DeAndre Jordan is nothing the Mavs have ever had before.
I can’t tell you if at any time in franchise history, the Mavericks have had a center on their team who has been on pace for a 20-20 game. And that’s just what DeAndre Jordan was doing by halftime tonight.
He would finish with 18 points, 12 rebounds, 2 assists, and a block, but that doesn’t tell the half of it.
Their three point defense was a bit rough, especially early on, but on the interior? They were feeling DJ.
The Hornets only scored 38 points in the paint, down from their season average of 44 last year.
Dallas also won the rebounding battle, 42-35.
Small sample size, sure, but the days of the Mavs getting punked in the paint appear to be over.
“As a team, our rebounding hasn’t been where we want it to be the past few years,” DJ said of what he can bring this team throughout the year.
“But, that’s something I love to do.”
Luka Doncic is special
Did we learn this or did we already know this?
Either way, Luka has proven that he belongs at this level through this preseason, with tonight being his exclamation point.
Nasty step backs, feathery lobs, and crafty handles, everything we saw Luka Doncic do as the youngest Euroleague MVP ever, we saw him do it against those vaunted NBA athletes we’ve been hearing so much about…
Can you sense my sarcasm? Good, because this kid has “it,” and tonight should rest any concerns some might have had.
Is the bench in for a rough year?
We know the Mavericks bench was a dynamic group last year. The five-man lineup of Barea, Harris, Ferrell, Dirk, and Dwight Powell was one of the most efficient lineups in the league.
However, throughout this preseason they haven’t been giving quite the same spark, and it was more of the same again tonight.
Their first five off the bench, Barea, Harris, Breokhoff, Kleber, and Mejri were all negative, totaling a whopping minus-75.
By comparison, the starters were a combined plus+79.
That much of a disparity is not good enough.
Sure they’re down Dirk, and Finney-Smith is playing with the first group because of Barnes hamstring injury, but it’s something they need to get cleaned up if they want to have a successful year. Their bench production will be vital.
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