Luka Doncic impressed by new teammate Christian Wood

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Mavericks star Luka Doncic likes what he has seen from new teammate Christian Wood so far this season, as Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News writes. Wood has racked up 50 points and 20 rebounds in just 49 minutes of action in his first two games with Dallas.

“He’s a great player,” said Doncic, who has a +26.3 net rating when sharing the court with Wood. “He listens to us. He accepts his role, and he’s just doing amazing stuff out there. It’s only two games, but he’s going to be very good for us.”

Wood, who has come off the bench so far, is making a strong case to be promoted to the starting five, but the Mavericks are unlikely to make any immediate changes to their lineup, according to Tim Cato of The Athletic. Dallas’ coaching staff wants to assess its current rotation across a larger sample before drawing any conclusions, Cato explains.

“We’ll look at a 10-game stretch, maybe,” head coach Jason Kidd said. “We can’t do two games and figure that’s the way we’re going to roll. You don’t get enough data.”

Let’s round up a few more items from around the Southwest…

  • Barring a setback, Rockets forward Jae’Sean Tate will return to action on Wednesday in Utah, sources tell Kelly Iko of The Athletic (Twitter link). Tate, who signed a new three-year contract with Houston in the offseason, has been on the shelf for the team’s first four games of the season due to a right ankle injury.
  • Brandon Ingram (concussion protocol), Zion Williamson (right posterior hip / low back contusion) and Herb Jones (right knee hyperextension) have all been ruled out for the Pelicans‘ game vs. Dallas on Tuesday, the team announced (via Twitter). All three players were initially listed as questionable, so they’ll presumably be considered day-to-day going forward.
  • The Spurs, widely expected to be a player in the Victor Wembanyama sweepstakes, are off to a 3-1 start this season. Swingman Devin Vassell admitted after Monday’s win in Minnesota that the outside expectations for the team have been a motivating factor. “I try not to listen to the outside noise, but I’m not going to lie, it does get frustrating when everybody is talking about tanking, tanking, tanking,” Vassell said, according to Tom Orsborn of the San Antonio Express-News. “We are professional athletes. We all want to play. We all want to win. And that’s how we are going to approach every game.”

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