How playing without Luka Doncic could help the Dallas Mavericks: 3. Confidence
Jalen Brunson has been playing out of his mind as the sixth man, but he earned the start with Luka out of the lineup. The 25-year-old guard responded with 18 points, nine rebounds, and nine assists in 37 minutes of action as Brunson proved once again that he can produce in any role.
Trey Burke scored ten points on four of seven shooting from the field in 15 minutes as the backup point guard on Wednesday night against the Suns. It was just the fifth time he played in the first 14 games, but Burke showed he is always ready to come in and get a bucket.
Frank Ntilikina stepped up with 13 points on five of eight shooting, including making three 3-pointers in an expanded role. He hit an off-the-dribble three and is playing the best basketball of his NBA career.
Tim Hardaway Jr. and Kristaps Porzingis became the top two scoring options without Luka Doncic, and every player mentioned gained a bit of confidence knowing they can perform in an expanded role. The Mavs should have defeated one of the best teams in the Western Conference without their superstar. That is a moment that would give any team a boost.