The Dallas Mavericks defeated the Sacramento Kings in Las Vegas Summer League tournament play Thursday night, 83-76. Dennis Smith Jr. led the Mavericks with 25 points and 7 rebounds while also dishing out a pair of assists and 3 steals. Justin Jackson led the Kings in defeat with 25 points.
Dallas opened the game sloppy and unsure, trailing the Kings 15-6 before exploding on a 17-0 run to end the quarter. Sacramento never really recovered, getting down double digits before making a number of runs late in the game. Though the Kings were able to get the Maverick lead within four points repeatedly, they were unable to close the gap and Dallas walked away with it’s 9th straight Summer League victory. The nine game win streak is the longest for a team named the Dallas Mavericks since a 10 game streak in the 2010-11 season.
This is a Dennis Smith, Jr. fan page now.
Smith was once again spectacular, showing off a different portion of his game from Tuesday’s win using the three ball to consistently put the Kings on the defensive. Smith connected on 4 of 8 from beyond the arc in a variety of fashions, including a step back pull up and a great catch and release coming off a screen. Smith’s balance and range is really impressive given how powerfully athletic he is.
Smith finished with only two assists, but that low number lies at the feet of his brick laying teammates (Dallas only shot 37% over all). Smith’s shooting and dribble penetration kept the Kings off balance all game. He just has such a complete offensive game that it’s already looking ridiculous that he slipped to 9th over all.
Oh, and then there’s this:
Miss an angle? Here's all of 'em pic.twitter.com/VasV0NawbL— Dallas Mavericks (@dallasmavs) July 14, 2017
Dennis Smith Jr. is going to be popular next season and not just with Dallas Mavericks fans.
Jonathan Motley can play man to man defense
The big questions coming out of college for Motley had to do with the health of his knee and whether or not he could play man defense after exclusively playing zone in college.
Thus far into Summer League the answer is a resounding yes. Motley moves his feet very well, has good instincts when playing help, and has the ability to recover. The NBA will feature greater challenges than Vegas for Motley, but the effort and instincts are there. He’ll make it work once he eventually cracks the Maverick roster.
The Mavericks have a great Summer League team
I’ve decided against writing too much about most of the Maverick roster because most will never see an NBA roster. Also, it’s hard to tell how much having a pair of solid point guards in Smith and Yogi Ferrell improve the players around them. But it’s still worth mentioning how solid guys like Carrick Felix, Brandon Ashley, and Ding Yanyuyang are. Felix is a really solid shooter and plays very hard. Ashley has a great deal of offensive skill both inside and out. Ding plays with a near reckless abandon and no fear.
Some summer league teams have an air of desperation about them as guys looking for a shot often try to do too much. This Mavericks squad has the feel of a real team, with guys playing for one another. I’ve covered a lot of Summer League games and this team feels different in a really positive way.
Up Next: the Boston Celtics
The Mavericks will play their next game Saturday night at 7pm against the Boston Celtics, probably on ESPN or ESPN2. More details to follow as they become available.