Over the past few seasons, offense has been a major element in the Mavs‘ identity, but new addition Wes Matthews is helping to change the team’s perception, Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News writes. “We’ve had a spike in our defensive numbers,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “[Matthews] has been a significant part of that.”
Carlisle has had Matthews guard the opposing team’s best wing player on a nightly basis, but the shooting guard has also been asked to cover opposing big men at times. The 29-year-old’s versatility hasn’t gone unnoticed by his new teammates. “Wes is our go-to guy on defense,” said Dirk Nowitzki. “He can guard multiple positions. He’s just a fighter. We’ll live with him on the opposing best player all day.”
Here’s more from the Southwest Division:
- Interim coach J.B. Bickerstaff is making bold moves, like pairing Clint Capela and Dwight Howard in the starting lineup, and the team is embracing the changes, Jenny Dial Creech of The Houston Chronicle writes. “I just want to win,” Howard said. “The coaching staff is putting together the right guys with each other to make that happen.”
- The Rockets will no doubt attempt to bring Kevin Durant aboard next summer, but with the current state of the franchise, Fran Blinebury of NBA.com wonders if Houston has any chance of landing the former MVP. Blinebury believes that if Durant is going to join the team, Bickerstaff needs to first mend the dysfunctional relationship between Howard and James Harden.