After the Dallas Mavericks' 125-114 loss to the Denver Nuggets on Friday night, some fans began to temper their expectations for this team.
Dallas started 4-0 before Friday, and Denver's dominance down low was concerning for Mavs fans.
Despite Friday's loss, Dallas put that behind them on Sunday in a home matchup against the Charlotte Hornets.
Mavericks turn concerning weakness into powerful strength in win over Hornets
Dallas started this game slowly and trailed by 11 points at halftime, but the third and fourth quarters looked like a totally different squad.
Luka Doncic, Jaden Hardy, and Grant Williams were excellent in the second half, ultimately helping push Dallas to a 124-118 win to improve to 5-1.
Hardy is someone who wasn't in the rotation earlier in the season, and he is quickly proving that not having him on the floor was a mistake. He finished with 14 points, with his highlight of the night being a ferocious dunk on Nick Richards.
"What I liked the most is how loud the building got after," Hardy said about the dunk. "It was just a good moment. Bring the energy."
Hardy was crucial down the stretch, and says that he always stays ready to "bring that spark to the team."
Doncic, on the other hand, had a rough start to the game, but he was unstoppable late in the game. He was hitting fadeaways left and right and finding his shooters on the perimeter.
Dallas' top shooter of the night was Williams, as he went 4-5 from 3-point range and hit timely shots down the stretch. Williams credited Doncic and Kyrie Irving's creation as part of the reason he is getting so many open looks, but he isn't satisfied with his hot shooting start.
"Luka [Doncic] and Kyrie [Irving] do a phenomenal job of drawing attention," Williams said. "My job on this team is to knock those shots down every single time. I kinda crunch myself sometimes because 50 percent (from downtown) is still not good enough for me."
Williams has been vital to Dallas' early success, and the Mavs' improvement in the clutch this season has been massive. This is an area that they struggled in last season, but this season has been different, as they have won four games in the clutch.
"When you have 77 and 11, it's an easy thing," Mavs head coach Jason Kidd said regarding the clutch. "We talked last year as much as we want things to happen right away, you have to go through a process of growing pains to get to know one another."
Dallas' improvement in the clutch is promising, as they look much better during the final moments of the game last year, and this could be a great sign for the remainder of the season.
The Mavericks' next game is on Monday night against the Orlando Magic.
We'll have you covered with all the latest on Luka Doncic, Grant Williams, and the Dallas Mavericks this season, so stay tuned.