GAMEDAY RECAP MAVS @ ROCKETS 12-23-22
Luka drops 50 in statement win against Rockets.
The Dallas Mavericks defeated the Houston Rockets on Friday night to win their second consecutive game. Luka Doncic's massive 50-point performance is the biggest headline, but there were other areas of the game the Mavs can be optimistic about heading into Christmas Day against the Los Angeles Lakers.
This season was suppose to be a breakout year for Luka and his Mavs. The product on the floor for Dallas has been anything but perfect. With that being said a win is a win even if its ugly.
This has been what the Dallas Mavericks have clung to over their last two games, which have both been ugly wins against the Minnesota Timberwolves and Houston Rockets. In the latest one on Friday night, Luka Doncic dropped 50 points on the Rockets as the Mavs went on to win the game 112-106.
It wasn't pretty, but for a team that has struggled to stay over .500 so far this season, the Mavs will definitely take what they can get as they prepare for LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers on Christmas Day. Here are some of the biggest takeaways from Friday night's game.
Luka being Luka
Doncic tied Nowtzki for the most 50-point games (2) in Mavericks history. At the young age of 23 years old, Doncic already holds Dallas franchise records for most triple-doubles, 45-point games and many other specific stat lines, like most games with at least 40 points and 10 assists.
Don't get me wrong, Doncic still has a long way to go in order to catch Nowitzki for the title of "Best Maverick Ever," but he is on one hell of a pace to start his career. If Doncic can find a way to bring a championship or two to Dallas before it's all said and done, the debate might not be as long as people initially thought it would be.
Christian Wood has earned his place on this team.
One thing that has been noticeable since Christian Wood has become a starter alongside Doncic has been his improved defense. Wood didn't have the greatest offensive performance against his former team, as he scored just eight points on 2-6 shooting, but he ended up with four blocks on the night.
Over his last five games, Wood is averaging 18.6 points, 9.8 rebounds and 2.4 blocks in 32.6 minutes. He becomes eligible for a contract extension today, and if he continues to buy in defensively like he has lately, the Mavs would be wise to make him an extension offer. Even a max extension, which would top out at four years, $77 million, would be better than letting Wood walk for nothing in free agency like Jalen Brunson did in the offseason.
"Not every basketball game should be about scoring," said Doncic. "[C-Wood] had an offensive rebound at the end that gave us an extra possession. He had two blocks down the stretch. ... He was really big (for us)."
This team is one trade away from being a true contender.
This is my opinion based of watching a majority of this seasons Maverick games. Although Wood and Davis Bertans have been playing better these past couple of weeks coupled with the fact Tim Hardway JR. has flourished in the starting lineup (he went 0-7 from deep last night) I do think the Mavericks need a All-Star wing for this team to truly compete. Look for Dallas to make a move before the deadline to ensure that this MVP season Luka is having does not go to waste.
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