The Dallas Mavericks absolutely wrecked the Houston Rockets in Las Vegas Summer League Saturday night, winning 113-81. Isaiah Roby had a brilliant all-around effort for the Mavericks, scoring 14, grabbing seven rebounds, dishing three assists, and notching a pair of steals and blocks. Chris Clemons scored 25 for Houston in defeat.
Things started with a Isaiah Roby driving dunk and went well for the Mavericks from there. The Rockets managed to match Dallas shot for shot in the early minutes, but Josh Reaves opened the flood gates for the Mavericks connecting on all three of his triples in the quarter. Dallas kept the pressure on, including a coast to coast and-one for Antonius Cleveland and a driving reverse from Yudai Baba. Dallas led after one, 32-19.
The second quarter went much the same as the first. After Houston closed the lead to 10 points, the Mavericks took a timeout to stem a Rockets run. Things looked easy or Dallas from there as the lead continued to balloon. They led by as many as 23 points in the quarter before taking a 59-38 point lead into the half.
Dallas continued a great effort in the third, pouring in points as the Rockets could not buy a basket. Daryl Macon kept the party going with back to back threes and Roby extended the lead all the way to 36 points. Houston finally found a groove near the end of the period, hitting three straight threes to cut into the Maverick lead. Another Macon three stopped the run and the Mavericks carried an 84-58 lead into the fourth.
The Mavericks owned the fourth as well. The Rockets were unable to stop Dallas in any way. An outstanding performance, perhaps the best summer league game I’ve ever witnessed from the Mavericks during my six times here. They walk away with a dominating 113-81 victory.
Now some observations:
Josh Reaves is going to be an exceptionally effective professional basketball player
It’s established that playing hard is a skill and Reaves plays exceptionally hard. I wasn’t impressed with his play last night as he fouled a lot (not many were called) and his shot looked bad. But in his second summer league game, Reaves looked confident on defense and once his first shot went down, the game really seemed to slow down for him. “It’s just summer league” is a consistent refrain these days, but there’s something about him that feels like it will translate eventually.
Summer league defense!
That I am talking about defense in a Summer League game is remarkable. For these Dallas Mavericks, it’s the fuel behind their two victories. They’ve blitzed most pick and rolls and the entire team is willing to dive for loose balls, box out, and challenge shots. If the Mavericks make any noise in the tournament to come, defense will be their calling card.
Man that’s weird to write.
Isaiah Roby is playing with an injured hand
In the era where most teams pull drafted players when they are injured almost immediately, Roby’s playing through a hand injury. He’s got staples in that hand. Just something to look for and consider as we watch him the rest of Vegas. He’s been excellent so far.
Daryl Macon has a home in the league
I don’t think it’s with Dallas long term because he’s a guard and they have a lot of those. But he can run an offense, hit threes, and plays his ass off. Maybe he’ll stick with someone. I certainly hope so as he’s really fun to watch.