While preseason games don’t always foreshadow what’s to come in the regular season, the Mavericks are staring down a three-game losing streak after stumbling against the Milwaukee Bucks Friday night, 118-11.
In the preseason, things such as rhythm, chemistry and health are much more important than wins and losses, but Dallas would certainly like to enter the season on a high note with a chance to avenge the preseason opener loss to the Thunder.
Without the services of Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis, Dallas was walloped by Oklahoma City, losing by 15 and shooting 36 percent from the field. Things could be different this time around, so here’s what to watch for in these two teams’ second tilt.
Kristaps Porzingis’ shooting
After a debut that left everyone buzzing in which Porzingis pumped in 18 points in 17 minutes, the former Knick fell back down to Earth against the Bucks scoring 11 points on 4-of-13 shooting in 24 minutes of play. In two preseason games, Porzingis is 4-of-16 from deep. Let’s be clear and state that Porzingis’ low efficiency is not a concern at this point. In fact, it’s almost expected. As he shakes off the rust after such a long period away from the game, I’m more interested to see what kind of shots he’s getting.
Against the Bucks, several of his triples were good, wide open looks which will go down eventually. It will be interesting to see if the Mavericks’ give Porzingis more looks in the post and midrange where he can use his size and length to shoot over hapless defenders.
Justin Jackson’s non-scoring impact
Jackson has a prime opportunity to steal a starting spot, and so far, I’m not sure he’s taking advantage of it. Aside from shooting 45 percent on 11 three-point attempts, Jackson has accumulated a whopping total of three rebounds, three assists and one steal combined in the first three preseason games. That’s not going to cut it for a 6’8 starting forward, mainly because I’m not convinced his three-point mark holds when the real game begin. Jackson needs to contribute in more ways than just shooting for him to provide a punch alongside Doncic and Porzingis.
Boban Marjanovic versus Steven Adams
There’s no groundbreaking analysis or an X’s and O’s breakdown needed here, I just want to watch two behemoths go blow for blow like two heavyweights trading haymakers for the championship belt. At seven feet tall and 265 pounds, Adams is a boulder clearing space on the court. However, at 7’3, 290 pounds, Marjanovic makes the New Zealand native look like a fun-sized version of NBA giants, and I for one can’t wait to watch them go toe to toe for the second time in a week.
How to watch
The game tips off at 7:30 and can be watched on Fox Sports Southwest or NBA League Pass.