Normally, Friday mornings aren’t that fun for NBA fans. But if you cheer for the Dallas Mavericks, this morning was an absolute treat.
In the early-day game of the G League Bubble, the Memphis Hustle took on the Salt Lake City Stars. The significance for Mavs fans? Two of their rookies battled head to head: Tyrell Terry for the Hustle and Tyler Bey for the Stars. Terry was selected with the 31st pick in the 2020 NBA Draft and Bey with the 36th pick, so these guys are pretty similar in terms of their value to the franchise (for now).
Both Terry and Bey were sent to the G League Bubble on assignment in hopes of getting more time on the court, thus getting them more familiar with playing against grown men in an NBA-style game.
Heading into this morning’s game, Bey was coming off a nice 18-point outing where he shot the ball efficiently and also hauled in 11 boards. Terry, on the other hand, hasn’t been efficient by any means to start the G League Bubble, but he’s impressed in his own way, showing NBA-level skill on offense both with the ball and without the ball.
The Hustle ultimately got the best of the Stars in today’s matchup, but the game outcome doesn’t really matter here. We’re more focused on how Terry and Bey looked, so let’s get into that.
Tyrell Terry found ways to impact the game on defense
Look, with Terry’s frame, his defensive ceiling is pretty low. He’s short and light, which will result in teams hunting switches, looking to get their scorers the ball with Terry as the primary defender. For him to scratch and claw his way into the Mavs’ rotation, he’ll have to find a way to remain competent on the defensive side of the ball. In today’s G League game, Terry showed promise in that area.
Check out this play:
Terry does a nice job of keeping his eyes on both his man and the ball, and once he sees his teammate get taken off the dribble, he sprints over, sets his feet, and takes the charge. That’s next-level team defense that Rick Carlisle will surely love. He also took another charge earlier on the game when trying to guard Mavs teammate Tyler Bey in transition (this was an incredibly fun five seconds for Mavs fans).
Another thing Terry does well on the defensive end of the floor is rebound. As the old adage goes, the defensive possession isn’t over until you’ve secured the rebound. Despite his size, Terry hauled in 11 rebounds today, and a lot of them weren’t easy. He knows how to get good position and has strong hands. His rebounding skills are really impressive.
Tyler Bey showed some things on offense
Tyler Bey has the opposite issue Tyrell Terry has. Bey is a bona fide defender, an athletic marvel and coming in at 6-foot-7 and 215 pounds with a 7-foot-1 wingspan, he has an elite NBA frame. Bey’s question marks come on the offensive end of the court. Can he stretch the floor and knock down open jumpers? Can he handle the ball well enough to break down opposing defenses off the dribble?
Today, Bey did a little bit of everything on offense, and that should give Mavs fans a reason to smile on this Friday. Bey scored a game-high 22 points on a nice 8-of-14 shooting from the field and connected on his only 3-point attempt. That last part is really important. If Bey can’t space the floor, he won’t crack his way into the Mavs’ rotation. If he can, he might be able to help them out soon.
Even though Bey only took one three, his stroke was encouraging. It was smooth. It was pure. Check it out:
Bey also knocked down a couple of nice mid-range jumpers, including one that was Nowitzki-esque!
Tyler Bey will likely offer the Mavs help sooner than Tyrell Terry
For the distant future, I like Tyrell Terry way more than I like Tyler Bey. Once Terry puts on some weight and gets his NBA-footing, I think he’ll be a dynamic offensive player who can survive on defense.
Bey, on the other hand, is poised to offer the Mavs some help in the near future.
The Mavs definitely have some holes on offense, but even more holes on defense. They currently have the fourth-worst defensive rating in the league, and if that doesn’t improve soon, they won’t be winning a lot of games.
Bey has a little bit of Larry Nance Jr. in him. They’re both 6-foot-7 with a 7-foot-1 wingspan. They’re also both guys who can jump out of the gym and use their athleticism to their advantage on the defensive end of the floor. With Dwight Powell looking like a shell of his former self, Bey is a guy who could offer them some nice size and athleticism on defense. And with the way his offense looked today, he might be able to help on that end as well.
Terry has more future value in my eyes, but Bey is a guy who could have an impact on a playoff series this year.