Dallas Mavericks survive on the back of… Dwight Powell?

(Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images) /

It’s never good when the best player on a single-super-star team struggles. Especially when that game is within “must win” territory, but that’s exactly what the Dallas Mavericks encountered Monday against Minnesota.

Luka Doncic was uncharacteristically cold from the field, going 5-of-17 for just 15 points. Desperately trying to climb up the standings and with Minnesota nipping at their heels Mavs secured the win the 110-108.  Dallas now stays ahead of the T-wolves by 2.5 games and pulls within one game of the fourth seeded Jazz.

The Dallas Mavericks may be one of the hottest teams of the 2022 calendar year, but the Wolves were the hottest team of the right now. Winners of 10 of their last 11, Minnesota has been on a tear. Led by Karl-Anthony Towns who put up a 60-point game last week, Minnesota looked to narrow the gap between 5th in the West and 6th, instead the Dallas Mavericks extended their lead and kept the dream of home court advantage alive.

Dallas Mavericks proved they can survive an off night from Luka Doncic

If not Luka then who?

As the title indicates, it’s sometimes the unlikeliest of heroes. And in all fairness, Powell wasn’t exactly a hero on Monday. But the maligned Mavs center did lead the team in scoring with 22 points. He went a perfect 8-for-8 from the field and held Towns to 8-for-17 for a much less efficient 22 points of his own.

Having someone else step up when Luka Doncic inevitably suffers a down night, has been an issue for years. Once upon a time Kristaps Porzingis was supposed to be that man. We all know how that turned out. Spencer Dinwiddie was acquired to be a possibility and it’s probably safe to say he’s widely exceeded those expectations.

But for as good as Dinwiddie is, he’s not a bona fide super star like Luka is. The Mavs need multiple players to step up and support the cause when Luka goes cold. On Monday, it was the highly efficient Powell who was able to step up and support Dinwiddie.

Dinwiddie played great, putting up 20 points on 7-of-12 shooting. And multiple other role players stepped up as well. It takes a village to make up for a missing super star and that’s exactly what happened.

It was good to see and it’s something that needed to happen to invigorate the team and send them down the stretch with the confidence they can overcome. Maybe it wasn’t Dwight Powell who I cited in the title. But he was a very unlikely top-scorer who deserves recognition.

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  • Published on 03/22/2022 at 16:01 PM
  • Last updated at 03/22/2022 at 14:34 PM