No Luka Doncic, no problem?
The shorthanded Dallas Mavericks swept the Houston Rockets 4-0 in their regular-season series on Wednesday night. Today’s Mavs Donuts also include our "Mavs Stat of the Week," which focuses on Dwight Powell, Kevin Durant responds to Minnesota Timberwolves Karl-Anthony Towns' "best big man shooter ever" claims, and much more.
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Donut 1: Break Out the Brooms!
Dinwiddie drives past Wood
Brunson vs. Gordon
Powell over Sengun
Although things got off to a shaky start, the Mavs steadied the ship in the second half and went on to beat the young Rockets, 110-91. It was the first time Dallas swept a season series against Houston since the 2010-11 season.
Spencer Dinwiddie and Jalen Brunson took care of business with Doncic out due to ankle soreness. The backcourt duo combined for 54 points, with Dinwiddie as the leading scorer.
Donut 2: Durant Sets Record Straight on Nowitzki vs. Towns
Durant and Nowitzki
Nowitzki defends Towns
Durant backs down Brown
Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant weighed in on the Dirk Nowitzki vs. Karl-Anthony Towns debate:
"There was a lot of bunny hops into shots and jump-spins into shots that Dirk did," said Durant on the latest episode of The ETCs podcast. "It was impressive. ... The movements, I was practicing [them]. To see him do it, I understood how his shot was so sharp to a tee, so I wanted to get to that point.
"[Dirk's the] greatest big man shooter of all time. … Although I respect KAT. ... But for KAT to say that, come on."
Donut 3: Powell Perfection
Powell dunks on Timberwolves
Powell dunks on Gobert
Powell communicates with teammates
For as polarizing of a player as Powell is to the Mavs fanbase, he's having the best shooting season of his career. Regardless of his contract and clumsy movements, he's climbed from the pits of his early-season struggles. The springy big man is yet again a legitimate lob threat for Luka Doncic.
In a game where the Mavs faced “best big man shooter of all-time” Karl-Anthony Towns, Powell was the best shooter on Monday night, finishing 8-8 in field goals and 6-7 from the charity stripe. Obviously, he isn't taking shots with the same difficulty as Towns, but Powell outworked the All-NBA candidate.
Donut 4: DBcom’s All-NBA First Team Picks
Dallasbasketball.com decided it was time to select our All-NBA First Team. Dalton Trigg, Grant Afseth, Mavs Moneyball’s Kirk Henderson and myself pretty much agreed on everything here… except for whether or not LeBron James should get First Team honors or not.
Donut 5: Celtics Rout Jazz
The Mavs took care of their own business on Wednesday night, but it never hurts to get a little extra help as well when you’re trying your best to gain home-court advantage in the playoffs for the first time since 2011.
The Boston Celtics defeated the Utah Jazz decisively on Wednesday night by the final score of 125-97. Utah’s loss put them in a tie with the Mavs in the standings, as both teams have a 45-28 record. The Mavs and Jazz will meet each other one more time in a huge game on Sunday night at American Airlines Center.
'We Were Shocked:' GM Nico Harrison Reveals Mavs' Reasons for Jaden Hardy Pick
The Dallas Mavericks ended up with a first-round talent in the NBA Draft despite previously trading their only pick to the Houston Rockets for Christian Wood.
Mavs Trade for Kings’ 2nd-Round Pick, Draft Talented G League Guard
The Mavs traded back into the draft as expected.
NBA Draft: Mavs Christian Wood Trade Expanded to 4-Team Deal
It's a domino effect on the Wood trade that was agreed on last week.
Donut 6: Suns Take Over Fourth Quarter vs. Wolves
After trailing by five points heading into the fourth quarter, the Phoenix Suns outscored the Minnesota Timberwolves 42-28 in the final frame to capture a 125-116 win on the road. This loss put the Wolves four games behind the Mavs in the loss column.
Donut 7: On This Day - Part One
On March 24, 1984, Chris Bosh was born in Dallas, Texas. Bosh went on to win two NBA championships with the Miami Heat and achieved All-Star status with 11 selections.
Donut 8: On This Day - Part Two
On March 24, 2017, Phoenix Suns superstar Devin Booker became just the fifth player in NBA history to score at least 70 points in a single game, joining Wilt Chamberlain, Kobe Bryant, David Robinson and Elgin Baylor.
Donut 9: Beal Made Ironic Comments
In a recent postgame interview on NBC Sports Wizards, Bradley Beal joined the panel and made some interesting remarks on what his team's biggest needs are going forward.
"We need bigger guards," said Beal. "We need more guys who can get in the paint for us."
Ironically, that description fits the player the Wizards ran out of town to a tee. Perhaps Beal, who is supposed to be the Wizards' leader in the locker room, should've tried harder to make things work with Dinwiddie in Washington. Perhaps the Wizard's front office should’ve simply been more patient with Dinwiddie.
Donut 10: Kidd Reveals NBA Coach of Year Picks
Jason Kidd holding clipboard
Kidd applauds team
Brunson and Kidd
Mavs head coach Jason Kidd talked about two head coaches he views as Coach of the Year front-runners.
“(Monty Williams and Taylor Jenkins) are two great candidates, and there’s probably another handful of candidates that should be mentioned,” Kidd said. “There’s a lot of great coaches in this league, so we’ll see who gets it."
Donut 11: New Balance Acquires New Athlete
Chicago Bulls Zach LaVine is about to make a lot of money this year both on and off the court.
Following a short stint as a shoe free agent, the two-time dunk contest champion signed a multi-year deal with New Balance. Maybe LaVine makes another surprising step in free agency by signing with the Mavs?
Donut 12: What’s Next for Mavs?
The Mavs will finish the regular-season series vs. the Timberwolves on Friday night. Dallas leads the series 2-1 and has a 3.5 game lead over Minnesota in the Western Conference playoff standings with nine games remaining. A win would all but guarantee the Mavs avoiding the Play-In Tournament.