In a really fun game to watch, filled with highlights and exciting play, the Dallas Mavericks blew out the New Orleans Pelicans 108-89 Wednesday, February 26 at the American Airlines Center. It’s tough to choose one individual that won the game for the Mavericks as it really was a total team effort leading to the domination. Dirk ended the game with 18 points 5 rebounds in only 27 minutes of play.
Pelicans Star Goes Down: New Orlean’s star Anthony Davis appeared to injure his left shoulder during the second quarter of the game, went to the locker room, and sat on the bench with a sweatshirt for the rest of the game. Davis was on pace to have a monster game having 6 points 9 rebounds and 2 blocks in only 13 minutes of play. The Mavs were favored to win this game anyways, but with Davis out the Pelicans really stood no chance. Almost instantly after Davis left the lane opened up giving the Mavs plenty of easy opportunities to score in the paint.
Dirk’s Big 3 Sidekicks: In any postgame article I can write a column about how much Dirk meant to the team. This becomes redundant and expected, so I am going to tell you the three other players who made the biggest impact against New Orleans. For me Monta Ellis, Brandon Wright, and Vince Carter lifted the Mavs to the big win. Carter continued shooting well, ending with 17 points on 6-9 shooting. Brandon Wright had 8 points, 8 rebounds and, 3 blocks. Monta Ellis finished with 23 points 7 assists even showing some great defense with 4 steals.
Putting The D in Dallas: Although it’s tough to truly say the Mavs are no longer a bad defensive team, they are definitely showing increased improvement. The Mavs led in steals 15-4, which created easy offense while the Pelicans had to work for the majority of their buckets. The turnover battle ended with the Mavs winning 19-9. The Mavs schedule gets more difficult in the games to come, so it we will see just how good they have become.
The “Wright Stuff” is the Wright Choice: I hate to be the guy that repeats himself but I have been begging all year for Carlisle to give Brandan Wright the minutes that Dejuan Blair was getting. Brandan Wright ended the night with 8 points 8 boards 3 blocks and 3 steals in 24 minutes of play. Not only does he fill up the stat book, he is simply a force down low on both ends of the floor. He is constantly changing shots, creating turnovers, and not giving slashing guards an easy lane. On offense he is outstanding during the pick and roll, has elite athleticism and gives the Mavs more possessions on the offensive glass.
A New Backup Small Forward: Early on during the season Jae Crowder seemed to have the backup small forward role sealed up. We at the Smoking Cuban have REALLY critiqued him hard writing in multiple articles that he just wasn’t getting the job done. For now it appears Wayne Ellington has captured that role. He has been on fire the past couple of games and ended today’s game with 12 points shooting 4 of 5 from three in 22 minutes. He will need to keep that pace in order to continue
Mavs fans will have to shift gears from heavily cheering for the Chicago Bulls as they blew out the Golden State Warriors to now rooting against the Bulls, as they appear next on our schedule. The Bulls come in winning seven of their last eight, only losing to the Heat in that span.
The Mavs now stand 6th place in the West at 36-23, half a game ahead of the Golden State Warriors and 1 1/2 games ahead of the Phoenix Suns.