Dallas loses to D-League Select team, 82-75, in foul masterpiece

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Mavericks succumbed in their third Summer League game to the D-League Select squad.

In a game that saw a whopping 66 fouls (!), the Dallas Mavericks got the short end of the whistle, losing 82-75 to the D-League Select team to drop their record to 1-2 in Las Vegas Summer League play. This loss puts them in the #16 seed in the LVSL, meaning they will play tomorrow night against the Los Angeles Clippers. Credit to Aaron McGuire for some terrific up to the minute updating on this.

Dallas came out of the gate on a mission, led by the superb controlled passing of Gal Mekel, who has emerged as the major bright spot for the Vegas Mavs. Mekel assisted or scored on each of the team's first eight baskets, and had several passes that would have been assists had his teammates converted. Dallas led 24-11 at one point and 26-15 after the first quarter.

The rest of the night would be a slow, steady overtaking by the D-League Select team, who were extremely aggressive and quite simply bullied the Mavs inside and racked up the free throws. 43 free throw attempts by one team would be astoundingly good in an NBA game, and this happened in a shortened 40 minute affair.

Josh Akognon did his part to keep Dallas in it, and he went to the line several times himself (and unlike Jae Crowder, made his freebies), but most everything he put up he gave back at the other end, which might be a guard-theme Mavs fans should get used to.

Tied going into the fourth quarter, the D-Selects (D-Selecteers?) put the finishing touches on the game, building an eight point lead with under three minutes left that Dallas couldn't overcome.

Dallas, now locked into the #16 seed, takes on the #17 seed Clippers tomorrow. If they win, they will play again Thursday against #1 seed Golden State.

Some observations:

  • Gal Mekel stole the show early, and even if he didn't keep up the blistering pace he started at, it's hard not to leave impressed with him. During the game I tweeted that he reminded me a little of Greivis Vasquez, and I think, like Vasquez, Mekel's size, patience, and instincts will allow him to continue to produce against better competition.
  • Ricky Ledo rebounded from a poor performance in game two by flashing more of the skills that make him an exciting offensive talent for Dallas. One of the big questions next year will be what playing time, if any, Carlisle affords Ledo. His combination of size, athleticism and shooting touch make him entirely unique on a team like Dallas, who's guards might have one of those things but rarely all three.
  • Josh Akognon loves to shoot. No surprise from the man who attempted over 11 three-pointers a game his senior season in college. Akognon went 3-9 from distance tonight, which, along with his 7-7 at the charity stripe, somehow turned his 5-14 shooting display into a 20 point game. Still, the deficiencies are glaringly obvious. A small volume scorer who doesn't pass or defend well is going to have a tough time making an NBA team.
  • You do kind of appreciate the little things Bernard James does when you see the alternatives. Dewayne Dedmon and Hamady N'Diaye combined for 8 rebounds, 9 points, and 9 fouls.
  • Still no PT for Alexandre Paranhos, who I have not seen an injury listing for.
  • Terrico White has also not received the burn I expected, which is kind of surprising given his pedigree and the fact that Monte Mathis has sent Justin Dentmon(who racked up 8 fouls in 14 minutes) out there more regularly.

Mercifully, this game has ended, but Dallas goes right back on the horse tomorrow against L.A. Be sure to stay tuned for all the Mavs Summer League coverage you could possibly tolerate!
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