The Mavericks lost in Cleveland 103-97 and still haven't won a preseason game. Dirk did play on Monday, scoring 13 points including three triples in 23 minutes, while Justin Anderson had a dazzling finish to an alley oop in the second quarter. Jeremy Evans also hit two triples, his first two of preseason, and is now 2-of-10 shooting from behind the arc. That experiment may not continue into the season, but we'd all love him to develop the shot if possible.
Here's a few thoughts about more interesting things that I saw.
Dwight Powell finally debuts this season
Powell injured his elbow playing with Team Canada this summer, but he's finally cleared to play. The forward started next to Dirk Nowitzki, playing 24 minutes with 11 points and seven rebounds on 4-of-11 shooting.
This is an interesting year for Powell. I'm still not sold him as a player, but he has an interesting mix of skills, even if none of them stand out. He missed both of his 3-pointers, one of the ways he really could make an offensive impact. He also looked solid rebounding the ball, although a few errors were mixed in. That's another area Powell could stand out with no one of the team really looking too interested in cleaning up the defensive glass.
Last season, Powell's defensive rebounding percentage was 15 percent -- worse than Dirk, who grabbed 19 percent of available rebounds. There's some reasons to think it was lower than it would have been, given his weird role and garbage time minutes, but it's still not encouraging. If he can prove himself on the boards, that will go a long way to earning a rotation spot.
Salah Mejri makes his case
With Samuel Dalembert out with injury, Mejri dropped six points and eight rebounds in just 19 minutes. That's dope and at this point, I'd be more surprised if he doesn't make the roster over ol' Sammy D at this point. But we'll see.
John Jenkins is the greatest athlete of our generation
It's STILL lit for Jenkins, who put up 26 points by tirelessly getting to the line. He hit 14-of-16 from the line, showing an ability to put the ball on the floor and his sneaky ability to draw contact. Or maybe it's not sneaky at all and I'm just saying that because he's not as a shooter.
Am I concerned that Jenkins now has two games of seven turnovers, both tonight and in the preseason opener? Not particularly. There's been some lazy passes that has been unfortunate to see, but he's also being forced to play point guard for nearly the entire duration of his time on the court thanks to all the injuries. Raymond Felton finally played a game, starting at point, running for 19 minutes and looking good while doing so. But J.J. Barea had the night off and Deron has been ruled out for all of preseason, so a lot of the duties fell to Jenkins, who will mostly play shooting guard once the real season rolls around.
What a performance these last couple of weeks for Jenkins. Let's see how exactly it translates.