Following a 118-71 blowout of the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday night, Rick Carlisle stated that the Dallas Mavericks’ "really old guys" wouldn’t be making the trip to Orlando for the second night of a preseason back-to-back (can somebody explain to me why that is even a thing?).
As it turned out, the not-so-old-guys, Harrison Barnes, Nerlens Noel and Dorian Finney-Smith (knee soreness) were included in that list, along with Dirk Nowitzki, Wesley Matthews, J.J. Barea, Devin Harris, Josh McRoberts, and Rick Carlisle himself (illness). After being left massively shorthanded, the Mavs weren't able to muster up what was needed to pull off a win on the road.
Here’s 3 things we learned from tonight’s game.
Dennis Smith SZN is here to stay
Despite only shooting 4-of-13 from the field, Smith Jr. continued to prove that he’s not going to have any issues getting buckets this season. He finished with 13 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 block in only 18 minutes of play. Oh yeah, try not to drool on yourself, because he also did this tonight.
Rick Carlisle’s value can’t be understated
Even though the Mavs were very shorthanded, we’ve seen Carlisle squeeze blood out of a turnip time and time again. In Orlando against the Magic’s top guys, pulling out a win was just too much to ask for with assistant coach Melvin Hunt. Hunt is best known for his defense, and although the Mavs may not have even won with Carlisle there tonight, you can bet this team would’ve at least probably been competitive throughout, as was seen in the preseason opener vs. the Milwaukee Bucks.
Let’s hope Coach Carlisle’s illness is short-lived so he can get back on the sidelines and continue being the warlock that he is.
NBA League Pass is so very bad (at least in preseason)
So this recap is pretty bad. The main reason for that is because there was pretty much no way of watching the game unless you live in the DFW area and felt like watching a crappy-quality stream through the team website (sorry Mavs, we still love you, but it was bad). To make things worse, NBA League Pass not only wasn’t showing the game on television, but you weren’t able to stream it online either. As one of my colleagues pointed out, NBA LP has no interest in working out licensing issues to fix these kinds of problems.
All that being said, it’s only preseason, and I realize I’m just screaming into the void. Hang in there, MFFL. Regular season basketball is right around the corner!