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Trading Up: Mavs Reap Rewards from Deadline Moves

Once you get past the holidays, the NBA season is a contest in who can make adjustments on the fly. Injuries pile up while trades and buyouts give rosters a different look from one night to the next.

Several teams have shown improvement during this time, but one in particular displays signs of a massive return on their efforts to improve. Indeed, the betting odds on NBA action with the Dallas Mavericks are a great place to go with your wager.

Trading Up: Mavs Reap Rewards from Deadline Moves
Daniel Gafford #21 of the Dallas Mavericks-Tim Heitman/Getty Images/AFP

Here’s a look at three developments (all related) in Big D:


1. Daniel Gafford, P.J. Washington Great Fits for Mavericks

There was some shrewd shuffling at the trade deadline by the Dallas front office. The Mavs snagged a 2024 first-round pick from Oklahoma City, which they then used as bait for a trade with Washington that brought in Daniel Gafford. At the same time, the Mavs shipped off Grant Williams for P.J. Washington, getting an upgrade on the offensive end along with a pretty solid defensive game to boot.

The team won its first four games after the deadline, absorbed a little lull after the break, and have won four more in a row entering Thursday’s visit to Oklahoma City.

The second of those four-game runs has coincided with a lineup shift. After Dallas lost by 17 to Indiana at home on March 5, Gafford was inserted into the starting lineup in place of Dereck Lively while Derrick Jones was put in for Josh Green.

The results have been superb. The Mavericks have outscored opponents by an average of 123.0-105.8 during the four-game run, holding the last two under 100 points. When Dallas was a Western Conference finalist in 2022, defense was one of its calling cards, and this newfangled rotation may get the team back to that mode.

Consider some pre- and post-deadline numbers. Before making the deals, the Mavericks averaged 4.3 blocks per game, 26th in the league. Since the trades, they’re posting 6.8 per contest, fourth in the NBA.

Prior to the deadline Dallas was minus-7.8 points in the paint, averaging just 45.5 per game – 29th in the NBA. Since bringing in Gafford and Washington, the Mavs are plus-5.0 points in the paint, the fifth-best figure in the association.

That’s a 12.8-point swing in that one department, and it’s transformed other areas of the floor. How can it not when you have a guy in Gafford who has made 33 straight shots (most of them dunks) entering Thursday, two shy of Wilt Chamberlain’s unofficial NBA record. A historic inside presence can only lead to some wonderful looks from the outside.


2. Luka, Kyrie Lovin’ It

The threat that Gafford provides and the solid short- to mid-range presence of Washington (who can also hit the 3) simply opens the floor for Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving to do their thing. They may be going through their best stretch together since becoming teammates last season.

Doncic recently tied Oscar Robertson and Michael Jordan with seven straight 20-point triple-doubles and set a new NBA mark with six straight of the 30-point variety. Irving, much maligned in recent years over his inability to stay on the floor for one reason or another, has played in 17 straight games. That’s his longest run since 2016 (!) and he’s averaging 25.2 points while shooting 52% in that span.

Because of injuries, roster fluctuations and just a general uncertainty as to the product on the floor, these two superstars haven’t ever fully hit their stride. We might be seeing it now, and a long-term bet online at the BetUs sportsbook might be prudent if you think it can last all spring.

Of course, there’s a short-term issue with Doncic’s hamstring that you’ll need to watch while checking out NBA breaking news and rumors.


3. Bench Play

As Jason Kidd has shuffled the deck and moved his newcomers into the starting five (at least Gafford … Washington’s been there since he arrived), it’s simply served to bolster a bench that has, at times, looked a bit lean.

Prior to the trade, the Mavericks’ bench was minus-0.3 points, in the bottom half of the NBA. Since the deals have strengthened the rotation, the reserves are at plus-2.3 points – fifth-best in the league. And this is with Tim Hardaway Jr. in a rather prolonged shooting slump. Getting him going will make this whole thing work even better.



Questions Of The Day

How is this impacting NBA betting as it pertains to the Mavericks?

Dallas has covered the spread in each game during its current win streak and is 12-5 ATS over the last 17 games.

What’s on the horizon for this team?

After taking on the West’s second-place team on Thursday, the Mavericks get two days off before hosting the first-place team on Sunday. After that the schedule gets a bit easier, with games against Utah (twice), Houston (twice), Detroit, San Antonio and Atlanta in the final 14.

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