After a frustrating game one loss against the Phoenix Suns, the summer Dallas Mavericks face off against the Milwaukee Bucks Sunday night. With a day between games, Dallas had a chance to regroup and get in a hard practice. Perhaps the chance to refocus will give the Mavericks some ability to hit more than 34% of their shots from the floor.
Here’s what to watch for during the game two action.
How will Jalen Brunson respond to a poor performance?
It didn’t get touched upon during the recap, but Jalen Brunson struggled mightily in his opening performance, shooting just 3 for 14 while turning the ball over three times.
“He hasn’t played organized basketball since winning a championship,” coach Jamahl Mosley said yesterday, “He had phenomenal looks, wide open looks... when it’s all said and done he’s going to make those shots.”
Brunson should be looking for a bounce back performance after a game where he did not look comfortable after missing some early looks.
Is Dorian Finney-Smith ever going to have a good shooting game?
Finney-Smith is in need of a single good shooting performance in Vegas Summer league. Last summer he shot under 20% from beyond the arc and during the regular season he improved to a shade under 30%. Friday night he hit just one shot, a three pointer, while missing his other seven looks.
With Dennis Smith Jr. at the helm, Finney-Smith gets wide open short corner threes and he simply must have at least one game where he doesn’t look awful from beyond the arc.
What’s really confusing is how good his shot looks in practice situations. For the better part of the year, it’s been mentioned that Finney-Smith has improved the form on his stroke and it translates in practice sessions. From practice yesterday:
Now we just need to see him do it in a game.
How much playing time will Dennis Smith Jr. see?
Dennis Smith Jr. is one of many second year players here in Vegas. Like John Collins, Semi Ojeleye, and Frank Ntilikina, Smith is too good to be playing in these games.
And yet as of yesterday, Coach Mosley said Smith will get the start in game two. Unless the Mavericks are holding out how for Luka Doncic to play, Smith seeing more than a handful of minutes doesn’t make a ton of sense. He plays so hard and when he crashed to the ground repeatedly in game one, it became a little uncomfortable to see.
Hopefully, the Mavericks are picking and choosing his minutes with specific purposes in mind and he can get through the game with no issues.
How to watch
Today’s game is at 6:00pm CST on NBAtv.