I may have to revisit my opinion of the Mavericks. For reference, my previous and current opinion of them is that they’re not a very good team and they will end up with a high selection in the draft because of it. Since they have won five of their last eight games and looked pretty good in some of those wins, my new opinion might be something like “the Mavericks are a 35-win team, they’ll miss the playoffs by a lot and their draft pick will be middling.”
Tanking culture says that the first option is better: they should just bottom out and pray Luka Doncic decides to come over. But the second option has its benefits: it respects the legacy of Dirk and it gives Dennis Smith Jr. a slightly better chance to win ROTY of the year because he’ll be playing on a team that has enough structure and talent to be competing for wins in most games.
That said, I would guess DSJ’s chances at ROTY of the year are sitting at about 0.5% right now. He still has negative win shares (win shares = best and most accurate stat ever) and he only just dragged his field goal percentage above the .400 mark (remember, .400 is the demarcation line between being an acceptable shooter and being a poor shooter). He had a good game last night, roasting his defenders with his speed on multiple occasions, but he’ll need to keep having these efficient performances if he wants that sweet sweet ROTY of the year hardware.