The Dallas Mavericks returned to action on Monday night. They had not played since Feb. 14 after severe weather in Texas forced two consecutive postponements. The Mavs were happy to be back as they faced the Memphis Grizzlies.
Dwight Powell earned a spot start because Kristaps Porzingis was out with a back injury. He became the primary roll man and was tasked with guarding Jonas Valanciunas inside. It was no easy assignment on Feb. 22.
Powell’s numbers do not jump off the screen, but he earned the Defensive Player of the Game belt in the win. Let us take a closer look at his performance and what it means going forward.
Dwight Powell earns Defensive Player of the Game belt in Mavericks win over Memphis
Powell finished with six points, four rebounds, three assists, and one block in 27 minutes of action. He was just two of eight from the field, but his presence was felt on the defensive end. He forced Valanciunas into a five of 18 shooting night, despite giving up a ton of size. DP brought energy to the team as the Mavericks outscored the Grizzlies by ten during his time on the floor.
It was the first time Dwight Powell has won the Defensive Player of the Game belt this season. The 6’10 big man was on the fringes of the rotation before the team missed a week of action. It will be interesting to see if Monday’s performance earns him more minutes going forward. Fans get frustrated with Powell, but he is a solid role player that will not try to do too much.
The Dallas Mavericks defense has been outstanding with Powell on the floor this season. Their defensive rating sits at 105.6, which would be second in the NBA if Dallas produced it all the time. The Mavs rating plummets to 117.6 with DP on the bench. Those numbers alone could earn him more playing time. It is something to watch moving forward.