Basketball is back! This game was all about conditioning back into basketball shape, but this team is so good they won it anyways. The Mavericks starting five got off to a hot start led by the sharpshooting of Seth Curry. A combined 24 points from LeBron James and Anthony Davis sent Dallas into halftime down 55-44.
Even in a scrimmage, the Mavericks weren’t willing to go down without a fight. The team went on a 27-to-13 run in the third quarter to lead the Lakers by three going into the fourth. The fourth quarter began as a chess match. With the starters resting the quarter, the Mavericks had to find their offense in an alternative way. That came from Boban Marjanovic, who ended the game with 17 points and 13 rebounds, including a three pointer (!!!). The combination of Boban along with 7 combined points from Antonius Cleveland and Josh Reaves was too much for the Lakers to overcome.
Seth Curry returns as a human torch
Wasting no time getting back into his rhythm, Curry shot 3-for-3 from three-point range in the first quarter. He knocked down three more triples in the third, including this one off a pretty pass from Luka.
Curry is averaging 12.6 points per game in 24.5 minutes this season. Him scoring 23 on 100 percent shooting in just 15 minutes is pretty incredible. If he continues to shoot the ball at such a high efficiency he could prove to be one the Mavericks most valuable scorers.
Kristaps Porzingis and Luka Doncic look healthy
Both of the Mavericks stars were battling an injury before the hiatus. Porzingis didn’t appear to be bothered by his sore knee. Despite gaining four fouls in just the first half, Porzingis finished the game with 8 points in 15 minutes played. Doncic had 14 points in just under 17 minutes. His previously injured left hand didn’t seem to be an issue on this throw down:
Coach Carlisle is keeping the rotation simple
I had previously mentioned that if there was an ideal time to experiment with lineups it would be these scrimmages. The Mavericks are without a few key players and I thought it would be interesting to see how bench players can plug into the rotation. Rick Carlisle seemed to take my idea to the extreme. For the majority of the game, all five starters were replaced with substitutes off the bench. This led to the Lakers, who ran a more typical rotation, to go on scoring runs. Coach Carlisle was valuing the health of his players over a meaningless scrimmage win, as he should. The Mavericks still have two scrimmages left, both of which will be a regulation 48 minutes. It will be interesting to see if the rotation strategy changes at all in the Mavericks next scrimmage against the Pacers on Sunday.
Here’s the postgame podcast, Mavs Moneyball After Dark. If you can’t see the embed below “More from Mavs Moneyball”, click here. And if you haven’t yet, subscribe by searching “Mavs Moneyball podcast” into your favorite podcast app.