2022-2023 Season: Week 16 Review

Dallas Mavericks 111, Detroit Pistons 105

Stat Leaders: Points: 53, Dončić; Assists: 5, Dončić; Rebounds: 8, Dončić

Surprising Stat: Luka Dončić became the fifth player this season to score at least 50 points shooting better than 70% overall.

Dallas Mavericks 111, New Orleans Pelicans 106

Stat Leaders: Points: 31, Dončić; Assists: 4, Dončić; Rebounds: 8, Dončić

Surprising Stat: Dončić’s 31 points in 23 minutes was the sixth-most points scored in 23 minutes in NBA history.

Dallas Mavericks 113, Golden State Warriors 119

Stat Leaders: Points: 25, Dinwiddie; Assists: 5, Wright IV; Rebounds: 9, Finney-Smith

Surprising Stat: The Mavericks fall to 0-7 without Dončić.

MVP of the Week: Luka Dončić

Dončić is having one of the greatest seasons in the history of the Mavericks franchise. Every week, he seems to perform some new feat and further solidify his position as one of the five best players in basketball.

This week, Dončić became the first player to record a 50-point game following a 0-point game (he left Phoenix with no points in three minutes). He absolutely shredded the hapless Pistons, talking trash as he dropped his fourth 50-burger of the season. Not only did he score 53 points, but he did so on 70.8% shooting overall and 92.3% shooting on twos. Dončić now has the most 50-point games in a season (four) since Damian Lillard in 2019, and February has just begun.

He followed that performance up with a 31-point game against the Pelicans in just 23 minutes before suffering a heel injury. This injury kept him out of the Warriors game, but Dončić is expected to return for the game against the Los Angeles Clippers on February 8. 

Surprise of the Week: Kyrie Irving to the Dallas Mavericks

Well, that was unexpected.

Many people have had mixed opinions in the days leading up to this acquisition, and that discourse will continue to rage on throughout the season.

The Mavericks traded Spencer Dinwiddie, the beloved Dorian Finney-Smith, a first-round pick and two second-round picks to the Nets for Kyrie Irving and Markieff Morris. 

Dallas has finally gotten Dončić help. Now, let’s see what he does with it.

More coverage and opinions will be provided in the coming days.

Stock Up: Josh Green

With the departure of Dorian Finney-Smith, somebody will have to take his place.

It should be Josh Green.

Green had another great week, averaging 11.7 points and 2.3 assists. While Green shot very poorly from three this week (25%), his scoring numbers showcase his growth as a well-rounded player.

His play was particularly important against the Pelicans, when, after Dončić left with an injury, the team had its lead whittled from 27 down to just three. Green scored seven points in the fourth quarter, including burying a key three-pointer down the stretch, to help Dallas end New Orleans’ comeback bid.

Green brings the energy, on-ball defense and slashing ability that this team lacks, and his insertion into the starting lineup along with Irving and Dončić will give Dallas even more offensive athleticism to utilize. Green, as the only wing defender on the team outside of Reggie Bullock and Maxi Kleber, is now integral to this team’s success.

“He’s worked extremely hard,” Kidd said of Green after the win over the Pelicans. “He wasn’t afraid of the moment.”

Stock Down: The End of the Bench

Injuries have been an issue all season, and the end of the Mavericks’ bench has routinely failed to provide useful minutes.

Against the Warriors, and without Dončić and Christian Wood, Frank Ntlikina and Theo Pinson played a combined nine minutes.

Their only combined recorded statistic was one turnover. 

AJ Lawson was decent in his first real showing as a Maverick, McKinley Wright IV was fine and Jaden Hardy had some good moments, but ultimately the end of the bench is a serious weak spot for Dallas.

As interesting as the move for Irving makes Dallas, they ultimately need to improve the bench to remain competitive in the playoffs.

We’ll see if the front office is up to the task.

Up Next

Feb. 6 @ vs Utah Jazz

Feb. 8 @ Los Angeles Clippers

Feb. 10 @ Sacramento Kings

Feb. 11 @ Sacramento Kings

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