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Five Takeaways from Last Night’s Mavs-Rockets Game


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The Dallas Mavericks went into last night’s preseason matchup with the Houston Rockets hoping to establish some chemistry before the regular season opens on Wednesday, October 26th in Indiana. Anytime you add new players to the roster (especially starters), there’s going to be some growing pains. That was the case last night as the Rockets easily defeated the Mavs, 106-91, dropping Dallas to 2-4 in preseason play. Here are my 5 takeaways (both good and bad) from last night’s game:


1. The starters looked sluggish.

Maybe they’re holding back for the regular season. Maybe they’re still working their way back into game shape. Whatever the case may be, the Mavs starting 5 got torched by Mike D’Antoni’s fast pace offense to start out the first quarter. I would expect them to play much better once the game actually start to matter next week.


2. Wes Matthews is going to make you smile this year.

After a slow start, Wes Matthews heated up in the 3rd quarter, ending up with 15 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists and 4(!) steals in only 25 minutes of action. You can tell he’s in a much better place than he was this time last year, and that’s a very positive sign for Mavs going forward.


3. Justin Anderson looks like he’s going to be the Mavs’ Sixth Man.

Simba showed flashes last season of what he could potentially bring to this roster on a nightly basis. He’s a high energy guy that can score, block shots and play lockdown defense. If there was any criticism of his play last year, it was that he needed to be more consistent and poised. Last night gave us a preview of what we can expect from him going forward. After the Mavs started the game by getting in a 26-8 hole, Anderson came in and immediately scored 8 straight points to get them back in the game. His rookie season was a whirlwind, but this year look for Simba to be the Mavs’ Sixth Man.


4. Harrison Barnes continues to struggle.

For the entire preseason, Barnes is shooting just north of 20% from the field. His struggles continued last night, as he put up 8 points on 1 of 9 shooting in 28 minutes of play. He did, however, make all 6 of his free throws. I guess that’s something right? Maybe that’s a sign that he needs to take it to the hoop more often and draw fouls. One play that summed up Barnes’ night: on a possession where he was being guarded by K.J. McDaniels, Barnes didn’t try to drive, but instead settled for a contested mid-range jumpshot that was missed. To add insult to injury, McDaniels then beat Barnes back down the court for an easy layup. Barnes has the capabilities to do more than what’s been shown so far in the preseason. Hopefully he’ll snap out of his funk before opening night.


5. Chemistry still hasn’t developed, but you can see flashes.

No. 1 and no. 4 on this list has a little bit of something to do with this. You can just tell the starters aren’t completely comfortable playing together right now. The bench has a lot more chemistry.


happening right now, especially with Justin Anderson and Dwight Powell. This is one of those things that will just take some time. It might be frustrating to watch at times, but as with almost every Rick Carlisle coached team, I expect them to find their groove and make a playoff push.

Related: Photos: Dallas Mavericks vs Houston Rockets

Born and raised in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. I received my Bachelor's degree in Business Administration - Entrepreneurship from the University of Southern Mississippi. If you're unfamiliar with Southern Miss, think Brett Favre. I'm currently working full time as a salesperson for my family business. My fiancé and I are huge MFFLs, and we never pass up a chance to see the guys play in person.

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