This particular preseason feels as if it’s dragged on forever. The fifth and final game of the preseason is finally here though, so we can get on with the business of seeing how good this team actually is.
The Mavericks are coming off a win (finally) as are the Clippers. But Los Angeles needed a strong second half to beat a non-NBA team in Melbourne United. There won’t be a ton to draw from this game, but we’ll all watch just the same because we’re that into hoops.
The minutes of Kristaps Porzingis
By now, I think we all expect that KP may be done until the regular season, but if you’re online at all, you may have seen some concern about how Porzingis moves. He’s played more than I would have expected and I think it’s likely he plays against the Clippers. Despite rehabbing and getting his body in a better place than it’s been in years, there are still some things that can’t be replicated in rehab.
He needs to play to get the rust off, because as good as he’s looked in spots, he’s still incredibly rough looking overall (still effective, obviously). Additionally, if his movements aren’t ideal yet, him playing helps give the training staff more of an idea the things he’ll continue to work on. Porzingis is a work in progress.
Will Seth Curry make an impact?
With so many new pieces to mix and match, one overlooked thing is how non-descript a pre-season Seth Curry’s had. While he may not play at all following a knee contusion suffered after just nine minutes against the Thunder, it would be good to see Curry both play and make some plays. By no means has Curry been bad, but he’s played a fair amount of minutes without making much of a statistical impact at all. He’s an excellent shooter, a solid play maker, and a pesky defender. He just needs to break out a bit.
Can the Mavericks hit a shot?
There are a few bubbling issues which have presented themselves in preseason games: rebounding, defense, and above all else, shooting. Though preseason stats are largely meaningless when actual rotation players see regular minutes, that the Mavericks are 20th in the league in three point shooting at 31 percent is a concern.
The Mavericks may need too many players to have career years to really make a leap forward, but at minimum, Dallas needs to aim for the top half of the league in actual percentage of shots hit from distance. They aim to take too many of them for the team to collectively be this bad.
How to watch
The game should be on Fox Sports Southwest locally, but national viewers will get to see Dallas on NBAtv at 9:30pm Central.