2022-2023 Season: Dallas Mavericks Week 23 Review

Dallas Mavericks 108, Memphis Grizzlies 112

Stat Leaders: Points: 28, Irving; Assists: 6, Wood; Rebounds: 9, Wood

Surprising Stat: Dallas was outrebounded 19-7 in the fourth quarter.

Dallas Mavericks 125, Golden State Warriors 127

Stat Leaders: Points: 30, Dončić; Assists: 17, Dončić; Rebounds: 7, Dončić

Surprising Stat: The Mavericks have lost 13 games this season when they have led by more than 10 points.

Dallas Mavericks 109, Charlotte Hornets 117

Stat Leaders: Points: 34, Dončić; Assists: 8, Dončić; Rebounds: 10, Dončić

Surprising Stat: Dallas shot just 25% from three-point range.

Dallas Mavericks 104, Charlotte Hornets 110

Stat Leaders: Points: 40, Dončić; Assists: 8, Dončić; Rebounds: 12, Dončić

Surprising Stat: Charlotte grabbed 21 more rebounds than Dallas.

MVP of the Week: Jaden Hardy

After the worst week of the season, things are pretty gloomy in the Big D.

One thing the Mavericks can look forward to, however, is the development of Jaden Hardy.

Hardy tallied two more 20-point performances this week. Against Memphis, he recorded 20 points in just 19 minutes. He followed up that game with arguably the best performance of his young career, scoring 27 points on 10-of-18 shooting in 25 minutes against the Warriors. 

Strangely enough, he would not eclipse 20 minutes again in the week, only tallying 33 total minutes in the back-to-back losses to the Hornets. 

Hardy has struggled with efficiency throughout his rookie season, but shot 46% from the floor and 59% from three-point range on the week, a marked improvement over his season averages. It is imperative that, as the end of the regular season draws closer, Hardy gets more playing time.

“When I get out there, I just try to let the game come to me,” Hardy said after the loss to the Warriors. “I just stay poised and try to make the right plays.”

Surprise of the Week: Back-to-Back Losses to Hornets

“It was awful. Dogshit.”

Kidd did not mince words after the Mavericks’ embarrassing loss to the Charlotte Hornets. Which one, you may ask?

The fact that there were multiple losses to the Hornets this week shows just how far the Mavericks have fallen.

Charlotte, missing three of their usual starters, is actively tanking to improve their NBA Draft odds. Dallas, conversely, is actively trying to win games to climb back up the Western Conference standings.

Neither team got what they wanted.

Dallas, frankly, wet the bed against Charlotte. There was little offensive energy, zero defensive intensity, and a complete lack of care from the entire team, players and coaches alike, in these two must-win games.

Not even a Luka Dončić 40-piece could save Dallas.

“Winning brings joy,” Dončić said dejectedly after the first loss to the Hornets. “When you win games you’re happy and the locker room is happy.”

Nobody is happy in Dallas right now. 

Stock Up: Christian Wood

As the Mavericks’ regular season comes to a close, it is becoming apparent that Christian Wood will go down as one of the biggest “what-if” acquisitions in Mavericks’ history.

Wood came to Dallas in hopes of repairing his image and finding a long-term home. It is worth asking whether either of those goals were accomplished. Wood certainly showcased his offensive repertoire in Dallas, but after early season successes, he quickly found himself on the outside of the starting rotation and consistently losing minutes. 

While he certainly has his defensive issues, Wood continues to showcase an offensive skillset that has warranted more minutes than it has received. Wood averaged 15.5 points in just 24 minutes per game this week, and was a key reason that Dallas was able to remain in punching range against both Memphis and Golden State.

Dallas is 9-8 when Wood starts this season. For a franchise that has won just five games in the last 44 days, moving Wood back into the starting five might be a worthwhile adjustment.

Stock Down: Playoff Hopes

Entering the week, the Mavericks found themselves right in the middle of the Western Conference playoff hunt.

Now, they’ll be lucky to get a play-in spot.

Dallas fell apart at the worst time possible. It started in the fourth quarter against Memphis, with the team blowing a double-digit lead. It continued against Golden State, where questionable reffing and horrendous late-game execution cost Dallas the game. And, just when it seemed like it couldn’t get worse, Dallas dropped both games against Charlotte.

Dallas sits a game out of the 10th seed with seven games left, so it is still possible for Dallas to vault back into the play-in picture. In a tightly-contested Western Conference, anything is possible.

Yet, the losses against Charlotte feel like the ship has sailed on any form of postseason appearance for the Mavericks. 

Up Next

March 27 @ Indiana Pacers

March 29 @ Philadelphia 76ers

April 1 @ Miami Heat

March 2 @ Atlanta Hawks

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