Dennis and Luka are going to be absolutely electric
These two gave the people what they came to see. They combined for 32 points, 12 assists, and 7 boards, but it was about more than that.
The area they popped most in, unsurprisingly, was transition. We already know just how nuclear an athlete Dennis Smith Jr. is, but there is an excitement and an electricity whenever Luka Doncic snatches that rebound down and leads a break, akin to a Lebron James or Steph Curry. He just plays with such a creativity and spirit that fills you with basketball wonderment. It’s intoxicating and should have you ready for the season to start tomorrow.
As for Dennis, he was up to his usual tricks. There has been several sound bites coming out of camp suggesting Dennis is even more explosive heading into this season, if at all possible.
Tonight confirmed this.
There were several ‘wow’ plays he pulled off, but one in particular stood out. If you watched the game, you know which one I’m talking about. It was the Curly Neal-esque dribbling exhibition where he lost his footing, but somehow wound up leaving his defender absolutely stuck in mud while he finished with a gorgeous reverse up and under.
“It’s a lot of fun man.” Dennis said of playing with his new running mate.
“Anytime you got a guy you kick it with, a guy you rock with outside of basketball, whenever you play with them, and they’re a good player, it makes it very easy to play with them. ”
All in all, it was a great night for the kids.
DeAndre Jordan is going to make a difference
At first glance, it wasn’t the greatest of debuts for DJ. He finished with 9 points, 8 rebounds, and a couple of blocks in just under 20 minutes. Not a bad game by any stretch, especially when you consider that he picked up his fourth foul early in the third quarter, but it wasn’t peak DJ.
But even with it not being his best showing, it still was very apparent that he is going to make a huge difference for this team. And the eye test from this one would show that.
He is a just deterrent. We already knew that, but seeing it in person was just that much more eye opening. He has a radius, an area around that basket where opposing players know he is lurking.
It’s something that has been absent since Tyson left, but it most certainly isn’t anymore.
Dorian Finney-Smith looks sharp
With Harrison Barnes expected to be sidelined for a few games with a hamstring injury, Dorian FInney-Smith was promoted into the starting lineup and hoped to make the most of that opportunity.
We know that he is an excellent defender who can check multiple positions, and a guy who can fit into an offense as a cutter/slashing type.
And those things showed up in the game. But the biggest question surrounding his game and NBA relevancy is simple….Can he shoot it well enough?
We had heard about his reworked shooting mechanics and saw glimpses at the summer league, but it was something that was ultimately a mystery.
Well if game one is any indication, he has cured what ails him.
Obviously that’s both a stretch and overreaction, but it was still nice to see “Doe” out there shooting it and playing well.
“Very solid.” Carlisle said of his third year swingman’s night.
“He’s a guy who when we have to go to our switching packages, he has a lot of flexibility, because he can guard any posistion. He can guard the big guys on the inside or the little guys on the outside, and he knocked in a couple of big shots as well.”
Hopefully we see more of this from Dorian going forward.
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