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3 things from a surprisingly fun Summer League Mavericks loss to the Jazz, 83-82

Dallas drops another Summer League heartbreaker

2022 NBA Summer League - Dallas Mavericks v Utah Jazz Photo by Jeff Bottari/NBAE via Getty Images

For those keeping score at home, the Dallas Mavericks have lost both of their Summer League games by exactly one point. Thank goodness these games don’t matter. (Unless you’ve been gambling on the Mavs, in which case, I’m so sorry.)

Tonight’s game looked for a while like it was trending toward a lopsided win for Utah. They held a 12-point lead about halfway through the fourth quarter. But then the Mavs found some fight in them and were one Tacko Fall offensive rebound away from having a chance to win the game at the buzzer. Oh well.

Here are three things from the tight loss.

The offense stunk

There are no words to describe how hard it was for either team to put the ball in the basket at the beginning of the game, but allow me to try.

You know when you’re playing pickup basketball with 9 other people who have never really played basketball before, so everyone just kinda stands around and looks at each other hoping someone does something that works? That’s sort of like what the beginning of tonight’s game was like. It was all of the bad things about Summer League wrapped into 10 minutes.

The final score at the end of the first quarter was 17-12 Dallas, and the score was only that high because both teams made a couple of difficult shots in the final minutes. We easily could’ve been looking at something much, much worse.

The Mavs can thank Jerrick Harding for pretty much everything they were able to do on offense to start the game. Harding scored 14 of the first 19 points for Dallas.

Jaden Hardy had a stinker

Jaden Hardy wowed NBA fans during Dallas’ first Summer League game. He was awesome.

Tonight, though? Not so much.

Hardy finished the game with 14 points on an abysmal 4-of-15 shooting from the field to go along with four turnovers and seven fouls. It was simply a bad game.

That’s all okay, though! When people say things like, “Relax, it’s just Summer League,” this is the type of game they’re talking about. Sure, Hardy missed a lot of shots, played some not-so-great defense, and made some weird decisions. But that’s okay. He’s young. He’s still been a joy to watch.

A.J. Lawson continues to shine

Along with Hardy, A.J. Lawson was the main talking point after the Mavs’ first Summer League game. And after their second game, Lawson should be driving the conversation again.

Tonight, Lawson finished with 15 points on 6-of-11 shooting from the field to go along with 12 rebounds, three stocks, and zero turnovers. He also played some fabulous defense.

If Lawson keeps doing what he’s doing, he’ll likely be in line for a two-way contract with the Mavs. He’s proven he’s a legitimate NBA talent.

Here’s out latest postgame podcast following the loss to the Jazz on Monday night. If you cant see the embed below or don’t want to click the link, search Mavs Moneyball podcast in your favorite podcast app.