The Dallas Mavericks are one step closer to kick starting the regular season following a 108-94 victory against the Atlanta Hawks on Thursday. Here are a few takeaways from the win.
Dennis, the grimace
Rookie point guard Dennis Smith Jr. suffered an apparent ankle injury in the second quarter. He was able to put weight on it and did walk off the court. Smith did not return in the second half and his status for the Mavs’ final preseason contest is uncertain.
Here’s the play where Dennis Smith Jr. sprained his left ankle. ??☝? https://t.co/vdLSvS9GPc
The rotation offered a unique look inside the Mavs’ depth during the win against Atlanta. Dallas elected to rest several veterans including Dirk Nowitzki, Wes Matthews, Devin Harris, Harrison Barnes and J.J. Barea.
Instead, Nerlens Noel, Dwight Powell, Yogi Ferrell and Brandon Ashley took the court to start in their absence with Smith Jr. holding down his regular spot in the rotation.
Forward Maxi Kleber and guard Gian Clavell impressed with their performances off the bench. Kleber converted on 6-for-11 shooting from the field and 4-for-8 from three-point range. He finished with 16 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists and a steal off the bench. Clavell dazzled with 19 points off the bench, shooting 7-for-12 from the field and 5-for-10 from three. He also added 5 rebounds and 5 assists in 34 minutes of action. Dallas saw six players total double figures, including four off the bench.
Digging from deep
Three is worth more than two and Dallas utilized the concept advantageously in its win against Atlanta. The Mavs shot 39 percent from three point range, connecting on 19 of their 48 attempts from beyond the arc. Eight different Mavericks made at least one three point attempt.
The Hawks shot 9-for-27 from beyond the arc and — outside Kent Bazemore, who totaled 20 points in the loss — struggled to find any consistency in their shooting. It appears we can expect much of the same when the Mavs’ starters return and these two teams meet to open the regular season.
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