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3 things from the Mavericks 100-89 Summer League loss to the Bucks

Dallas stays winless in Las Vegas

2022 Las Vegas Summer League- Dallas Mavericks v Milwaukee Bucks Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images

The Dallas Mavericks were unable to snap their losing streak in Las Vegas Wednesday night, falling to the Milwaukee Bucks 100-89. Dallas is now 0-4 in Summer League through four games.

This game was better than the blowout against the Suns on Monday, but once again the Mavericks offense struggled to stay consistent and the defense couldn’t keep up in the fourth quarter.

Moses Wright led Dallas with an impressive game-high 26 points. Lindell Wigginton led Milwaukee with 26 points.

Here are three things we noticed:

Moses Wright showed off big time

Wright, a two-way player with the Mavericks last season, hadn’t had many memorable moments in the Mavericks first three Summer League games, but he rectified that with a monster performance against the Bucks.

Not only did Wright lead all scorers with 26 points, but he chipped in 11 rebounds, three assists, and two steals. Wright even splashed in a three pointer and scored 12 of his 26 points in the third quarter.

Wright showed a little bit of everything — good rim running in the pick and roll, attacking the glass for second chance points, making a spot-up three, and even finishing a few post ups. His long arms were a nightmare for the Bucks to deal with all night, as Wright had four offensive rebounds.

This was a nice night for Wright, as he battles for another spot on an NBA roster.

Jaden Hardy continues to struggle

It feels like it’s been months since Hardy’s spectacular Summer League debut where he scored 28 points on 19 shots. In the three games since, he’s combined for 32 points.

What makes it feel worse is Hardy has gotten worse in every game. He went from 28 points in his debut to 14 points against the Jazz, 11 points against the Suns, and now seven points against the Bucks. Hardy shot 3-of-13 from the floor and missed all six of his three pointers. He only had two assists and four turnovers.

This isn’t necessarily a cause to sound the alarm for Hardy, but it’s clearly disappointing after he had such a great debut. The theme from this game follows the previous two — Hardy can’t seem to get enough separation, which forces him into contested shots near the rim and in the midrange and an inability to run a half court offense. He also seemed to get hosed on a few plays at the basket, with the referees swallowing their whistles on a few drives from Hardy. Even with that, he still struggled.

I’m curious to see what Hardy looks like when he’s not tasked with being the main ball handler. He should get some opportunities to play more off the ball when preseason starts later this year and maybe that is going to be the way to ease him into the NBA game.

Jerrick Harding continues to impress

On the other end of the spectrum, Jerrick Harding continues to put up solid games. He’s now played well in three out of the four Mavericks Summer League games after scoring 16 points on 7-of-10 shooting against the Bucks.

Harding was a relative unknown on the Mavericks Summer League roster entering the games — he played four good years at Weber State (Damian Lillard’s alma matter), went undrafted in 2020, and has played the last two years overseas in the Czech Republic National Basketball League.

Wednesday night was another solid night, as Harding showcased a pretty complete game for the 6’1 guard — he got to the basket, made 2-of-5 from three, and had five assists. Harding seems to have a little more juice and downhill energy with the ball in his hands and that’s helped this Mavericks Summer League roster that doesn’t have much creation on it outside of Hardy.

Who knows if Harding has done enough to warrant a two-way contract with Dallas, but if he keeps it up, he has a chance to stick around with some team in this league.