I waited a little while to write this article for couple reasons: one, to see if the Mavericks opening month of the season was just a fluke and we would all eventually wake up from this nightmare, and two, to see if Matthews would continue on this hot streak he is on. One of the two reasons is still painfully real but the other, the Matthews one, seems like one of the few bright spots in this incredulously bleak season the Dallas Mavericks have found themselves in the middle of. At 6-18 and arguably holding the title of the worst team in the National Basketball Association there are few things, basketball wise, for Mavs fans to smile about. But Wesley Matthews’s hot streak has all Mavs fans alike hoping that maybe, just maybe, the man alongside Barnes can take this team to at least mediocrity.
The 30 year old shooting guard found himself in a terribly inconsistent rough patch to start off the season. Some nights scoring 25 points, others scoring under 10, forcing players such as Harrison Barnes and J.J. Barea to lead to the way with Dirk and Deron Williams injured at the time. Now Barea, Dirk, and Bogut are all injured and the Mavs season should look even bleaker than it did in those wee, early moments of the season, but somehow the last week has possibly been the best of Dallas’s year so far. With a HUGE 25 point win against Chicago, a strong outing against Indiana, and another huge 20 point win against a struggling Denver squad, the Mavericks look poised to regain some footing in what seemed to be a completely lost season. And in my humble, yet accurate opinion, Wesley Matthews is the driving force behind this recent influx of success.
This season Matthews is besting himself in every statistic throughout his whole career. At the moment he is averaging 16.5 ppg which is higher than both his career average and his best season average. He is also shooting over .400 from beyond the arc, which is something he has only done once in his eight year career. A majority of Matthews success has come in the last two weeks alone, as he saw his numbers skyrocket and watched his slump from the beginning of the season fall back in the dust just like my memories of the 2011 title team and Mark Cuban’s credibility as an owner. Since November 27th, Matthews has had six 20 plus point games, leading the team to wins in four of those. Which if you take note of the Mavericks current record, that is two thirds of the teams wins. Since that fateful day on November 27th, Matthews has also only seen one game in which he scored less than 15 points, and that was a 14 point finish. Also note that Matthews is sitting at 3rd in the NBA in threes made per game in the month of December. So basically what I’m attempting to get across is the man is playing very good basketball and Harrison Barnes is no longer alone out there on the court.
With Matthews having his best season of his career (stats wise) it argues the question, should the Mavericks keep Matthews around if at the end of the season they go into full rebuild mode and dump all of the “older” players? I think they should. The man is generally somewhat reliable to provide some solid numbers, having a career average of 14 ppg. It also would be ideal to have someone with some type of veteranship out there on the court with all of the youth that is there and the influx of youth that is more than likely going to be coming at the end of the season, if not sooner than that. In finality, Matthews is a bright light at the end of a very, very long and dark 6-18 tunnel.
Written By: Caiden Berry