 4:19 left in the third quarter that forced Rick Carlisle to take a timeout. The Mavericks desperately need to give Luka some help if they want any chance of coming out of this with a victory as 1 man can’t carry the whole team. Coming off the Carlisle timeout, the Mavericks were able to find themselves good looks as Tim Hardaway Jr was able to hit two quick threes to get himself going. The Nuggets were seeing the Mavericks in the rear view mirror as they saw their lead deteriorate to 4 points with Dwight Powell getting things going in the final minute of the quarter. The quarter would end with Tim Hardaway Jr drawing a loose ball foul to head to the free-throw line where he would drain both of his free-throws. The Mavericks found themselves right back in this game by coming back to within 2 points with the score ending 78-76 in favor of the Nuggets. Give the Mavericks credit by making this a game in what look like to be a long night. Luka Doncic got the support he needed with 3 Mavericks being in double figures to go along with himself. The Mavericks fixed their 3 point shooting woes by going 5 of 6 in the third quarter.

In the final quarter of this game, James Johnson gave the Mavericks the lead by hitting a 23-foot three point jumper but the Mavericks would only enjoy the lead for a couple of seconds as PJ Dozier would answer for the Nuggets. In the early stages of the quarter, James Johnson went on a mini 7-0 personal run as both teams would exchange time having the lead. Coming off a Mavericks full timeout, the Mavericks got production from their bench as it was Jalen Brunson’s turn to tie the game at 86-86 but Nikola Jokic was there to take it right back in a back-and-forth quarter. The team that would go cold next would find themselves in the losing end of this game. In a generous call by an official granted Jamal Murray a timeout that saw him on the floor near the baseline as it looked like the Mavericks were able to come away with a turnover with 7:58 left in the game. It wouldn’t hunt them as Jalen Brunson again was able to tie the game at 88-88 by hitting a one-handed floater. With a chance to go out in front, Josh Richardson couldn’t hit the pull-up shot for the Mavericks. Luka Doncic was able to find a wide open Boban Marjanovic in the paint for a dunk to tie the game once again but it would be Garry Harris giving the Nuggets the lead right back. Midway through the fourth quarter, Luka Doncic was able to draw a foul while shooting a three but couldn’t tie the game on free-throws. Thankfully a couple of Nikola Jokic miscues gave the Mavericks a 101-97 lead and ultimately a 7-0 run thanks to Maxi Kleber hitting a clutch 26-foot three point jumper with 3:56 left to play. You probably guessed it, Nikola Jokic would answer to retake the lead by hitting a huge 26-foot three point jumper to kill the Mavericks 7-0 run. With 2:00 minutes left in the game, both teams were answering each other shots in a back-and-forth quarter as the team with the ball last will most likely win this game. Nikola Jokic was able to draw himself a “cheapy” foul to get to the free-throw line where he would restore the Nuggets lead 107-106 with 50 seconds left. The Mavericks needed a crucial stop on defense and they got it by Jamal Murray missing the shot and Luka Doncic grabbing the rebound and Rick Carlisle calling timeout with 7.7 seconds left. In the final seconds, Rick Carlisle drew up a play for Luka Doncic where he would ultimately find a wide open Maxi Kleber to drain the 27-foot three point shot to give the Mavericks a 109-107 lead with the Nuggets calling a timeout with 2.4 seconds left. The Nuggets went to Nikola Jokic to try to tie this game to force overtime and he hit the 19-foot step back jumpshot as time expired. Honestly this game deserved to go to overtime due to both teams exchanging times with the lead in a back-and-forth fourth quarter.

In the overtime quarter, it started with both teams hitting three point shots to keep this game tied. Luka Doncic gave the Mavericks lead one more time by hitting a one handed floater with 3:49 left as the Mavericks were hanging tough in this game. After a couple of empty possessions from both teams, Will Barton was able to tie this game for the Nuggets by hitting a tip shot. In the final 2:00 minutes of the overtime quarter, it was Josh Richardson’s turn to give the Mavericks a 119-114 lead by going on a personal 5-0 run, hitting a crucial 24-foot three point jumper that forced the Nuggets to call a timeout with 1:25 left. Maxi Kleber picked a crucial Nuggets turnover with 1:00 left to drain some time. In the final minute, Luka Doncic hit a clutch step-back jumper to put this game away for the Mavericks as the Nuggets were forced to play the fouling game to send the Mavericks to the free-throw line.

