Warriors down Mavericks late, 79-76

USA TODAY Sports

There are two schools of thought about this almost-good-game. The first might say it's impressive that the Mavericks hung with the Warriors without Bernard James and then, 8 minutes or so into the game, without Jae Crowder, their only two players with significant NBA experience.

Another might say that Crowder didn't seem like he was helping much. And that, unfortunately, is the only news that really matters from this meaningless summer league game that so briefly turned exciting.

Led by another strong performance by Gal Mekel (13 points, 2 assists, 6-11 shooting) and by Justin Dentmon, arguably the only Mav who really looked good offensively (19 points, 7-12), the Mavericks had a double-digit lead on this Warriors team, which was the top seed in the new tournament format.

Particularly impressive was Jackie Carmichael, who was only 3-6 and had "only" 7 boards in 31 minutes, but was an absolute monster in the middle, blocking 7 shots, including a last one that almost preserved the Summer Mavericks' narrow lead.

Ultimately, it fell apart. The Warriors justified their seed, showing an ability to bear down and eliminate the Mavericks' scoring opportunities. On the last, desperate play, the Mavs inbounded it no less than three times, because the Warriors kept batting it away. So it goes.

The question is whether anything was learned of relevance to the regular season Mavs and it's hard to say. Mekel, who did not pass with his usual verve, may have been under orders to display his scoring ability and for a while he succeeded. But at the the end, he displayed a tendency to over-dribble and a failure to choose smart shots for himself or others which made me suspicious about whether he's NBA ready. And Ricky Ledo had another rough one from the field, going 3-15, though his shot, as usual, looked pretty enough.

The Mavs now go to the loser's bracket and will play today. So far Jackie Carmichael is the only one who's been a pleasant surprise, though Mekel has shown some flashes, as has Ledo. Unfortunately, given the talent level on the Summer League roster in general, it's hard to call any of it NBA-level for sure. More when it happens.

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