With basketball just around the corner, which player are you most interested in seeing?
Matt: Dwight Powell says he’s ready to go, so I’d like to see him get some minutes and play well — particularly his verticality which is a huge part of his role on offense. It’s been said to death, but health is going to be a huge limiter on the team’s potential (both COVID and your standard basketball wear and tear), so getting a sense of Powell being 100% would at least ease some of my concern for the early season front court depth since we already know Porzingis won’t be back right away.
Iztok: James Johnson. He is the biggest wild card. Can either become a starter, or get DNPs. Rick will either love him, his playmaking, his ball-handling, his pick and roll game (he did some very interesting things with Russell in Minnesota, that could be great with Luka as well) ...or he’s going to hate him. James is a bit wild, had struggles with conditioning in the past, so it could go the other way with Rick as well.
Sam: I’m keeping my eye on Tyrell Terry. While I know the Mavericks upgraded the roster with Josh Richardson, I’m not sold on several guys maintaining career shooting numbers, and losing Seth Curry’s shooting will hurt. But they drafted Terry to do just that, so I want to see how well he battles and competes defensively, and if he can get to his spots against bigger and tougher defenders.
Ben: Jalen Brunson hasn’t played a full game since mid-February, so I imagine he’ll have significant rust to shake off. A few pre-season games won’t do that, but it’ll be nice to see him on the floor again. Brunson had a tough sophomore season, and probably didn’t get much training in during either of the Mavericks’ breaks due to surgery to repair his torn labrum. What will he look like back on the court, and how will he fit in with this restructured roster? The pre-season will give us a chance to figure that out.
Kirk: I’m always interested in seeing Luka Doncic play. Considering how much being in good cardio shape means to his quality of play, what he did with himself over the 90-plus says off is interesting. He’ll have to shoulder the load with Kristaps out to start the year so how he looks is going to be very important. Of course, he may not play much in pre-season, given how he plays, the man is prone to taking physical punishment and that doesn’t make sense for the pre-season.
Also interested in seeing Josh Green play. Which everyone should be. First round rookie and all.