Dallas Mavericks: Willie Cauley-Stein makes his teammates better

Dallas Mavericks Willie Cauley-Stein Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Dallas Mavericks Willie Cauley-Stein Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /

The Dallas Mavericks had one of their best performances of the season on April 27. They used a 28-0 run in the first half to dominate the Golden State Warriors 133-103 at Chase Center. The win clinched the season series versus the Dubs. The 30-point margin was the third largest of the season for the Mavs and produced some incredible stats.

Willie Cauley-Stein has seen more playing time over the last three games as Kristaps Porzingis sat out with a sprained ankle. Trill is taking full advantage.

He led the team in plus-minus at an incredible plus-41 in 23 minutes against the Warriors. It was a bit of Mavericks history and furthers a season-long trend for Cauley-Stein. Let us take a closer look at what it could mean for the 27-year-old in the playoffs.

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Willie Cauley-Stein makes the Dallas Mavericks better

Trill’s incredible plus-minus on Tuesday night made a bit of Mavs history. Bobby Karalla dropped the knowledge below.

Cauley-Stein far and away leads the Mavericks in net rating this season. He sits at 11.9, and Maxi Kleber is the next highest regular rotation player at 5.2, per NBA Stats. Dallas has an incredible 104.0 defensive rating when Trill is on the floor. The team has a negative-0.2 net rating with Cauley-Stein on the bench. Why does he stand out so significantly?

It starts with coach Rick Carlisle’s quicker hook. When Trill is not playing well, he gets removed from the game quickly. That limits his ability to be a massive negative. Boban Marjanovic has a positive-7.3 net rating for a similar reason. Credit to Carlisle for knowing when to use his big men.

Among players that have at least 40 appearances, Cauley-Stein has the fifth-highest net rating in the league. It starts on the defensive end with his energy and effort. Trill does not get enough credit for his ability to defend on the perimeter. He shut down an Andrew Wiggins drive in Tuesday’s blowout win.


Cauley-Stein gives Dallas the freedom to switch on defense. He can fit in nearly any lineup. Trill would get more minutes if not for the Mavericks depth at the five.

The 27-year-old plays his role on the offensive end. He is a roll man and lob target. Fans can see him throw down this alley-oop from Jalen Brunson against the Warriors.

Cauley-Stein is shooting 63.2 percent from the field on the season, and those numbers have gone up as the year progressed. Since Feb. 1, he has connected on 64.8 percent, including 72.4 percent within five feet of the basket. Converting easy buckets keeps the offense rolling and helps his team win games.

Willie Cauley-Stein has been outstanding for the Dallas Mavericks this season. He leads the team in net rating and continues to showcase an underrated skill set. Trill figures to be on the fringes of the team’s rotation in the playoffs, but he could be a massive part if the matchup is right. Fans can be sure that Cauley-Stein will bring energy and effort whenever his number is called.

Do not miss a second of the action down the stretch as the Mavs fight to avoid the play-in tournament.  Every game is massive and full of excitment, so enjoy the ride.

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