3 Studs, 2 duds in Mavericks' blowout loss to Nuggets

Dec 18, 2023; Denver, Colorado
Dec 18, 2023; Denver, Colorado / Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
3 of 5

3. Stud - Dante Exum

Dante Exum has found himself in the stud column more often than not in recent weeks and was playing some of the best basketball of his career. Despite a modest game offensively, he once again ranked as one of the Dallas studs.

Exum attempted the least amount of shots of any starter but likely should've attempted more. Exum was flawless on the night, he knocked down all five of his shot attempts, including one from behind the arc.

The Australian guard finished with 11 points, one rebound, and two assists in 23 minutes of action. He only turned the ball over once and played good defense. While Exum wasn't a difference-maker on the defense end (no Maverick was), he did a good job of staying in front of his man and cutting off driving lanes.

Several times Exum forced Nuggets guard Jamal Murray into difficult shot attempts. The Dallas guard does a great job of using his athleticism and length to cut off driving lanes and contest shots near or at the rim.

Realistically, Exum should be taking more shots. Especially without Kyrie Irving, Exum's shotmaking is needed more than ever. Leading up to last night's game, Exum had scored 14 or more points in five straight contests. Dallas went 4-1 in those games.

If Dallas wants to successfully navigate their rigorous upcoming schedule, Exum's shotmaking will be essential to reaching the win column.