The Phoenix Suns will be in Dallas Wednesday for the Mavericks’ second home game of the preseason and chances are it will be another chance for the Mavericks to showcase some of their new talent.
The face of the team largely changed with the departure of long-time floor general, two-time MVP and future Hall-of-Famer Steve Nash. The reins have been handed over the Goran Dragic, who backed up Nash before a short stint with the Houston Rockets.
Phoenix hasn’t completely turned over and is led by center Marcin Gortat, the “Polish Hammer” who came into his own last year after leaving Orlando and Dwight Howard’s shadow. Also coming over from the Rockets via amnesty is Luis Scola, an effective inside and midrange scorer. With Scola and newly acquired Michael Beesley joining Gortat, the Suns should be effective up front and improved over last year. Jared Dudley joins Dragic in the backcourt.
The Suns have a more than competent starting five but depth will be an issue, especially with Channing Frye out. So far in the preseason the Suns are 1-1, having lost their first game to the Sacramento Kings before pulling out a win against the Portland Trail Blazers.
With the Mavericks looking at missing Dirk for at least a week but possibly more if surgery is indicated, the coming week will provide essential experience for the newly assembled crew, especially the rookies, to get valuable practice learning to work together without relying on Dirk. While no one wishes for Dirk to be out, if is rehab time isn’t extended, this could be a huge opportunity for Rick Carlisle to develop numerous other options. The Mavericks will also be without Roddy Beaubois (ankle) and Delonte West’s status is as of yet unknown (suspension).
The Mavs host the Suns on Wed., Oct. 17 and Southwest Division rival New Orleans featuring No. 1 overall pick Anthony Davis on Oct. 22, with a road game in Atlanta against the Hawks in-between Oct. 20.