The Dallas Mavericks acquired Christian Wood this past offseason to get more offensive help for Luka Doncic, especially someone who complements Doncic’s game well on the pick-and-roll. Over the past two seasons with the Houston Rockets, Wood has proven himself as an incredible offensive weapon, blessed with a soft touch from all over the floor. However, his defense, especially in the past, has been suspect, which is what has limited his minutes in the early goings of his Mavs career.

But Christian Wood appears to be turning things around on the defensive end, which only bodes well for the Mavs’ prospects of improving even further as the season progresses. Luka Doncic may have bailed out the Mavs offensively, but Wood made sure not to let Doncic’s efforts be in vain.

Wood finished the Mavs’ Thursday night clash against LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers with five blocks, none more important than the rejection he had on James to preserve the deadlock during the first overtime.

During the second overtime, Christian Wood had two more resounding blocks, one on a Russell Westbrook layup that would have given the Lakers the lead, and another on an easy LeBron James layup right at the hoop. Simply put, Christian Wood is gradually becoming a two-way force and is cementing the trust he has earned from Jason Kidd and the rest of the Mavs coaching staff.

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“Just helping my team out. Luka was in foul trouble so we had to like kind of sink the floor, let Wenyen Gabriel shoot. Shrink the floor on LeBron’s drives,” Wood told reporters following the game. “Just helping out these guys who trust me to make these types of plays.”

In 15 games as a starter for the Mavs, Wood is averaging 20.1 points, 8.9 rebounds and a stellar 2.4 blocks – becoming the two-way sidekick Luka Doncic needs. Wood is making a strong case to earn a huge contract entering free agency with his strong play over the past month or so.

However, it appears as if he and the Mavs are still far apart in contract extension negotiations. Nevertheless, Wood’s stellar play as of late should make him worth keeping, especially after how he has endeared himself to Mavs fans.