Preseason Game No.1: Dallas Mavericks 92 Oklahoma City Thunder 106




Rick Carlisle decided that preseason games are not important enough for Dirk Nowitzki or Jason Kidd to play in. Instead, newcomers Delonte West, Vince Carter, and Lamar Odom were inserted into the starting five, along with the new (but not improved) blond Shawn, and Brenden Haywood. Unfortunately, Brandan Wright was out with the stomach flu, so he did not play. Other players that received significant playing time include third-year Rodrigue Beaubois, sophmore Dominique Jones, and camp invitee Jerome Randle. Each player used their own techniques to build momentum, but it wasn't enough to stop the Oklahoma City Thunder from winning.

Lamar Odom played well in his first game as a Maverick. He scored 14 points on 5 out of 11 shots, which include 2 three pointers. Odom was also a defensive force grabbing 5 defensive rebounds, the highest for any Maverick for this game. However, Lamar racked up fouls quickly, with 4 fouls in 23 minutes.

Shawn Marion looked invisible, even with his blond hair. Marion shot 2 for 6 from the court, for a total of 6 points. Shawn did get a steal and an assist, but he also had a sloppy turnover. The only meaningful contribution of Marion was him getting 6 rebounds, the second highest of the game.

Delonte West was full of energy to be playing with the Mavericks. West showed that he sticks to the man he is supposed to defend at any cost. West has great free throw shooting, with no shot missed. Delonte also showed great ballhandling skills, with 5 assists done in 23 minutes of action; many of the assists were done in the paint. We must note, though, that his game looks a bit inefficient at this moment. West shot 1 for 7 from the field, with only 5 points scored in total. Delonte's hard nosed defense also caused him to obtain 5 fouls in the first third of the 3rd quarter, and he did not play after that. He looks like he will be great addition once the rust is gone.

Vince Carter's tomahawk dunk showed he still has something left in the tank. It looks like Carter also accumulated some rust in his tank, since he shot poorly at 4 for 11. Vince also had 2 turnovers and 4 personal fouls to boot. Carter also missed both of his three point attempts. Vince did score well in the paint, slashing there with the shots going in 2 out of 4 times. Carter looks like he will be a keystone of the secondary.

Brendan Haywood hasn't changed a bit since last season. His free throw shooting is still poor; he missed all three tries. Haywood pulled in 5 rebounds, the third highest within the people that played. He also had a block and a steal. Overall, Haywood shot 50%, but only for a paltry 4 points.

Other key notes:

Jason Terry did not play a lot of minutes, with only nine in total. Jason only scored 4 points, all from free throws.

Ian Mahinmi looked nice, especially with the two hand slam that got us within five. However. he drew 5 fouls in 25 minutes. Ian needs to lessen the rate to become a stable back up.

Dominique Jones and Rodrigue Beaubois look ready to play more minutes. They both scored 17 points. Jones also has a great free throw touch, shooting 8 out of 9 from the charity stripe. Beaubois had some great passes, mostly to Ian or Dominique.

Jerome Randle looks like a nice camp invite pick up. Out of UC Berkeley, Randle played 17 minutes and scored 5 points. His shooting was low, at 25%, but almost no errors were committed on the shots. It looks like Carlisle wants to gain a small lightning in a bottle boy for quick run and gun plays. If he doesn't get time with the mother club, he will play a lot for the D-League Texas Legends.

Drew Neitzel looks like he will be cut. In his 4 minutes of action, he did nothing worth to note.

Why did the Mavericks cut Andy Rautins? He did not take a buyout, and his salary counts for the tax. At the least he would of helped the Legends.

This is the preseason, so new plays were being tried, including the three guard lineup. This is why many, but not all, turnovers occurred: the team has not mastered the plays yet.

Free throw shooting was below average, at 75%. This should improve when Dirk and Kidd are playing significant minutes.

Three pointers were also below average, at 40%. It seems that Cardinal will still be our 3 point specialist if Peja Stojakovic or DeShawn Stevenson do not come back.

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