Dallas Mavericks: Is Jonathan Gibson This Year’s John Jenkins?
Dallas Mavericks rookie guard, Jonathan Gibson, looked stellar throughout the summer league. Will that land him a spot in the rotation, or will he be like John Jenkins from last season?
Over the last two years, the Dallas Mavericks have shown flashes of brilliance in non-season play. Generally during summer league and preseason games, the best players don’t really get out on the court. For that reason, the Mavs success has been mostly from end of the bench players fighting for a role on the team.
Before the 2015-16 season, the preseason was dominated by young guard and former Atlanta Hawks sharpshooter, John Jenkins. Jenkins had already gained recognition as a 3-point shooter before he got to Dallas, but when he showed up the few weeks before the beginning of the season, it was a different player.
Jenkins had a terrific preseason, leading the Mavericks in scoring and looking like someone who could really find a place on the court with the big boys. The only problem was, a week later, Jenkins was at the end of the bench.
This shocked a majority of the Mavs fans who had seen what Jenkins was capable of for weeks, both against guys looking for a spot in the league and also established veterans at times. The situation looked a lot like a Jimmer Fredette type of issue.
Fredette went from being a nobody in the league to the best player in the D-League by a healthy margin, and then back to being a nobody again. Jenkins showed some incredible abilities before the season started, but when the games started counting, he was irrelevant.
So the question has to be asked, is the same treatment in store for Jonathan Gibson?
Gibson showed that he meant business when the Mavericks summer league started. With mainly young players looking to show off their skills for coaches and owners, Gibson did just that convincingly.
The problem is, Gibson is being thrown into a nearly identical situation that Jenkins was in last year. No matter how well Gibson played in these warmup games, it does not mean he is ready to overtake one of the established veterans the Mavs have in place.
This year will be another guard heavy team for Dallas. Deron Williams, Wesley Matthews, J.J. Barea, Devin Harris, Seth Curry, and Justin Anderson will all deserve time at the guard positions. That is three deep at each spot with players that the Mavs organization is really high on.
I have been a big fan of the style and tenacity that Gibson plays with but, truthfully, there just isn’t much room for him. Injuries are going to happen and Dallas may be able to find a home for him on the team, but the fact is, we won’t be seeing Jonathan Gibson on the court very much this season.
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The Dallas Mavericks continue to put together teams that can compete each year and often times that means weeding out players that just can’t hang quite as well with others. It was the case with John Jenkins last year and will be, sadly, for Jonathan Gibson this year.