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'When that happens, we’re going to be a scary team' — Christian Wood warns the entire NBA about the Dallas Mavericks' upside

Mavericks center Christian Wood is confident his chemistry with Luka Doncic will turn them into an unstoppable pick&roll duo.
Dallas Mavericks center Christian Wood and guard Luka Doncic

Luka Doncic and Christian Wood

Keen on bouncing back this season following their Western Conference Finals defeat to the eventual 2023 NBA champions Golden State Warriors; the Dallas Mavericks decided to mix things up a bit for Luka Doncic. In the summer, the Mavs bolstered their frontcourt by adding 6'10'' stretch power forward Christian Wood. Though it’s a bit too early to conclude, it appears that the Wood-Doncic tandem has been delivering.

Right now, they’re on Luka

Wood has accepted the role of an off-the-bench player for the Mavericks wholeheartedly. As a big man, Wood’s primary task was developing pick&roll chemistry with Doncic, and everything has been working well thus far.

According to the 27-year-old, once they run the pick-and-roll, the defenders “blitz” the Slovenian superstar, allowing him to have options to “mix it up” once the “two-on-one” scenario takes place.

With the way we have our offense, it’s just a mismatch. If you look at the film, half the time when I set a screen, I slip out because they usually switch, but they blitz Luka,” Wood told HoopsHype. “What you want to do is create a two-on-one. In the first few games, I was rolling on the short roll, and I was hitting guys in the corner and on the wings. It’s just about mixing it up in terms of coverage.

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Indeed, the simple pick-and-roll play with Doncic has been doing Wood well. In just five games with the Mavs, Wood already became the team’s second-best scorer and best bench player, averaging 21 points per game to date. As expected, the former UNLV Runnin’ Rebels standout has been loving it.

It’s opened up the offense for me a lot,” he revealed. “There’s a lot more spacing where I can shoot or make a play off the dribble. They’ve trusted me to make plays off the dribble.

There’s more to come

Looking at the Mavs’ first five games this season, it’s very evident that the plan is to have Doncic set guys up while also working his magic in scoring. In the process, “Luka Magic” is getting those buckets and dimes, and the bigs also benefit.

While it seems that the current dynamics of the Mavs’ offense could work out for the entire season, Wood hinted that there’s more to come as he and Doncic are still in the getting-to-know-each-other phase.

I’m just waiting to get more time with him [Doncic],” Wood admitted. “I think when that happens, we’re going to be a scary team.

The Mavericks are 2-3 in their first five outings, but given Wood’s confidence in their setup, it’s safe to say there’s nothing to worry about.

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