This team looked rusty at first by starting this game slow and low energy. The Nuggets thought they would able to put the Mavericks away but the Mavericks had other plans by generating energy and competing with these Nuggets. Normally, this would be a game in which the Mavericks decide to not to make an effort to comeback but they did in this one as the Nuggets kept giving the Mavericks a shot. The Mavericks kept staying with the Nuggets in the “whatever you do I can do better” fourth quarter. The Mavericks were cold coming into this arena but with the arena being “room temperature” they were able to heat up and catch up with these Nuggets in a fantastic finish.

In the end, it was the Mavericks claiming victory in this one by beating the Nuggets 124-117 in overtime with clutch shots by Maxi Kleber to force overtime and ultimately gave the Mavericks the win in overtime with his effort. The Mavericks have found their first winning streak of the season and they had to go to overtime to grab it. Luka Doncic was M-V-P Doncic as he was able to find wide open guys and hit big shots in the 38 point scoring effort. Many of the Mavericks were able to step up to help Luka Doncic with a 44 point effort from the team bench. This was back-to-back good games from the Mavericks in a much needed win. The Mavericks are 2-0 when Willie Cauley-Stein and Maxi Kleber in the starting lineup. The Mavericks have found themselves back to .500 with a win in this one as they improve to 4-4 on the season

The Mavericks will fly back home after their three game road trip in which they went 2-1. They begin a two game home stand beginning with Orlando Magic on Saturday with Kristaps Porzingis around 1 week away from returning back to the court.

Game 7 Recap: Mavs at Rockets

Image from @Dallasmavs twitter

On Monday, The Dallas Mavericks played the Houston Rockets on the second night of a back-to-back as they continue their road trip. The Mavericks are coming off a disappointing loss in which they struggled rebounding the ball and allowed way too many second chance points. The Mavericks have a tough challenge ahead of them with the always dangerous, James Harden. The Mavericks have gotten off to a disappointing start to their season as they are 2-4 through six games, hoping to start a winning streak soon as they inch closer to getting Kristaps Porzingis back to the lineup. The Mavericks are suffering massively on the defensive end by averaging 41.5 rebounds, ranking 27th in the NBA to this point. The Mavericks have to be able to fix their rebounding woes if they want to grab a top seed in the Western Conference. This would be the first time that Maverick fans would be able to go to an NBA game to support their team as fans await word on when they can show their support at the American Airlines Center.

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Game 6 Recap: Mavs at Bulls

Image from @DallasMavs twitter

On Sunday, the Dallas Mavericks played the Chicago Bulls as the Mavericks start their three game road trip. The Mavericks are coming off a 93-83 win against the Miami Heat that saw Luka Doncic record season highs of 27 points and 14 rebounds to notch his first double-double of the season. The Mavericks look to start a winning streak for the first time and get on a roll. The Mavs were able to start 2021 by going 1-0 and hope to remain undefeated after this matchup with the Bulls.

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MFFL Round Table: NBA Awards and Mavs Predictions

We are a little late to the party but we wanted to round up some of the Mavs Fans For Life writers to give our predictions for the major 2020-2021 NBA awards and how the Mavs will fare in this new year. In this article we have predictions and commentary from four of our MFFLs on MVP, NBA Scoring Leader, Defensive Player of the Year, 6th Man of the Year, Rookie of the Year, Most Improved Player, Coach of the Year, and also Mavs record and seeding. We love to hear from our fellow MFFLs so if you think we missed anything feel free to reach out on twitter @mavsfansforlife.

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Game 5 Recap: Mavs vs Heat

Image Credit: @dallasmavs twitter

On Friday, The Dallas Mavericks played the Miami Heat as the Mavericks continue their mini two game home stand at the American Airlines Center. The Mavericks are coming off a blowout loss in which they struggled with scoring points. The Mavericks look to bounce back and get their second win overall and their first of 2021. As we enter the new year, the Mavericks hope 2021 is filled with success and being healthy as they await for Kristaps Porzingis return to the court. The Mavericks are 2-4 all-time on New Year’s Day games. This will be the first game in which the Mavericks hosted a New Year’s Day game.

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Game 4: Hornets vs Mavs Recap

Photo Credit: @dallasmavs twitter

On Wednesday, The Dallas Mavericks played the Charlotte Hornets in the first game at the American Airlines Center this season following their tough three game road trip. The Mavericks are coming off an historic victory in which they beat the Los Angeles Clippers by 51, which is the second most margin of victory in Mavericks history. The Mavericks look to keep their momentum going and get back to .500 on the season. This is the first home game at the American Airlines Center since the tragic day of March 11th, 2019 and it’s great to have basketball return to the American Airlines Center as we await word when fans will be allowed in the arena.

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