The Mavericks finally got off to a good start!
The Dallas Mavericks defeated the Sacramento Kings 105-99. The Mavericks got off to an uncharacteristically good start as Luka Doncic came out attacking and Dwight Powell scored a couple of easy buckets and a three. There were some scary moments throughout the game, and an injury to Maxi Kleber in the first quarter is important to monitor going forward. But the Mavericks held on for the win. Here are the stats to know.
66.6: The Mavericks winning percentage
It has been ugly at times, and they have struggled quite a bit against good teams, but the Mavericks have won two-thirds of their games. Prorated through a season, that would be 55-win season. There are reasons to be concerned but perhaps some of the angst has been too hasty. (Editor’s note: Matthew, you’re fired).
12: Number of points for the French Prince
Frank Ntilikina has been one of the Mavericks top eight players to start this season. He has provided solid defense and surprising touch and feel offensively. If he can fill the role that the team envisioned when drafting Josh Green as a dynamic point of attack defender, it helps the Mavericks quite a bit.
9: Number of turnovers for the Mavericks
Any time the Mavericks can keep the turnovers under 10, it means the team is doing a great job taking care of the ball. Luka Doncic even kept his turnovers to only three despite throwing several extremely high risk passes.
7: Number of minutes for Maxi Kleber
Kleber was off to a fantastic start while getting his first start of the year until he tweaked his back. There has been no official word but hopefully the back injury is minor. The most concerning part was that it was a non-contact injury, and sometimes that’s the spookiest phrase in sports. The Mavericks cannot afford to have Kleber and Kristaps Porzingis on the shelf at the same time.
32.4: Mavericks three-point percentage
Somehow this was an improvement over their season long percentage of 31. The players are too good to shoot this poorly over an extended stretch. Dorian Finney-Smith and Luka Doncic especially continue to struggle from deep. Finney-Smith is now 6-of-32 on the season from distance, while Luka is 10-of-42 (although the last one he hit this afternoon was massive). They have to be better.
Overall, this game was a bit ugly, with the Mavericks even scoring a bucket for the Kings, but they found a way to hang on for the victory. And piling up victories while working out the kinks is the most important thing the team can do right now.
Here’s our lastest episode of Mavs Moneyball After Dark. If you’re unable to see the embed below, click here to be taken to the podcast directly. Or go to your favorite podcast app and search Mavs Moneyball Podcast.