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Three takeaways from Mavs Media Day

Three takeaways from Mavs Media Day

Training camp is underway in the NBA and we all know what that means. Another season of Dallas Mavericks basketball is just around the corner! Dallas Sports Fanatic took the MFFL crowd behind the scenes during Mavs Media Day. Now lets re-hash a little of the scoop from Monday’s media sessions.

What we already knew:

Dirk’s future beyond this year remains unsettled

Entering his 20th season with the Dallas Mavericks, Dirk Nowitzki has yet another chance to bask in some rarified air this season. The German sensation is staring down all-time NBA great Wilt Chamberlain – you know, the only guy who scored 100 points in an NBA game – on the all-time points leaderboard.

Chamberlain and Nowitzki are fifth and sixth, respectively, on the scoring list with 1,159 points separating the two. After averaging 14 points per game in 54 appearances for Dallas last season, Nowitzki would either need to increase the scoring marginally or play 82 games in his 20th season in order to surpass Chamberlain.

An MVP, an NBA championship and potentially existing among the five greatest scorers of NBA history are certainly notches towards an impeccable, Hall of Fame career. Could it be the last hurrah? We’ll have to wait and see. According to Nowitzki, it will hinge on his ability to stay healthy throughout the season.

What we discovered:

Nerlens Noel will come off the bench but maintain starter-type minutes

Rick Carlisle cleared the air by announcing Nowitzki would start the season at center with Harrison Barnes entering his second season in Dallas as the starting power forward. Both moves indicate Nerlens Noel will indeed contribute off the bench early in the season.

Regardless of where Noel begins the season, it is important to remember Nowitzki has not played 80 games since the 2013-14 season. So it will likely be on the shoulders of Noel to step in with spot-starting appearances when Nowitzki needs a night or two for rest. Carlisle has indicated that Noel will contribute starter-type minutes whether he’s coming off the bench or filling in as a starter. Depending on the demands and success of the team, we could potentially see a spot in the season where those roles are flipped, with Nowitzki coming off the bench potentially for scoring purposes and Noel tipping off with the starters. It’s worth following throughout the season.

What we can anticipate:

No drama at starting point guard position

In the short time Dennis Smith Jr. has spent with Dallas, he’s already reinvigorated a fan base eager for highlight dunks and fast break finishes. Whether you’re watching a video of him lobbing an alley-oop to himself mid-game or scrolling through the pictures of new rookies for Smith’s signature scowl, one thing is for certain: this guy is ready to play.

Carlisle also seems as ready to send him out as we are to watch him debut. There was no conversation throughout the offseason about who may or may not appear with the starting lineup. From the minute Dallas selected Smith with the ninth overall pick, from front office to coaching staff the general consensus seemed to be let the guy go out and make plays. Sure, there’ll be growing pains. But as a dark-horse candidate for rookie of the year, look for Smith to make his case early and often.

Podcast host and credentialed media member covering Dallas Mavericks and Dallas Wings | Roamed the rapidly growing area of Arlington Texas for the last 25 years. I graduated Texas Tech in 2014 with my Bachelor's degree in Media and Communications and currently obsess over basketball full-time. In my free time, I'm a substitute teacher and also an Uber driver. I've been following the Mavs since Jason, Jimmy and Jamal were young up-and-comers. If you need their last names, please don't ask me.

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