Dallas Mavericks: Dwight Powell looks healthy and ready to contribute
By Tyler Watts
The Dallas Mavericks did not have Dwight Powell in the bubble. He was the starting center in the 2019-2020 campaign before suffering a season-ending Achilles injury in January. Powell’s surgery and recovery kept him out until the opening night of the 2020-2021 season, but he was still not completely recovered from the devastating injury.
DP needed time to get his legs under him after his lengthy absence. He played in the first nine games of this season before having to miss eight straight in the health and safety protocols. That only set him back from finding his stride. Powell was still displaying the energy and effort fans are accustomed to, but his spring and athleticism were not there. The 29-year-old is slowly finding his stride.
Powell had 12 points, eight rebounds, and one steal as the Mavericks stole a victory in Memphis on a Luka Doncic game-winning buzzer-beater on April 14. It was one of DP’s best games of the season and furthered a recent trend. Let us take a closer at why Powell looks healthy and ready to contribute in the playoffs.
Dallas Mavericks center Dwight Powell looks healthy and ready to contribute
Powell has settled into the backup center role for the Mavericks. Willie Cauley-Stein has missed time in the health and safety protocols opening the door for DP to play in every game. It allowed him to find his legs and get that connection with Luka Doncic back. Powell caught and finished a lob from the Mavericks superstar against the Grizzlies on April 14.
The 29-year-old big man was making plays against the Spurs. See his fancy finish off a pass from Doncic.
Luka also went found him on an unbelievable pass in that same game.
Fans can see Powell is getting some of his explosiveness back. He looks healthier and ready to contribute for the Mavericks in the playoffs. DP has played in 15 of the team’s last 16 games. Over the last 13, he averaged 6.3 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 0.8 steals in 14.9 minutes per game. Powell is shooting 66.7 percent from the field and 40 percent on his threes over that stretch.
The Mavericks center has been one of the best roll men in the NBA over recent seasons. That skill has been on full display in recent games. For the season, Powell scores 1.24 points per possession as a roll man which ranks in the top 26 percent in the league. Those numbers have improved as the season has worn on too.
Dwight Powell appears ready to be the Dallas Mavericks backup center in the postseason. They need him to come in and be a threat in the pick and roll. Powell will bring energy and effort on the defensive end, but his biggest contributions will come when Dallas has the ball. His threat as a vertical spacer could be important in a postseason series.
The best is yet to come from the 2021 Mavs. Stay tuned for what should be an exciting conclusion to the regular season and beyond. Supporters will not want to miss it.