The Mavericks have won six games in a row. The last time they did that was 2016, when they did it twice. They have had five streaks of six victories in a row since 2011.
The championship season was the last time they had a longer streak, when they had three separate runs of 12, 10 and eight victories.
So don’t take six in a row lightly. It just doesn’t happen that often.
Life is good for the Mavericks right now. And it includes swagger.
The Mavericks are walking tall, knowing that they have the goods. They have won six in a row and they haven’t had Luka Dončić and Kristaps Porzingis together for any of the last six games.
So there’s lots to like right now as the Mavericks get ready to hit the road at New York and Memphis later this week.
Here’s our takeaways from their latest success, the 113-99 win over Eastern Conference-leading Chicago.
DEFENSE IS DEPENDABLE: For the sixth time in the last seven games, the Mavericks kept an opponent under 100 points. And this was no riff-raff offensive team. The Bulls were averaging 111 points when they came into the game. But the Mavericks kept them below 100. “Holding a team under 100 points is always big time,” said Maxi Kleber. “We’ve done it for a lot of games. This last game (in Houston, a 130-106 win), they got over 100 points, so we tried to start a new streak. In the NBA it’s not easy. It’s more about the mindset than actually keeping them under 100.” Consider the Mavericks embracing the mindset very strongly at this point.
LUKA’S MONSTER NIGHT: You may have noticed that Luka Dončić only had two triple-doubles in the first 39 games this season. Part of the reason for that is that it’s hard to get 10 assists when you’re teammates aren’t making many shots. But Dončić left no doubt about his third triple-double of the season (and 39th of his career) with 22 points, 14 rebounds and 14 assists. The Mavericks shot the 3-ball well and Luka always will figure out ways to distribute the ball so that teammates get good looks at the rim. But what was more impressive, perhaps, was his 14 rebounds – all on the defensive end of the floor. “I just try to help on the defensive end,” he said. “DP (Dwight Powell) had to block out (Nikola) Vucevic. That means I can get the rebound. Sometimes, I get 14. Sometimes I get five.”
CAREER HIGH LASTS ONE GAME: On Friday in Houston, Josh Green had a career-best 17 points. Just 48 hours later, he topped it with 18 against the Bulls on 8-of-10 shooting. He has made his living in the two games with active play offensively as he works the baseline and finds seams near the basket. He has shot only two 3-pointers (making both), but Green clearly understands that the 3-point ball, at this point in his career, is not his ticket to more playing time. “The whole idea of getting inside the paint – good things happen,” he said. “Anytime I can get one or two steps in the paint, for anybody, it leads to something good. It’s just been a major emphasis of what I’ve been working on.” In his last nine games since returning from health and safety protocols, Green is averaging 8 points, 3 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 21 minutes per game.
KIDD’S FINGERPRINTS EASY TO SEE: The Mavericks are 2-0 with Sean Sweeney as the acting head coach while Jason Kidd serves his time in health and safety protocols. But Sweeneys is the first to say that the Mavericks are doing this Kidd’s way even if he can’t be on the sidelines. “(The thing) we’re doing a real good job of is understanding what the plan is and if there isn’t something we’ve prepared for, covering for someone when it’s needed,” Sweeney said. “We talked to him (Kidd) throughout the day and at halftime.” At halftime, Kidd’s input helped deploy strategies for the second half. It’s what a good, communication-based coaching staff does.