Mavericks forward Dwight Powell has made dramatic improvements since being traded to Dallas last December by the Boston Celtics.
While Powell rarely got off the bench for the Celtics and spent much of his rookie season with Boston’s D-League team — the Maine Red Claws — he has carved out a nice little niche this year in Dallas.
But Powell still has fond memories of his time in Boston, though he played in only five games last year and averaged 1.8 points in 1.8 minutes.
“It’s good to be back. I love Boston and the city,” Powell said after Tuesday’s practice at Emerson College. “My time here was really good. I learned a lot.
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“I had some vets on that team and a great [coaching] staff that taught me a lot, especially so early in my career.”
After averaging just 9.5 minutes last season with the Mavs, Powell has increased his minutes this year to 22.1 per contest. He is averaging 10.5 points, and is first on the team in field-goal percentage (55.8) and second in rebounds (8.1).
It’s good to be back. I love Boston and the city. My time here was really good. I learned a lot.
Mavericks forward Dwight Powell
“He’s been great,” forward Chandler Parsons said. “He can really play. He’s athletic; he’s strong; he’s knocking down the mid-range jumper and getting to the foul line.
“He’s been unbelievable, and he’s such a good, hard-working kid. So you like to see a guy like him do well. He’s all about the right things.”
And part of doing the right things is understanding that the business of basketball isn’t always fair.
“Getting traded, it is what it is and it’s part of the business,” Powell said. “I didn’t really get too much more [playing time] when I came over after the trade. But I put in a lot of work this summer, and the situation is such that I’ve been given an opportunity this year, so I’m just trying to do my best.”
He’s been unbelievable, and he’s such a good, hard-working kid. So you like to see a guy like him do well. He’s all about the right things.
Mavericks forward Chandler Parsons on Powell
PT for Parsons
After his remarkable 20-point first half Monday night at Philadelphia, Parsons is hoping to receive some extended minutes.
But he’s not holding his breath that the medical staff will increase his minutes restriction in time for Wednesday’s game against the Celtics, which tips off at 6:30 p.m. at TD Garden.
“I think it’s more of a weekly-basis thing,” Parsons said. “So I’m assuming it’ll stay [the same] this week with Boston and Utah [on Friday in Dallas].
“But a couple more games like that and I don’t think they’re only going to play me 20 minutes.”
Parsons was 8-of-11 shooting Monday and added five rebounds in 21 minutes against the Sixers. It was his most productive outing of the season as he continues to improve his conditioning following off-season knee surgery.
“I’ve been very encouraged from the beginning of it, but [Monday] night he played the best that he’s played,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “His rhythm is starting to be there. He moved the ball really, really well. He moved well.
“The shot-making is what everybody looks at, but there are a lot of other things going on.”
One of the players Boston acquired from Dallas in the Rajon Rondo/Dwight Powell trade was forward Jae Crowder. And since that trade, Crowder has been on an impressive run.
So impressive that when his contract expired this past summer, the Celtics gave him a new five-year, $35 million contract.
“I’m impressed but not surprised,” Carlisle said. “He’s a basketball player, and he’s a competitor.
“There are certain guys you always pull for even if they’re not on your team anymore. He was a beloved guy in our situation because of his work ethic, his enthusiasm. He’s tough and he played hurt, all that stuff. I’m happy to see that he’s doing really well.”
Crowder, who played for the Mavs from 2012 until last year’s trade, is averaging 10.8 points and 5.1 rebounds. He also leads the NBA in steals with 3.0 per game.