Mavs’ bench had a field day against Memphis to highlight the 5 takeaways
Nov 10, 2019Dwain Price
THE BENCH IS BACK: One game following a listless performance against the New York Knicks, the Mavs’ bench was back to its dominant self in Saturday’s game against the Grizzlies. On Friday, the bench combined to produce just 30 points, 16 rebounds, seven assists and three steals against the Knicks. But against the Grizzlies, the Mavs’ bench plowed its way to 67 points, 20 rebounds, 14 assists and four steals. Tim Hardaway Jr. led the bench attack with a season-high 20 points, Justin Jackson followed with a season-high 17 points, Jalen Brunson tallied 13 points, Dwight Powell added 11 points, seven rebounds, two steals and two blocks, and Delon Wright collected six points, a season-high tying seven boards and a season-high tying six assists. It was the most impressive performance of the season by the Mavs’ bench.
NO KP, NO PROBLEM: For those wondering how the Mavs would respond with one of their two superstars out of the lineup, wonder no more. With Kristaps Porzingis (injury recovery/left knee) in street clothes, that meant more minutes for players like Boban Marjanovic and Dwight Powell. Marjanovic made his first start of the season and wound up playing a season-high 16 minutes and manufacturing nine points, five rebounds, two assists, a steal and a blocked shot while converting three of his five field goals. Powell came off the bench for the first time this season and was even more effective. The five-year veteran finished with 11 points and seven rebounds in 29 minutes.
ROAD WARRIORS: Ok, don’t even try to explain this one, because it is beyond explanation. In the friendly confines of American Airlines Center, the Mavs have only produced a disappointing 2-3 record. That includes Friday’s 106-102 embarrassing loss to the lowly New York Knicks. But on the road and away from their comfort zone, the Mavs are a rock-solid perfect 4-0. That includes last week’s stunning 109-106 victory in Denver along with Saturday’s workmanlike 138-122 victory in Memphis. And this from a team that won just nine road games last season. The 4-0 start on the road is the second-best start on the road to a season ever by the Mavs, topped only by the 7-0 start on the road to the 2002-’03 season. That year the Mavs finished with a 60-22 record, including 27-14 on the road and ended up losing to San Antonio in six games in the Western Conference Finals.
SCORING SURGE: Not only did the Mavs score a season-high 138 points against the Grizzlies, but they were dropping dimes all over the place. With Luka Doncic collecting eight assists and Delon Wright adding six, the Mavs finished with 27 assists. And it’s safe to say that Doncic likely would have registered his fifth triple-double of the season if he’d played in the fourth quarter. But he wasn’t needed. Meanwhile, the Mavs shot a season-best 53.6 percent from the field, eclipsing the 53.2 percent they shot against Cleveland on Nov. 3. And the 18 baskets the Mavs converted from 3-point range were just two shy of their season-high of 20 that they made in Cleveland. Also, the eight steals the Mavs collected ties their season high (Oct. 25 against New Orleans).
BOUNCING BACK AFTER A LOSS: For those digging deep into analyzing this season for the Mavs, one thing that has stood out is their ability to bounce back following a loss. The Mavs have only lost three games, and they followed each loss with a victory. Thus, they haven’t had a losing streak this season. More importantly, each of those three victories came following three difficult losses. With the Mavs down one point to Portland on Oct. 27 with 8.4 seconds remaining, Dorian Finney-Smith was headed to the free throw line after he was fouled by Damian Lillard. But a coach’s challenge changed the call and the Blazers won by two points. Two games later, Danny Green buried a 3-pointer as time expired to send the game into overtime, which the Lakers eventually won. The next day in its Last Two Minute Reports, the NBA said Green’s shot shouldn’t have counted because Dwight Howard held Seth Curry on the play. Then came Friday’s stinker to the Knicks.