Some days you're the hammer, other days you're the nail. If there's one takeaway from the rather brutal Dallas loss to the Blazers, it's that.
The Mavericks got down early to the Blazers and never really recovered. Foul trouble was the order of the day, with Dwight Powell and Jeremy Tyler picking up seven each. (You're allowed 10 in Summer League.) Tyler got in trouble early, with Daniel Orton's size causing him a world of problems. Satnam Singh and the other Mavericks big man options simply weren't talented enough to contain Noah Vonleh or quick point guard Tim Frazier.
Dallas made a run late, but it was well after the game had been decided. Dwight Powell DID have a pair of four-point plays. But, even after losing 93-80, there's still things to learn.
1) Dwight Powell is not strong enough yet
It's important not to get too high or too low after Summer League performance. I may have gotten a little too excited about watching Powell yesterday. Today, he came back down to earth, despite his stat line (25 points, 8 rebounds). He's clearly not strong enough yet to guard NBA power forwards, as Noah Vonleh bullied him from pillar to post. His seven fouls were particularly frustrating because he was actually playing decent defense but when Vonleh would initiate contact Powell looked like he was fouling Vonleh. If Powell's going to get minutes under Carlisle he's going to have to find a way to defend stronger players.
2) Satnam Singh has nice hands!
My Twitter feed started to eat itself when Satnam got dunked on by Vonleh. He looked slow and out of place at times. But he just wasn't that bad. Vonleh and Orton were the best players he's ever seen by far. That he was willing to bang with better players and not back down is pretty awesome. Yes, he did have problems with a quick guard like Tim Frazier who scored on a number of floaters, but keep in mind Frazier is the reigning D-League MVP and Rookie of the Year.
He's not an NBA player now. He may not ever be. But he's 19. Breath. He'll a member of the Texas Legends this year.
3) Anderson is a rookie, in case you forgot
Here's another guy I mildly over reacted to. Justin Anderson had a down game, and that's okay. His shot was off, he was locked up by long-time NBA vet Keith Bogans at times (why is he in Summer League!?), and he was ran ragged by Allen Crabbe. Anderson is a much better defender than he showed tonight, so try to disregard how often he got hung up on screens and was chasing all over the court.
4) Bobby Ray Parks, Jr. is way too nervous.
On the one hand, the former PBA D-League player nearly tripled his minutes. On the other, Parks looks very uncomfortable. One Mavericks official told me that Parks just looks too nervous compared to how he played during draft workouts and practices. Parks is used to physically dominating his opponents, but he looks like he belongs in limited minutes. He really only had two chances to show anything offensively, getting fouled on one attempt and throwing away a bad jump pass on another.
The Mavericks need to give Parks a few more chances offensively, but Parks needs to settle down and try to stick a little closer to his man on defense.