Doncic and Brunson fit perfectly in the backcourt

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There is one notable goalie with the Dallas Mavericks who has averaged 28 points and 8.5 rebounds over the last two games. And there’s another notable goalie with the Mavs who’s averaged 28 points and 7.5 rebounds over the last two games.

The fact that the first stats belong to Jalen Brunson and the last stats belong to Luka Doncic is one of the main reasons the Mavs are unlikely to ever have a problem when it comes to having someone they trust. to execute their offense. And because the teams have recently resorted to frequent two defenders in Doncic and forcing the ball out of his hands, the Mavs have shown Brunson to be a very capable playmaker as well.

Coach Jason Kidd said the advantage of having both Doncic and Brunson on the pitch is: “The stress levels are going down, especially for Luka.

“When you have two ball handlers on the floor – two playmakers – it helps the team and it also helps Luka where he doesn’t have to do everything.”

That stress-free premise for Doncic and the Mavs was on full display in Wednesday’s game against the San Antonio Spurs. Whenever Spurs tried to hang on to the Mavs, it was Brunson who was there to help his teammates part ways.

As Spurs were busy denying the ball to Doncic, Brunson scored 13 straight points and helped propel the Mavs to a 109-108 victory over San Antonio. The Mavs (5-3) are hoping for the same from Doncic and Brunson on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at the American Airlines Center when they host the rejuvenated Boston Celtics (4-5).

Brunson normally leaves the bench to provide the Mavs with points, rebounds, assists and stable minutes. But he started Tuesday’s game against the Miami Heat and finished with 25 points, seven rebounds and three assists, and was 10 of 13 on the field and 2 of 2 of three points.

In that same game, Doncic scored 33 points, a season-high, snatched three rebounds and was 10 of 24 from the field, 3 of 9 over the three-point arc and 10 of 12 from the Line of. free shot.

The following night in San Antonio – which was the Mavs’ fifth game in seven days – Brunson scored 31 points, a season-high, 10 assists and distributed three assists, and was 9 of 17 on the field and 12 – de-15 from the charity band. And Doncic had 23 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists, and was 10 of 25 from the floor and 3 of 12 behind the three-point line.

Brunson gives Doncic credit for giving him the ball during the latter stages of the game and believing the ball is in good hands.

“In any game situation, if he claims the ball, you’re probably going to give it to him,” Brunson said. “He just has that kind of respect.

“The fact that he lets me do what I’ve been doing for the last few minutes (against Spurs) just shows that he trusts not only me, but the team. And it is high time. It gives confidence to everyone. “

Guard Tim Hardaway Jr. agrees that having Doncic and Brunson on the pitch at the same time has allowed the Mavs not only to thrive, but also to cultivate a situation that puts the defenses in big trouble.

“It doesn’t allow 77 (Doncic) to exert that much energy while he’s there, because everyone is so focused on him,” Hardaway said. “It gives opportunities to the other guys.

“And when they see an opportunity coming up on the floor – whether it’s a lane or a possession where you can be a point guard and score the ball or get your teammates involved – they use it. It helps when you have several guys there who can help create and help (Doncic). ”

Doncic and Brunson have a long history together, starting with the fact that they were both members of the 2018 NBA Draft Class.

After helping Real Madrid win the EuroLeague title in 2018, Doncic was the third overall pick in the 2018 draft. And just after helping Villanova win her second NCAA title in three years, Brunson surprisingly slipped to the second round of the 18 draft where the Mavs selected him with the third pick in the second round.

Since entering the NBA, Doncic has been a two-time All-Star and All-NBA First Team in the past two seasons. Brunson, meanwhile, has cultivated his talents to the point that it seems many casual basketball fans may have completely ignored the fact that he was the 2018 Consensus College Player of the Year.

Without predicting the future, Hardaway knows what the Mavs need from Brunson to move forward.

“JB has to continue to stay aggressive, continue to be that anchor and that engine that comes off the bench for us, whether he gets off the bench or starts up,” said Hardaway. “We know and look forward to it doing a great job just making sure he stays that way and making sure he brings it every day.”

DEFENSE WINS CHAMPIONSHIPS: Obviously, fans love it when their favorite team can rack up a lot of points and do all those fancy things on the attacking side of the pitch – without losing a lead or losing a game – that can work their way to the top. ESPN Top 10.

But when it comes to coaches, they’re not necessarily moved by all the offensive flashes and rushing players. But they are aware that the extent of their success will depend on what their players can do – from a repetition perspective – on the defensive side of the pitch.

“I’ve always believed in playing defensively at some point in this league,” said coach Jason Kidd. “If you want to win a championship, there is no team that has won a championship by not playing defense.

“You can score any points you want and you’ll be sent home sooner. “

While he’s only got a sample size at this point as it’s only eight games in 82 games, Kidd believes the Mavs have made much-needed improvements to the defense and will continue to do so. as the season progresses.

“I think when you watch this team being able to compete defensively, I think it just gives us the opportunity to move forward to move towards that goal of trying to win a championship,” he said. Kidd said. “You can talk about it, but you’re also going to involve players at a high level right now.

“You started off with something small, and it was stealing and deflecting and trying to be active defensively. And the guys did.

Guard Tim Hardaway Jr. has noticed that what’s different about the defensive end is that the players have established some trust in each other.

“We’ve been together for so long, and when a new coaching staff comes along, they have a new defensive philosophy,” said Hardaway. “You want to make sure you go out there and run it with a goal, and I think that’s what we’re doing right now.

“And everyone, like I said, trusts each other and it starts with the big guys. When they’re there to communicate and talk it helps us a lot to protect ourselves and it gives us the confidence that we so badly need to go out there and be on the ball and be able to push and be a little more aggressive than what we are used to. So, well done to the big guys when it comes to our defense.

DERON WILLIAMS EST. . .BOXING?: After playing 12 seasons in the NBA, former Mavs point guard Deron Williams is now trying his hand at boxing?

Yes, Williams should box on the card under the main fight between Jake Paul and Tommy Fury. The fight will take place on December 18 in Pampa, Florida.

A three-time All-Star who played for the Mavs from 2015 to 2017, Williams has a background in boxing and mixed martial arts, and is also a co-owner of Fortis MMA in Dallas.

When asked if he knew if Williams had quality boxing skills, coach Jason Kidd said, “I know his golf game, but I’m not too familiar with boxing skills.

” I wish him good luck. I don’t know who he’s fighting against, but I hope he can get a W. ”

Williams’ opponent has yet to be determined. But Williams played for Kidd when the latter coached the Brooklyn Nets in the 2013-14 season, so Kidd knows the former University of Illinois Fighting Illini All-American is a tough client.

Still, Kidd said of jumping into the boxing ring: “I wouldn’t have signed up. I wish him good luck. You see a lot of former boxing athletes right now, and it’s a tough sport and a tough sport. But I only wish him success.

Twitter: @DwainPrice


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