It’s easy to play smart, right and unselfish team basketball when the point guard, Rajon Rondo, has plenty of options around him to feed the ball to. The Dallas Mavericks continue to look great, this time on both ends of the floor, beating the Washington Wizards 114-87.
Six different players on the Mavs finished in double figure scoring. Monta Ellis led the way with 20 points as no one in the Mavs starting lineup needed to play more than 28 minutes in one of their easiest wins this season. Dirk Nowitzki scored 13 points, most of them when going to the free throw line and Chandler Parsons was one of three players scoring 14 points each.
The departure of Brandan Wright has helped bring in some minutes to Charlie Villanueva, scoring 14 points in only 12 minutes. Richard Jefferson, another slightly forgotten figure coming off the bench, scored 14 points as well. Rondo wasn’t felt too much, finishing with 11 points and five assists, but even when not directly involved in a basket, he makes things so much easier for the Mavericks on both ends of the floor compared to how things were when Jameer Nelson was on the team.
For the Wizards, this one of those days when everything just goes the wrong way for them. They gave up on trying to come back from the huge whole they fell into rather early, looking confused for most of the night, turning the ball over 22 times. The loss didn’t stop the Wizards from finishing December with a 12-4 record, the franchise’s best since December 2006, finishing with an identical record. It was also their worst loss of the season.
Now that their defense seems to have settled with a point guard that helps make the perimeter a little less easy to slice through, the Mavericks have to be considered one of the top contenders for the NBA title, although in the tight and close Western conference, it doesn’t actually say very much, as most teams see themselves in that way.