4. Dud - Grant Williams
Grant Williams had a tall task coming into this game, as defending the mammoth that is Zion Williamson is no easy task regardless of your defensive pedigree.
That being said, Williams didn’t do a terrible job of containing Williamson in one-on-one scenarios, and Williamson only finished with 18 points. Williams’ size on the defensive end is an insertion of strength that the Mavericks haven’t had on the wing in ages. He’s proved to be extremely capable at guarding some of the bigger wings in the league this year, but Williams doesn’t have the most length so he’ll occasionally suffer when matched up with quicker or more lengthier wings.
The Pelicans forced a lot of switches to get Williams matched up on Brandon Ingram and Dyson Daniels, and both of them were able to score on him fairly easily in the mid-range and off of dribble blow-bys a few times last night.
Williams only clocked just a hedge over 21 minutes last night since the Mavericks were up so big in the second half, so it's nit-picky to even heavily critique his defensive performance amidst how good he's played all year. However, he's had a rough stretch offensively, and opposing teams have seemed to be making a greater point of emphasis on derailing his catch-and-shoot ability the last few games.
Williams is still playing sound basketball even if he didn't even register a point last night, and as integral as his role is on the team, Mavericks fans shouldn't be surprised if he starts consistently scoring double-digits and turns his shooting around again. The Mavericks have covered up Williams' shooting woes pretty easily in the next few games, but he'll need to get back on track soon, even if he isn't shooting as insanely well as he did the first few games of the year.