Sunday, October 17, 2021

Mavericks show unlimited potential in 68-point preseason win

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Even though it’s only preseason, the Dallas Mavericks are already showing what a special team they can be. With two young stars at the helm and a solid supporting cast, the Mavericks looked flawless in their third preseason competition.

On Wednesday evening, Dallas met the Charlotte Hornets and won with 68 points. While most preseason games stay pretty tight, the Mavericks dominated absolutely every aspect of the game.

Although no single competition should be analyzed too closely, this victory spoke on the team’s ceiling. The Hornets will be a potential playoff team in the Eastern Conference this season, but they weren’t up to the Mavericks. If they are able to pull off such performances throughout the season, there is no doubt that Dallas could be one of the top teams in the Western Conference.

With the Mavericks’ 127-59 win, there were a few things that would stand out for the team going forward. With the 2021-22 NBA season kicking off in a week, Dallas should be optimistic.

Blowing out teams in the NBA always starts with defense. Scoring points is only half the equation when you win by almost 70 points.

It was the first game of the preseason in which the regular starters all spoke together and played in their standard rotations.

Against the Hornets on Wednesday evening, the Mavericks on the defensive end of the floor were superb. When all was said and done, Charlotte scored just 59 points and shot 27.4% off the floor.

They also fought from below, with Dallas doing a great job protecting the perimeter as the Hornets only converted 15.8% of their 3-point attempts.

In a league where 3-point shooting is king, perimeter defense has never been more important. Even without a few of their best defensive players in the game, the Mavericks showed how their defensive principles changed under new coach Jason Kidd.

Perhaps the most important player for the Mavericks this season outside of Luka Doncic is Kristaps Porzingis. The 7-footer had an outstanding game on Wednesday, ending the night with 31 points and five rebounds.

Tim Hardaway Jr. saw his first long run of the preseason and was extremely efficient at the offensive end of the floor. He scored 20 points in 12 shots, including five made 3-pointers. As the third best player on the Mavericks roster, this is the kind of performance they’ll need from him in the biggest games of the coming season.

A lesser-known name, Sterling Brown, is one of the newest members of the Mavericks. As an offseason acquisition in the free agency, he scored 12 points off the bench while going 3-on-4 from beyond the arc.

It’s just preseason, but the Mavericks looked exceptional in their third preseason game, the first in which they played their regular rotations. There will be plenty of ups and downs in the coming season, but the potential is certainly there in Dallas.

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