The Dallas Mavericks bring a highly touted, much respected, fear-inducing undefeated preseason record home to the American Airlines Center as they host the Minnesota Timberwolves in the final game of their preseason.
With the regular season almost a week away, any and all live game action is crucial, so here’s what to watch for Thursday night:
The regular rotation’s minutes
With the shortened training camp, don't expect the starters and bench unit to get a night off. Look for Rick Carlisle to work the rust off his guys in preparation for the real thing.
Carlisle on tomorrow's preseason finale: "It likely will move a little more in that (dress-rehearsal) direction. . . We're having to do a lot of things with fluidity and on the fly."— Brad Townsend (@townbrad) December 16, 2020
Dwight Powell (a presumed starter) is coming off a brutal injury and Josh Richardson is trying to gel with a new team. Full-speed action in the preseason still counts. After Monday night’s performance, one could argue Willie Cauley-Stein deserves a longer look. He scored eight points in as many minutes and showed off his shooting range.
Luka Doncic is f......orming a nice outside shot
He’s made six of his 13 triples, and his shot looks fantastic. He mentioned that he was going to work on shooting, and so far it’s paid off. Maybe that explains why there’s a little more to love on Luka these days. Last season Doncic finished at an elite rate around the rim, so even if that dips a little, if he can up his percentages from deep, I would bet my life savings on him being the MVP of the league.
Josh Green’s development
It’s certainly won’t be much by the third preseason game, but my eye will be on Green to see how he continually develops acclimates to the NBA game. His defense is his calling card, but he showed some nice off ball movement in the first game, then flashed an outside jumper in the second game. The Mavericks don’t pick in the first round often, and they won’t very much moving forward, so hitting on Green is important.
How to watch
Tip off is at 7:30 p.m. CT and can be watched on FSSW.