Upon hearing that coach Rick Carlisle compared his defense to Hall of Famer Jason Kidd, Mavericks guard Delon Wright did not try to oppose Garden. “I appreciate that. He is one of the greatest guards in our history.” I try to take everyone’s skills and he has done a lot. ”
Of course, few players in NBA history had all of Kidd’s abilities, but perhaps now, eight years after his final season, Dallas has something resembling the Kidd-composite backcourt.
Luca Donsick was a better scorer than Kid. Although he was not as athletic as Kidd was in his prime, Doncic, like Kidd, is shrewd and intuitive.
Doncic’s 25-point, 10-rebound, 10 assist triple-double in Friday night’s win in New Orleans was the ninth win of his career yet.
20-year-old Doncic already broke Kidd’s franchise record for triple-doubles by a cheater. Just 74 games into his career, he is rapidly closing in as a Maverick in 500 games at Kidd’s franchise career triple-doubles record (21).
Thirteen of Kidd’s triple-doubles came during his first stint as Maverick (1994–97), with the remainder returning in 2008.
No one would mistake Doncic’s defensive abilities with the Kids, but the Mavericks acquired the 27-year-old Wright from Memphis in July due to his length (at 6-foot-5) and the ability to contrast against the big, small.
Wright had only his second game as Maverick on Friday, but Carlisle did not lightly present this assessment of Wright’s 20-point, 7-rebound, 3-assist, 5-style performance:
Tonight in Delon Wright’s game, we didn’t play that kind of defense, as did Jason Kidd. The play at the end where they stole the ball on the rebound was a really subtle view of the night they had. ”
The play Carlisle was referring to happened to Dallas with a 120–116 lead. Mavericks’ Dorian Finn-Smith missed a 3-pointer with 20 seconds left. Pelicans swingman Josh Hart denied the lapse, but Wright stole Dallas’ ball with the first road-opening win in four seasons.
The Mavericks entered Friday’s game with a 30-93 road record the past three seasons, and Carlisle spoke of a key factor to win on the road.
“The value of the ball is the only thing you can’t put a price on in an NBA game. So many games come into possession.”
The Mavericks had several major late contributors against the Pallivans. Saith Curry scored all 8 of his points in the fourth quarter. Six of Maxie Kleber’s 10 rebounds came in the final period.
And Wright had two other fourth-quarter steals that gave Dallas additional possessions. The first game came with 11:12 left when Wright made a pass and fed Finn-Smith for a dunk and a 100–93 lead.
After twenty-five seconds, Wright stole another pass, which led to Curry leading a 3-pointer, which led to 10… The entire Mavericks team.
“Even when I came, we were still leaving some things,” Wright said. “I was able to try and settle into the game and leave my mark on the game.”
A sore hamstring caused Wright to miss the first week of training camp, and he played sporadically (19 minutes per game), shooting in only 38 percent of Preston games.
Again, it was just one game, but the Mavericks and their fans on Friday looked at why Dallas made Wright his pursuit as an offshore priority.
“The presidency was a little tough,” Wrightson said. “It was like, ‘In the end, I feel.” The Mavericks media previewed it as “out” for Sunday night’s home game against Portland list center Dwight Powell.
Powell, who had his left hamstring under stress on Oct. 5, has yet to play a game this season, pre- or regular-season, but on Friday Carlisle said Powell’s “day-to-day” situation improved.