The Dallas Mavericks sat in the fifth spot in the Western Conference heading into the NBA trade deadline. To that point, they were enjoying a surprisingly fun season, and could very well have marched along to an eventually loss in the second round of the playoffs.
Instead, they shocked everyone and moved Kristaps Porzingis.
And while it’s obviously early, Dallas have won three of their last four games, including a 19-point comeback Sunday against the Golden State Warriors. I’m also willing to go out on a limb and predict that after Tuesday night, they’ll have won four of five.
So, this week on “The Anthony Irwin Show,” I welcomed Kirk Henderson of Mavs Moneyball to talk about the trade, Jason Kidd’s progress as a head coach this year, and Tuesday night’s matchup.
We started with Kidd and the role he has played in Dallas’ surprising season. I have often had my questions about him in that role, and thus am curious what’s been going on there. One that I can’t believe I’m typing right now is that I think we can definitively say the Lakers miss his presence on the sidelines and having written those words in that order, I’m going for a walk.
From there, we dove into the topic of a front office showing commitment to winning, no matter how awkward the conversations about a move might be. Trading for Porzingis was supposed to be a franchise-shaking move that would pair Luka Doncic with a floor-spacing unicorn. It ultimately wasn’t that. So they ripped the band-aid off and sent Porzingis, somewhat ironically, to Washington.
I was curious if Kirk felt the trade might ignite a surge from a Dallas organization that now knows its leadership is willing to do whatever it takes to improve, even if doing so is a gamble and the improvement might be nominal. When comparing that to the Lakers’ inaction at the deadline and the dud they produced Sunday night, it feels like a decent theory.
And for a short-form recap pod, check out Lakers Lowdown, in which Anthony Irwin recaps the previous day’s news and gets you ready for the day ahead in LakerLand, every weekday morning on the Silver Screen & Roll Podcast feed.