After three games, it's pretty clear that the Dallas Mavericks have one of, if not the worst, teams here at Las Vegas Summer League. Despite the final score, Dallas trailed by double digits for most of the game. Any time they'd make a run to close the gap, they'd be unable to get enough defensive stops to make the game interesting.
Of course, it's hard to determine if a team is good or bad if they can't buy a shot. The Mavericks shot 33% from the field and just 10% from three. Dallas was also out-rebounded by 19 total boards and gave up 17 on the offensive glass, giving Washington way more chances to score.
But again, the win or loss isn't as important as figuring out what skills these players have that could translate to the next level.
1.) Don't over react to Justin Anderson's stat line.
Everyone was so excited by Anderson's first game, so the last two performances have been less than stellar. But if you're focusing on Anderson's play over all there's a lot to like. He's very aggressive on defense. It's going to take him a while to learn the nuance needed to be effective on NBA players, but the effort and basic skill set are very evident. Right now, he looks a bit lost at times when dealing with screens and recovery, but that is a byproduct of playing with unfamiliar teammates.
Offensively, his 4-for-20 from three is alarming on it's face, but he's having to force a lot of looks because the offense is so inconsistent. When he does get good looks, his form looks good. He has good balance and a high release point. As of now, the only concern with is offensive game is whether Rick Carlisle will give Anderson enough burn. If he's playing with better players, it stands to reason that Anderson will get clean looks. I remain very confident in Anderson's abilities.
2.) Dwight Powell's offense is going to translate.
He's not going to get an infinite number of pick and pop situations in NBA games, but if Powell ends up as Dirk's primary back up, he's going to get plenty of chances to knock down open shots, run on the break, and finish at the rim. He's had three good offensive games now and that's enough for me to buy in to his potential. Like Anderson, if Powell is surrounded by strong offensive players (Deron Williams, Chandler Parsons), he should be just fine.
I do wonder if he'll be allowed to shoot as many threes as he's taken in Summer League. The shot looks fine, but much like Anderson, it's just not going down. Of course, he's being asked to be the primary option which will never happen in Dallas.
3.) Don't buy into one good game from Jeremy Tyler.
With the lack of depth in the forward and center positions for the Mavericks, it would be easy to get excited about Jeremy Tyler's 15 points and 10 rebounds. But don't do it.
Tyler needed to play consistently throughout Summer League and he's been really inconsistent. He's a tantalizing player, because he has skill and talent, but cannot seem to put it all together on a consistent basis. Tyler isn't as athletic as he needs to be, he's also not a great rebounder or much of a defender. He just doesn't have that one thing which would make him worth gambling on.
4.) Do not read into Satnam Singh getting a "Did not play - Coach's Decision"
With 12 players on the roster, there aren't enough minutes to go around. The Mavericks probably simply decided to give some consistent burn to the other players. My understanding is that Dallas is committed Singh through the Texas Legends for at least a year.
The Mavericks play at least two more games here in Vegas, with the next coming Wednesday night at 7:30 pm CST.