Holy 2nd Quarter – Mavs at Pelicans – Game 2

If I asked you, when was the last time the Dallas Mavericks started a season 2-0? What would be your guess?

The answer is 15 years ago! The 2004-2005 season, with a line up of Devin Harris, Michael Finley, Josh Howard, Dirk Nowitzki, and Erick Dampier, the Mavericks started out 4-0 and finished as the 4th seed.

The Dallas Mavericks (2-0) defeated New Orleans Pelicans (0-2) 123-116.  Luka Doncic continues to carry his 2019 Rookie of the Year momentum into each game as he put in 25 points (10-19 shooting), 10 assists, 10 rebounds, and 2 steals. The score was 115-113 with 2:12 to go in the game when Luka Doncic took over, scoring 5 straight points to help push the lead to 120-113 and secure the victory in the Mavs favor.

Kristaps Porzingis was protecting the paint at all costs with 5 blocks to go along with 24 points on 8-17 shooting. One thing we do need to watch is Porzingis’ rebounding, only averaging 4 rebounds through the first two games. He is a stretch-four, but I would like to see him average at least 6.5 rebounds a game at the minimum being the tallest player on the court. It has only been two games so nothing to get overly concerns about yet, but definitely on the watch list. Maxi Kleber made up for it with 10 rebounds last night and the wings and guards rebound well for their size.

Delon Wright showed up big time for this team and it payed dividends in a major way. His name wasn’t called with the starting lineup and it seemed to have struck a chord with Delon in a positive way. Nothing is guaranteed in this league, you have to bring it every game and Delon Wright did that last night. His defense is already there, the only thing missing was the offensive end, shooting only two times in the first game and being non-existent on that side of the court. That changed in game two as Wright filled up the stat sheet with 20 points (8-12 shooting), 7 rebounds, 3 asissts, and 5 steals.

Jalen Brunson deserves a nickname as he consistently shows up when his name is called. He is always calm, cool, and collected no matter the moment. Nothing flashy about his game but he does everything right and makes the right play. Brunson put up 14 points (6-11), 8 rebounds, 2 assists and most importantly 0 turnovers. It appears that Brunson has in fact made the leap that Mavericks players and staff has said he was going to make this year.

I want to see Tim Hardaway get going. He worked very hard this offseason and not only accepted but looked to thrive in his 6th man role for the Mavericks this season. Through the first two games, he is averaging 4 points, 1 rebound, and 1 assist at 26.7 FG%. It’s only two games, but we need to see him start producing given his amount of minutes and the fact that he is eating up $18,150,000 of the Mavs cap space this season.

The Pelicans are a very competitive team, even with their 2019 #1 draft pick Zion Williamson out. Jrue Holiday had an off night shooting 2-11, so the Mavs game plan on him worked successfully, but he was still able to make plays for his teammates with 8 assists in the game. I really like Brandon Ingram, and the mix of veterans and youth rounding out the roster. Brandon Ingram scored 25 points (10-20 shooting) and 8 rebounds. Josh Hart and Derrick Favors both scored 16 points

One thing the Mavericks need to improve on is the slow starts in the first quarter, being outscored 66-49 through the first two games. They need to put an emphasis on the defensive end at the beginning of games. I’m curious to see if it is due to the opposition or the Mavericks starting lineup. Can we just blame Courtney Lee? In all seriousness, I look forward to seeing how they start out Sunday against a 2019 Western Conference Finalist, Portland Trail Blazers.

Luka Doncic achieved his 9th triple-doubles in his young career, which is the most in NBA history for a player younger than 21 years old. Magic Johnson had 7 triple-doubles and LeBron James had 5. After hearing this, what did Doncic have to say? “I didn’t know that. I’m just happy to get the win.” How can you not love this guy? Another great quote from last night was Luka Doncic, after grabbing a triple-double and making a clutch basket to put his team in position to win the game, he stated Delon Wright “was the key to our win.”

The Dallas Mavericks (2-0) travel back home to play against the Portland Trail Blazers (1-1) Sunday at 6:00pm CT.

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