The Dallas Mavericks (0-2) will look to get their first win of the early preseason as they host the Paul George-less Indiana Pacers (1-1) this Sunday @ 6:30 PM CT.
Without Nowitzki for both games and Monta Ellis last game, the Mavs have struggled to add a W to their record, falling to the Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder.
The Pacers are coming off a 96-93 loss to the Orlando Magic.
Nowitzki is slated to finally take the court. We’ll get our first look at the Dirk-Chandler Parsons connection. Ellis is still out, but getting Dirk back on the court is a big step for the Mavs as they are looking to build chemistry.
The team’s ball movement and spacing has looked beautiful at times. Adding Dirk to the mix should make the Mavs O far more potent and dangerous.
Coach Rick Carlisle has called out new Mavs star Chandler Parsons on his weight game. Carlisle noted that Parsons is “little bit heavier” and that the he “thinks the extra weight was a hinderance”.
Parsons struggled from the floor against OKC; he shot just 4-12 from the floor and 1-6 from 3. He was able to add six rebounds and six assists in his twenty minutes, exhibiting his versatility, but it’s apparent Carlisle wants more from the forward.
This is Parsons opportunity to show that his muscle/weight gain won’t be a problem on the court.
Not The Same Pacers
This isn’t the same Indiana team we’ve come accustomed to see on the court. The team is without Paul George for the season and lost almost Mav Lance Stephenson to the Charlotte Hornets.
Rodney Stuckey and C.J. Miles have taken over the wing spots for the Pacers. Neither the scorer or defender of the former incumbents.
Roy Hibbert, David West, and George Hill are still on the team and will be asked to carry the team on the court.
Backup Forward Battle
The minutes behind Chandler Parsons and Dirk Nowitzki are up for grabs. Al-Farouq Aminu, Richard Jefferson, and Jae Crowder, all competing for playing time, combined for 51 points against the Thunder. Aminu has filled in for Nowitzki, but the first forward off the bench may be a sign of things to come for the Mavs rotation.
Roster Spot Battle
Charlie Villanueva (13 points) made his case against the Rockets, and Doron Lamb (8 points, 3-3 fg, 2-2 3pt) had a good night against the Thunder.
The training camp invites will have eyes glued on them, as every game could be their last with the Mavs.
Tyson Chandler vs Roy Hibbert
Both are asked to do two things at the center spot: Rebound and Defend.
Hibbert has been the anchor for the great Indiana Pacers defense over the season and Chandler holds the responsibility to make the Mavs’ defense respectable.
It’s just preseason but getting to see Dirk, Parsons, and Tyson on the court for the first time brings plenty of excitement.
The Mavs have plenty of kinks to work out – rotations, defense, chemistry – while preseason win/loss isn’t the tell all. It will go a long way for the team to play clean, crisp, and a high level of basketball during their brief preseason minutes.