Dallas Mavericks: John Jenkins Continues to Impress


Dallas Mavericks: John Jenkins leads team in scoring for fourth straight game

The Dallas Mavericks failed to get their first win of the preseason Monday against Kevin Love and the Cleveland Cavaliers, falling 103-97 in an entertaining game, but there were several bright spots for the injury-riddled squad even in the loss.

Dwight Powell made his return to the lineup after battling an elbow injury and played well, scoring 11 points, snagging 7 rebounds, and working hard on the defensive end. Salah Mejri upped the intrigue surrounding him further with another strong performance, coming down with 8 rebounds and blocking two shots in 18 minutes. And Dirk Nowitzki looked regular season-ready in his second warmup game, hitting all three of his attempts from distance and scoring 13 points.

But the guy who continues to impress the most is fourth-year guard John Jenkins.

The former first round pick out of Vanderbilt led the Mavericks in scoring…again, totaling 26 points and getting to the free throw line 16 times in 37 minutes. He scored from deep, he scored off the dribble, and he scored after moving without the ball, showing the entire repertoire.

It was the fifth time in five games with the Mavericks that the offseason acquisition has scored the ball effectively, a very encouraging sign for a player who struggled at times with consistency his first three seasons as a professional with the Atlanta Hawks. He’s averaged 20.6 points on over 49% shooting from the field in those five contests.

While this isn’t technically true since Charlie Villanueva outscored Jenkins 18 to 16 in the Mavericks’ first preseason game against the Denver Nuggets, the point is that it appears as if the Mavericks will be able to count on Jenkins to pick up some of the slack offensively until some of the big guns, Chandler Parsons and Wesley Matthews in particular, make their returns from injury.

More from Mavs News

This is huge, because the first month or so of the schedule could make or break the 2015-16 season for the Mavericks. 11 of their first 20 opponents made the playoffs last season and they have games against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Phoenix Suns, Utah Jazz, and Sacramento Kings mixed in as well.

The Dallas defense isn’t likely to keep anyone up at night, even with the roster at full strength, so for the Mavericks to keep pace in the Western Conference until the unit becomes whole they’ll need to outscore folks. With Jenkins performing the way he has offensively the notion that they will be able to do so becomes a lot more plausible.

Next: Dallas Mavericks: 3 Takeaways from Loss to Cavs

More from The Smoking Cuban