Mavericks Notes: Dinwiddie, Brown, THJ, Luka

Spencer Dinwiddie is making a major difference for the Mavericks and boosting their playoff prospects in the process, writes Chris Herring of Sports Illustrated.

Dinwiddie, who was acquired last month in the deal that sent Kristaps Porzingis to Washington, hit back-to-back game-winning threes at Boston and at Brooklyn earlier this month. The Mavs are 8-1 in clutch situations with Dinwiddie, and were just 12-15 in such situations prior to acquiring him, Herring writes.

Herring thinks there’s a case to be made that Dinwiddie might single-handedly offer Dallas its best opportunity to advance past the first round of the playoffs for the first time since Luka Doncic was drafted. Dinwiddie’s aggressive downhill drives force defenses to scramble, creating easier looks for teammates.

He’s also adept at getting to the free throw line (5.3 attempts per game with the Mavs), and does so at a higher rate per shot attempt than anyone on the team — including Doncic. Perhaps most importantly, Dallas has thrived with Dinwiddie on the court and Doncic off, outscoring opponents by 15.5 points per 100 possessions in 191 such minutes (prior to Friday’s loss to Minnesota).

As Herring details, the Mavs struggled mightily in the playoffs last season while Doncic was resting, but outscored the Clippers while he was on the court — Dinwiddie might be able to buoy those minutes if he can continue his strong play.

Here’s more on the Mavs:

  • Sterling Brown has entered the league’s health and safety protocols, the team’s PR department tweets. Brown tested positive for COVID-19, per Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News (Twitter link), and coach Jason Kidd said the team hopes there won’t be an outbreak. “That’s just part of the league. That’s just part of the world is COVID now, right? So it happens. We move forward. Next guy up,” said Kidd. “We just hope that it doesn’t spread throughout the team here late in the season. But we have to be prepared that something like this could happen going forward.”
  • Tim Hardaway Jr., who underwent foot surgery on February 1, has shed his walking boot and has been getting shots up prior to games, Townsend relays (via Twitter). Kidd said earlier this week that he doesn’t expect Hardaway to return for the playoffs, but the swingman previously stated that he hasn’t given up hope on a return this season. “I’ll say this: The further we go [in the playoffs], the better chance I have,” Hardaway told Callie Caplan of The Dallas Morning News. “That’s the answer I’ll give.”
  • Doncic was whistled for his 15th technical foul in Friday’s 116-95 loss at Minnesota, as Townsend of The Dallas Morning News tweets. If he gets another technical, Doncic will receive an automatic one-game suspension. However, that total will reset to zero when the playoffs roll around in a few weeks. At 45-29, the Mavs are currently the No. 5 seed in the West.
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