3. Stud- Dwight Powell
Jason Kidd talked in his post-game media availability about how Dwight Powell has historically guard Ben Simmons really well, and needless to say, Powell delivered defensively for Dallas last night.
Powell obviously isn’t known for his defense and had some of his worst defensive performances ever during Dallas’ preseason, but tonight was somehow a stark contrast compared to two weeks ago.
Powell had multiple possessions where he held his own when switched on to some of the Nets’ wings such as Mikal Bridges and did a good job at rotating in the Mavericks’ defensive scheme to negate some of the curl-off action the Nets ran to get Simmons, Dinwiddie, and Bridges attacking downhill.
It obviously wasn’t flawless from Powell on defense, but he showed that he has the ability to anchor down and guard bigger wings when need be, as his lack of length and height deter him from being an effective traditional rim protector. Powell also spaced the floor well on offense, as he was hyper-efficient as a roller and even made a corner 3-pointer late in the game.
Powell making a three of that magnitude was uncanny for him, and it was an extremely timely shot for Dallas who looked devoid of offense in the fourth quarter before Luka Doncic pulled some heroics. Powell may not deliver this level of production on a nightly basis, but he may increase his minutes soon if he keeps playing like this defensively after not playing at all in the Mavericks’ season opener versus the Spurs.