This past week was an uneven one for the Dallas Mavericks with wins over the Orlando Magic and Atlanta Hawks and a terrible loss to the lowly Phoenix Suns. The big German finally made his much anticipated return but the early results were mixed to say the least. This is the Mavs Stock Report.
While his shot hasn’t been falling as of late, Luka Doncic has continued to delight Mavs fans with clutch performances and teases of his first career triple-double. Against the Magic, he became more of a distributor, compiling a line of 7 points, 11 rebounds (which led the team), and 9 assists. Had the game not been so one-sided, it’s likely the rook would’ve reached the vaunted milestone. Two nights later when Trae Young and the Atlanta Hawks came to town, he thrilled those in attendance again with a 24 point, 10 rebound, 6 assist stat line, again flirting with a triple-double as the Mavs snapped a 10-game losing streak to the Atlanta Hawks and extended their own home winning streak to 11 games in the process. While Doncic didn’t necessarily out duel Trae Young in the contest, he did enough to end Dallas’ longest active losing-streak to one team.
Unfortunately for Doncic, however, Dallas’ road miseries would rear their ugly head again during a return trip to Phoenix for a matchup with the Suns and number one overall pick, DeAndre Ayton. While Dallas had visited and subsequently lost to the Suns in the opener, much of the team’s chemistry had yet to develop, making it at least somewhat understandable. Thursday’s rematch was in no way understandable.
Dallas has struggled mightily on the second night of back-to-backs this year and those troubles go beyond Doncic’s inexperience with such scheduling due to the Euroleague schedule being more spread out. The Mavericks started struggled, and JJ Barea’s absence due to a sprained ankle greatly hurt Dallas offensively, leading to an embarrassing 99-89 defeat. Doncic’s line in that game? 13 points, 5 rebounds, and 6 assists.
Despite the final sour note, and even with his offensive struggles, Doncic found other ways to impact games positively for the Mavericks. In the end, that’s the most important thing. UP
This Week (3 games): 14.7 PPG, 8.7 RPG, 7 APG
Season Averages: 17.8 PPG, 6.5 RPG, 4.3 APG
Given Dennis Smith Jr’s recent injury troubles, appearing in only one game this past week, Jalen Brunson has enjoyed continued opportunities to shine. This was evident with solid scoring performances against Orlando (17 points) and Phoenix (13 points). Although his 5 point performance against Atlanta appears largely forgettable, he nevertheless managed to knock down some important free throws in order to hold off a late charge by the Hawks.
Many fans are beginning to call for Brunson as the new starting point guard but the sample size, at least to me, is still too small to judge definitively. Regardless of where you fall on this matter, it is encouraging to see Dallas’ second round pick delivering in some important minutes, and it’s undeniable his role within rotation should continue to grow as the season progresses. Up
This Week (3 games): 11.7 PPG, 1.3 RPG, 2.3 APG
Season Averages: 5.6 PPG, 1.3 RPG, 1.7 APG
Dorian Finney-Smith has been a real bright spot for the Mavericks this season, becoming a true “three and D” specialist as he knocks down 39% of his three point attempts and provides legitimate versatility, as well as length and athleticism on the perimeter. While his scoring output isn’t always noteworthy, as his 5 point average this past week makes clear, his overall impact to the game goes beyond simple points. Even when his outside shot isn’t falling, which it largely hasn’t been in the past couple of weeks, he still rebounds and defends well.
Despite Finney-Smith’s below season-average stat line this past week, it was his 0-6 performance from the field in Phoenix for just 1 point that really skewed his numbers. Such is the case when looking at weekly sample sizes that may include anywhere from 2-4 games. As such, we’re going to lean on the more positive side and give DFS an UP.