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#pounditThursday, June 13, 2024

New Mavericks acquisition frustrated with his playing time

Christian Wood holds the ball

Feb 12, 2020; Orlando, Florida, USA; Detroit Pistons forward Christian Wood (35) works out prior to the game against the Orlando Magic at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Mavericks have something else to juggle besides their four losses in the last seven games.

Dallas fell on Sunday night to the Denver Nuggets in a 98-97 thriller. Mavs big man Christian Wood played a season-low 17 minutes in the defeat.

After the game, Wood expressed frustration about his playing time.

“I would love to play more,” said Wood, per Tim MacMahon of ESPN. “I’ve voiced that several times, but I just play my role.”

The 27-year-old Wood, who was acquired by Dallas in a trade over the offseason, has been making a strong case for minutes all season. He is putting up career-best shooting numbers (57.3 percent from the field and an elite 43.2 percent from three). But Wood is still seeing just 24.6 minutes per game this season (during which he has put up 16.6 points and 7.5 rebounds).

It was especially baffling that Wood got so little playing time against Denver, a team that famously plays big (though reigning MVP Nikola Jokic missed Sunday’s game due to being in health and safety protocols). The flip side of the argument goes that Mavs frontcourt players like Dorian Finney-Smith and Dwight Powell know head coach Jason Kidd’s system better at this point and are thus are the more trusted options for minutes down the stretch. But Wood is a quality talent in his own right (and also has a bit of an ego), so it is obvious that getting acquainted with the bench is not sitting right with him.

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