Dallas Mavericks 112, Boston Celtics 125
Stat Leaders: Points: 42, Dončić; Assists: 9, Dončić; Rebounds: 12, Wood
Surprising Stat: This was the first double-digit loss the Mavericks incurred this season.
Dallas Mavericks 100, Toronto Raptors 105
Stat Leaders: Points: 24, Dončić; Assists: 9, Dončić; Rebounds: 7, Dončić
Surprising Stat: This is the fourth game the Mavericks have lost this season when holding a +15 point lead.
Dallas Mavericks 115, Milwaukee Bucks 124
Stat Leaders: Points: 27, Dončić; Assists: 12, Dončić; Rebounds: 7, Wood
Surprising Stat: The Mavericks have yet to win a game this season on the second night of a back-to-back.
MVP of the Week: Christian Wood
Christian Wood finally played over 30 minutes in multiple games this week and did not disappoint. Against Boston, Wood led a furious second-half charge en route to a 21-point performance. Against Milwaukee, Wood tallied 26 points and 12 rebounds while shooting over 70% from the floor.
Though a winless week, Wood showed, once again, why he deserves more minutes. While the loss to Milwaukee was disappointing, his strong offensive performance showed that the Mavericks could have an effective offense without Dončić having to go thermonuclear.
Maybe Jason Kidd is finally starting to understand.
Surprise of the Week: Poor Team Defense
This was the first winless week of the season, a stretch that extended the Mavericks’ losing streak to four, and it can be attributed to one issue – team defense.
Early issues with this team focused on relying on a heliocentric offense around Dončić. Those issues seem to be improving – with close losses to Toronto and Milwaukee last week showing that Dončić scoring over 30 points isn’t always a necessity for this team to remain competitive.
The defense, however, was a mess.
Against both Boston and Milwaukee last week, the Mavericks allowed at least 70 points by halftime. Boston and Milwaukee both shot over 50% from the floor against Dallas and over 45% from three-point range. The Mavericks entered this week with the fourth-best defensive rating – they now sit at 12th.
This is one element of the team that Jason Kidd has prided himself on. Hopefully, this is just a blip on the radar.
Stock Up: Spencer Dinwiddie
There is little more to say about Dinwiddie than what has already been said: he has been the perfect secondary ball handler.
He is having his best season since 2019 scoring-wise and is doing so on career-high shooting percentages. He has been a steady scoring presence that the Mavericks need. He has been fantastic alongside Dončić and is more than competent when asked to manage the offense independently.
As one of the few players on this team who can create his own shot, the Mavericks need Dinwiddie to maintain, or improve upon, his performance this season.
Stock Down: Tim Hardaway Jr.
Tim Hardaway Jr. was bad.
Hardaway Jr. played 60 minutes this week. In those minutes, he scored 12 points, shot 5-of-20 from the floor (a paltry 25%) and 2-14 from three-point range (an even worse 14%).
To repeat, he scored 12 points the entire week.
Frankly, this is who he has been throughout most of his career. Save for his strong 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 seasons, Hardaway Jr. has been a high-volume, low-percentage shooter. What allowed for his strong seasons as a Mav was the attention Dončić received, which created open shots for Hardaway along the perimeter. In the past, he would make them.
Now, he does not.
Hardaway Jr. is one of the best, and worst, shot-chuckers in the league. He has seemingly been given the green light to shoot whenever he touches the ball this season. When he’s hot, he’s the ultimate spark plug that can give juice to any offense. When he’s cold, that same spark can start an electrical fire that burns down the house.
Hardaway Jr., as long as he’s given minutes, will continue to try and shoot his way out of this slump. Frankly, there is little else he provides to this team.
When players like Josh Green have shown significant improvement, however, Jason Kidd may need to consider just pulling the plug.
Nov. 29 vs Golden State Warriors
Dec. 1 vs Detroit Pistons
Dec. 3 vs New York Knicks