After the Dallas Mavericks finished their first pre-season game against Oklahoma City last night, they hopped on a plane to Detroit where they play this evening. Moving past the fact that someone in the Dallas office thought a road back to back was a good idea, after the resting of both Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis each should see time tonight to everyone’s delight.
The Luka Doncic/Kristaps Porzingis duo, this time for real!
We tried to make this a thing in yesterday’s preview, but Rick Carlisle had other plans. He’ll probably be coy about line ups again tonight but understanding that one of these two games was going to be a no-go for at least Porzingis, it feels likely they both play tonight.
How many minutes we get is worth watching, since it’s unclear how much they’ll both be used together or if their minutes will be staggered. My bet is they maximize their time together, allowing Brunson and some of the other bench options room to fire away in their limited bench minutes.
The first Luka pick and pop with Porzingis is something I can’t wait for at this point.
Can Justin Jackson build on his first game?
With the aforementioned players missing last night’s game, all three of the players potentially vying for the fifth starter role actually started against OKC: Justin Jackson, Tim Hardaway Jr., and Dorian Finney-Smith.
Jackson was the only one of the three to make a reasonable statistical impact, shooting 75% and scoring 14 points in just a handful of minutes. All three guys should get plenty of chances to make their case for a permanent position, but in my mind Jackson has an early lead. How he performs with the two super stars is worth monitering.
Even more threes
As Sam noted yesterday, the Mavericks are going to shoot a lot of threes. Carlisle hit on it on Media day as well. Even with their two best players resting, the Mavericks took 50 three pointers and just 43 two point looks. Now, they didn’t hit many, but with Doncic and Porzingis sitting and Seth Curry only getting a few minutes, tonight the number of makes should increase.
What’ll be interesting is just how high they hope to get that average number per game. If it’s noticably higher than last year, that should result in one of the highest scoring teams in the NBA.
How to watch
The game tips off at the awful time of 6pm CST. The Mavericks are playing on Fox Sports Southwest this evening. As it’s pre-season, it’s unclear whether any games will be on NBA League Pass channels or on any mobile apps.