NASHVILLE TN - FEBRUARY 12: John Jenkins #23 of the Vanderbilt Commodores reacts after making a three-point basket against the Kentucky Wildcats at Memorial Gym on February 12 2011 in Nashville Tennessee. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
The Dallas Mavericks suffer their first defeat in the Las Vegas Summer League, 67-61, at the hands of the Atlanta Hawks. Atlanta got off to a fast start, building a decent early lead thanks to the boiling hot shooting of first round pick John Jenkins. Fighting back, Jae Crowder picked up the slack for the Mavs and a struggling Dominique Jones to whittle the lead to 1 at halftime, but Atlanta came out firing again in the second half and would be in control the rest of the way.
An honest preamble to these impressions: the problem with the summer league is that after three games you can kind of run out of new observations. Most of these players' weaknesses and strengths are known by this point, and aren't going to radically change over the course of a game or two.
That being said, here are some more impressions from the most recent boondoggle in the city of sin:
-Jones hit a snag today, struggling on 5-16 shooting and posting a 5:5 assist to turnover ratio in what was a forgettable performance. Frankly, Jones was looking a little sluggish after a third game in four days. Mavs.com's Earl K. Sneed tweeted that coach Monte Mathis wanted Jones to work on facilitating more, which, to DoJo's credit, was clearly attempted. Unfortunately, there was little to no cohesion this time around for the Vegas Mavs.
-Crowder erupted for 20 shots today, nearly as many as the previous two games combined, and finished with 20 points, to go along with 8 rebounds and 4 steals. Crowder remained active as always, and clearly seemed comfortable being the go-to guy as he was at Marquette. Mavs fans wait patientily for the pro debut of first-rounder Jared Cunningham, but you could make a reasonable argument that Crowder is the rookie most likely to stick on the big club.
-Another double-double(11 points, 10 rebounds), and if nothing else James can take away from this experience that he has not embarrassed himself. James knows how to play his game: nothing more, nothing less. It remains to be seen if said game will translate to a league that is bigger, stronger and faster, but for now there is nothing you could write about him that shouldn't really have been expected from a second round draft pick.
-Harrison is tall, talented, and by many accounts should be in the NBA still. I suspect the reason he isn't might be related to the fact that he has the worst body language and general attitude towards refs/opponents I've personally witnessed at this Summer League. Now that he's 30 it is possible that his window of opportunity to make a comeback is closing or has closed entirely, but it will be interesting to see how he finishes out his tour in Vegas and if he can show enough maturity to catch on somewhere. It likely won't be Dallas.