Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports
For the second night in a row, the Dallas Mavericks took the floor without their big name players. Dirk Nowitzki sat out due to rest, while Chandler Parsons, Wes Matthews, Deron Williams, and JaVale McGee were nursing injuries. The Houston Rockets didn’t play Dwight Howard or Trevor Ariza, but they still sent out James Harden, which was more than enough to handle the Mavericks on this night.
“I think we’ve played everybody’s top guys. Not too many people have been sitting out against us with Denver, and James Harden played tonight. It’s a big challenge, especially for us young guys, to play big minutes in the preseason and get reps.” – John Jenkins
The Mavericks had some positives to take from this one as John Jenkins continue to impress early on in his debut with the team this season. He had 19 points on 6-14 shooting, with three of them coming from long distance. J.J. Barea scored 14 points on 5-8 shooting, while Charlie Villanueva poured in 10 points and 6 rebounds.
The Mavericks 1st round pick, Justin Anderson struggled again finding his jumper, taking eight shots, while only making two of them. Moments before tip-off, he learned that he would be given the task of guarding Harden to start the game. However, it was another rookie who got under Harden’s skin, or “beard” in this instance. Maurice Ndour was trying to show his defensive capability by playing Harden very physical, which eventually lead to Harden knocking down a three-pointer, while yelling “Boom” in his direction.
Yes, James. We saw your little girlfriend, Khloe Kardashian, sitting courtside too. I’m sure she was impressed.
Overall, the Mavericks are 0-2 in their first two preseason games. They haven’t played four of their five starters, and have had to face a stacked Denver Nuggets team and James Harden as well. They are getting their young players, as well as their expected contributors from the bench minutes, which should help once the season tips off.
The Mavericks are now off until next Tuesday, when they will take on the Oklahoma City Thunder.
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