The Most Impressive Wesley Matthews Statistic

By Isaac Harris
Apr 21, 2016; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Wesley Matthews (23) warms up before the game against the Oklahoma City Thunder in game three of the first round of the NBA Playoffs at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 21, 2016; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Wesley Matthews (23) warms up before the game against the Oklahoma City Thunder in game three of the first round of the NBA Playoffs at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /

In the midst of a struggling season for Wesley Matthews, there is one statistic that stands above the rest as the most impressive.

As the Portland Trail Blazers were making their playoff push last season with a Matthews and Damian Lillard backcourt, Matthews looked to be pricing himself for a huge payday come the offseason when he would be an unrestricted free agent. Then the unthinkable happened.

Matthews went down holding his heel as what would eventually be deemed a torn achilles for 5-year veteran. It killed the Blazers momentum, set into motion the shake up that was to take place in Portland, and seemed to put a hamper on his free agent value heading into the summer.

Never fear, Mark Cuban is here. Dallas went out and handed Matthews a 4-year, $70 million dollar contract just a few months after tearing his achilles. A move that was scrutinized across the NBA and most notably Dallas Mavericks’ fans.

It was almost a forgone conclusion that Matthews would not be ready for opening night and would miss a significant part of the season. Some national sports sites had Matthews tabbed to make his debut in Dallas around the Christmas holiday. Matthews had other plans as he had one comment all summer and fall, “I’ll be ready for opening night.”

To be honest, hardly anyone believed him and thought it was just another player trying to stay positive and give encouragement to the fan base. If the Mavs could get at least half a season from Matthews after signing this massive deal then it would be a success. This isn’t even considering the minute limit and planned rest days that everyone expected Matthews to be on whenever he did suit up.

As you all know reading this, Wesley Matthews was in the starting lineup on opening night where he scored nine points in 26 minutes including two threes that were followed by his famous bow-n-arrow celebration for the fans. Two months later we all watched Matthews hit 10 three pointers and finish with 36 points in Washington in one of the higher moments of his roller coaster season.

Matthews has been a target for much criticism this season mainly because of his large contract handed out to him over the summer. He finished the season with his lowest point average since his rookie season (12.5), his lowest field goal percentage of his career (38%), and his lowest three-point percentage of his career (36%). To put it simple, his worst season of his career.

So what is the most impressive statistic from Wesley Matthews’ season?

Wesley Matthews played in 78 games this season.

Amid all the scrutiny, criticism, and predictions of his long recovery back from his torn Achilles, Matthews played in 78 games this season. Who would have ever predicted that?

Wesley “Iron Man” Matthews told at a practice in August:

“I don’t miss games. I don’t sit out. I don’t miss practices. I want to be ready. I love basketball. I love this game and I think the best way you pay respects to it is by giving everything you have.”

The story all summer and fall was about how hard Matthews was working endlessly to be ready for opening night because he wanted to prove to the fans the player he is. Something Matthews really didn’t have to do as he could have taken it slowly because he was getting his money anyway.

But Matthews isn’t wired that way. His DNA isn’t stranded together that way. He continued to tell in practice that day…

“I mean, obviously, it’s going to be a challenge. It’s going to be tough, but I think you guys are going to quickly know me. If you didn’t get it by the press conference, I don’t really care about what’s tough. You know, I’m going to get it done. It will be a challenge, but we’ll get there. You know, I’m doing three different (forms of cardio) a day. Obviously, you can’t simulate games until you’re in it and I’ll be winded for a little bit, but I’ll be alright. I’ve gotten better every single year, and I’m a no-excuse type of person. I felt that, if I had not gotten hurt, I would have been a lot better this next season. I’m not going to let an Achilles take that away from me. I put too much into this game. I care too much about this game. I want to win too badly to not become a better player. And I already feel it.”

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Who doesn’t love a guy like this? Matthews is a fighter and a competitor that wants to prove he’s worth the money that was given to him and scrutinized by so many. All business, all fight. If you would have told me over the summer that Matthews would log 78 games with the Mavericks I would have told you that there is a better chance of Rondo coming back to Dallas.

So before you jump on the bashing bandwagon of Wesley Matthews, remember the hard work and grind Matthews has put into this season to play as much as he has. Averaging 33 minutes a game while only missing four games all season.

Expect a bounce back season for Matthews next season as we all know the work he will put in this offseason.

These are the type of players I want in Dallas. These are the type of players fans want to root for. Fight and determination can’t be taught, Wes was born with it.