With the vets sitting out again, the young Mavs got their first look at a Hawks team they’ll play on opening night.
Facing their 2nd back-to-back of this preseason, the Dallas Mavericks chose to let their vets take the night off against the Atlanta Hawks in preparation of the final dress rehearsal against the Hornets tomorrow night. It didn’t matter, as the Mavs cruised to a 108-94 win on the road, hitting 19(!) three-pointers. If it makes you sad that you didn’t get to see real thing tonight, don’t worry, because there’s less than a week remaining before the Mavs and Hawks play again on opening night.
Here are 3 things we learned from tonight’s game.
Preseason is bad and should be banned
This is because Rookie of the Year hopeful, Dennis Smith Jr., tweaked his ankle in the 2nd quarter, ending his night after scoring 9 points and 3 assists in only 12 minutes of play.
Even if it is only a minor injury, you hate to see something like that happen to your future franchise player, especially in an exhibition match. It remains to be seen if Smith Jr. will play in the preseason finale tomorrow, but if I had to guess, I’d think the next time you’ll see him on the floor will be the season opener against Atlanta on Wednesday. For now, let’s just be thankful it wasn’t something worse than a sprained ankle.
Dwight Powell continues to shoot threes
And tonight, it was working for him pretty well. Powell played 20 minutes and put up 11 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists while going 3-of-6 from downtown. Whether we like it or not, it seems as if stretch-four Dwight Powell is here to stay, for better or worse. That being said, if Powell can muster up this kind of production for the Mavs on a nightly basis, they’ll be closer to being a playoff team than what most people believe right now.
I mean, look at that! Not only was he nailing threes tonight, he had the step back game going!
Gian Clavell continues to be a lot of fun
I’ve been a fan of Clavell since the Mavs signed him to a partially-guaranteed contract this past summer. He was a stud at Colorado State University, and he’s had some really nice moments for the Mavs so far this preseason. He can be very streaky at times, but with Seth Curry sidelined with a stress reaction injury, it might be worth it for the Mavs to give Clavell one of the final roster spots.
Against the Hawks, Clavell had his best game so far, scoring 19 points (7-of-12 overall, 5-of-10 from deep), 5 rebounds and 5 assists. With the preseason coming to a close, and the Mavs starters figuring to get a good run tomorrow night, Clavell made the most of his opportunity to make a strong last impression. We’ll see if it pays off for him in the next few days.