Luka Doncic, Mavericks Beat John Wall, Struggling Wizards 119-100

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistNovember 7, 2018

DALLAS, TX - NOVEMBER 6: Luka Doncic #77 of the Dallas Mavericks drives to the basket during the game against the Washington Wizards on October 6, 2018 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images)
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The Dallas Mavericks' six-game losing streak is over.

The Washington Wizards' disarray is clearly not.

Luka Doncic scored 23 points and Wesley Matthews added 22 to lead the Mavericks to a 119-100 win over the Wizards on Tuesday. Dallas had dropped six straight games since its 2-1 start but knocked down 15 threes against a lax Washington defense.

The Wizards, coming off their best performance of the season in a 13-point win over the New York Knicks on Sunday, again showed the disappointing form they've shown all season. John Wall led the way with 24 points and 10 assists.


The Wizards Need to Fire Scott Brooks

And Ernie Grunfeld.

It's time.

Washington is a mess and stuck in a miserable cap situation of its own creation. The roster is full of players who are individually talented but seem to despise every second they're on the floor together.

Brooks is a fine coach who at times got too much flak in Oklahoma City, but he's not helping. Adjustments have never been his strong suit, and Brooks has been trotting out the same sets and the same defensive looks, just hoping it all gets better. The team's great hope to fix the defense was Dwight Howard...yikes.

The long-term plan should be to blow things up, and getting rid of Wall's more ridiculous-by-the-minute supermax contract can be an immediate goal. The Wizards should consider trading him if they find a team willing to take him; the deal is going to become near impossible to move over the summer when the new league money kicks in.

For now, though, something has to give, and Brooks is the easiest target. He's been a bad coach on a bad team that has no business being 2-8.


Luka Doncic Establishing Himself as Clear ROY Favorite

Remember when people were wringing their hands about Doncic being able to handle the NBA athletically?

Uhh, yeah, whoops.

Doncic has been about the ideal version of himself. He can create for himself and others, hit way more shots off the dribble than anyone expected and looks like an offensive force in the making. Defense may never be his forte, but Doncic isn't the disaster some expected and will get better as he acclimates.

Deandre Ayton is a nightly double-double, and Trae Young's had some spectacular highs. Ayton in particular looks like a star in the middle, even though his lack of shot-blocking remains a huge disappointment. Young's going to have nights wherein he is the worst player on the floor and shoots the Hawks out of games.

Doncic's the steady hand and isn't going to fold to the rigors of an 82-game schedule and thus the clear Rookie of the Year favorite.


Wesley Matthews a Name to Watch on Trade Market

The Mavericks have been open to trading Matthews but didn't make much headway over the summer. That could change with Matthews putting up by far his best numbers in a Mavericks uniform. Tuesday marked his sixth 20-point game of the season; he didn't reach that mark until Jan. 24 last season.

Matthews isn't the same defender he was in Portland, but he is solid, knocks down threes and is taking a ton of them.

The Houston Rockets have been regularly mentioned as a suitor for Jimmy Butler, and Butler is a superior option to Matthews in every sense. But if Houston misses out on Butler, don't be surprised if Dallas is next on Daryl Morey's call list. Matthews' contract expires this offseason, and his salary would fit nicely into the Brandon Knight-Marquese Chriss salary blob the Rockets are trying to jettison with draft picks.

The Mavs aren't going anywhere this season, so if Houston throws in a first-round pick, the Rockets could solve some of their perimeter defense issues.


What's Next?

The Mavericks will visit the Utah Jazz on Wednesday. The Wizards will trek to Orlando to play the Magic on Friday.