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Better Late than Never- Summer League Finale

Over the past several weeks you guys have watched and read about plenty of Summer League basketball. I’m sure you analyzed the stat lines and possible positions of our star summer players, devising rotations and playing times that would give the Mavericks the best possible chance of winning with the pieces we’ve assembled. This article is not really going to cover any of that.

As you may or may not have heard, I had the chance to spend the last day at Summer League in Vegas with a press pass. As a result, I was able to get some close-up shots of the Mavericks during warm-ups, and got a chance to speak with some of them after the game. During the game, I was seated in the press area with my little laptop, tweeting my heart out, probably to no one. But it was a fun experience to see the young guys try their best to impress the league and make their dreams of playing for the NBA come true.

The game itself was between the Dallas Mavericks and the Sacramento Kings, and it was a one-sided affair to be sure. The Mavericks won in grand fashion, 84-54, leading in almost every statistical category, save free throws (spend some extra hours in the gym, anyone?) One glaring advantage for the Mavs was their 13 assists to the Kings’ 5. Granted, the Kings only made 17 of their 67 shots (an atrocious 25.4% shooting night), but one still has to admire that the Mavericks were able to gel so well and play as a single unit rather than as separate entities trying to make the same squad.

The two official members of the team, Rodrigue Beaubois and Dominique Jones, had comparable games. Both were fairly efficient on scoring (6 of  9, 3 of 3 from long for Beaubois and 6 of 11, 5 of 6 free throws for Jones) and DoJo had a game-high 7 assists. One main difference between the to players was their ability to draw contact. While Jones continued to drive and get fouled, Beaubois didn’t shoot a single free throw.

Though we now know Jeremy Lin will be playing for the Golden State Warriors (playing… maybe) he still contributed mightily to the Mavericks’ summer squad with 12 points, 5 rebounds an assist and a steal. His assists would have been significantly higher if the post players he was dishing to could have completed their shots. Ian Mahinmi, for example, shot 1 of 5 (and only hit 3 of his 9 free throws). Moussa Seck didn’t score a single point, but he did pull down 5 defensive boards. Omar Sanham, the Euro-bound forward, had a solid game with 8 points on 50% shooting and 5 rebounds. He also logged an assist for the game.

I was able to speak with four of the guys after the game, but, with my sincerest apologies to Omar Sanham, my recorder didn’t start when I spoke with him so I only got interviews from Beaubois, Jones and Lin. I asked them all the same questions to try and get a feel for how they thought they did and what they felt they needed to learn. To paraphrase Samhan (again, so sorry), generally speaking the guys all enjoyed playing with each other and learning that they could compete at a high level.

What did I learn? Well, for one, Roddy is adorable when he’s fumbling around for words, for sure. Omar is one of the nicest guys I’ve ever met, Jones takes his game pretty seriously, and Lin is obviously a product of an Ivy League school. I know this isn’t ground-breaking journalism, but hey. It was my first NBA game (kinda) as a member of the press, and I didn’t want to make any mistakes!

Enjoy the words straight from their mouths, as well as the pre- and mid-game photo shoot

Rodrigue Beaubois

What were some of your favorite on-the-court and off-the-court moments of the past few weeks?

"For sure, it’s always good to… we had a very good group, very nice guys so it was nice to play with them. So, for sure, the best moment on the court was the wins because it’s always better when you win. And yeah, it was fun. For sure, myself, it was tough sometimes but it was very fun.

Do you feel like you finished off strong here?

We played together, we made the game easier. So it was very good.

And what do you think you learned most about your game over the past couple of weeks?

I still need to learn a lot. I need to watch film, talk with the coaches and just try to get better on my point guard position.

Do you feel like you’ll probably be playing PG in the coming season?

We’ll see. There’s a lot of work to do… I’m gonna play point guard with the French National team so I still need to work on it.

Dominique Jones

What were some of your favorite on-the-court and off-the-court moments of the past few weeks?

Um, I don’t have none.

No favorite moments?

No, I didn’t really go nowhere, you know, during Vegas. I just basically stood in my room, just trying to take care of this right here, ‘cause this is business. When I fly back to Tampa tomorrow I’ll probably have a little fun then but, you know, when I’m off playing basketball, that’s my main focus. 

And what do you think you learned most about your game over the past couple of weeks?

Um, I don’t know. I mean, I just learned about the game [emphasis DoJo’s], you know, the speed of it, you know, different angles, how to work the pick and roll better, you know basically just getting used to everything.

Jeremy Lin

What were some of your favorite on-the-court and off-the-court moments of the past few weeks?

My favorite on-the-court moment was probably just playing against the Wizards and then being able to be there in the 4th quarter and having a great atmosphere and a packed crowd. My best off-the-court experience, was, you know, just meeting these guys and hanging out with them, and my family was out here the whole time and being able to see them after not seeing them for a while- man it’s been a fun ride.

And what do you think you learned most about your game?

What I’ve learned is, you know, I can get to the rim at this level, and I can play at this level, and I’ve also learned I definitely need to work on my jump shot and then get stronger, and then I need to limit my turnovers. So you know, it’s a good learning experience, some positives, some negatives.