Previewing the Dallas Mavericks Final Preseason Game
By Sean Bush
The Dallas Mavericks will take on the Charlotte Hornets on the road tonight in their final game before the beginning of the regular season.
After a long offseason for Mavs fans, the regular season is almost finally upon us. The Dallas Mavericks will face the Charlotte Hornets in their “dress-rehearsal” game tonight as they try to prepare themselves for the season opener against the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday.
The Dallas Mavericks have proven to be one of the most impressive teams in the preseason thus far posting a 4-1 record to this point. Hopefully tonight they will show more of the same with the starters likely getting a heavy load of minutes in order to simulate a typical regular season matchup. While you’re watching the game, here are a few things to keep an eye out for:
Assuming Dennis Smith Jr. is all ready to go and back in action following last night’s injury scare, watch for his ability to run the offense and find open teammates. A team can only go as far as their floor general allows them to and Dennis Smith Jr.’s continued development will be the story of the 2017-2018 season for Dallas. It is important that he continues to foster growth in chemistry with the core roster and is able to find guys like Dirk, Harrison Barnes, and Wesley Matthews when they are open.
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Speaking of Scary B. (that is my Friday the 13th-inspired nickname for Barnes), pay attention to any noticeable improvements in his game from last season. Barnes has focused all off-season on developing his playmaking abilities, his passing, and his ability to draw fouls and get to the free throw line. We’ve all seen what he can do as an athlete and isolation scorer, but to take his game to the next level the 25-year-old must show improvement in those three areas.
Finally, and this goes for the entire season, cherish every one-legged fadeaway, trail three, or highlight moment Dirk produces tonight. We don’t know how much longer we will get to enjoy the play of the future Hall of Famer and it would be a shame to miss out on his twilight years. For many of us younger fans (I was born in ’97, Dirk was acquired in ’98), all we’ve ever known about Mavericks basketball is Dirk. We’ve been spoiled to have a superstar with as unique of a personality and skill-set as his and the NBA will never experience anything quite like the big German again.
I will go out on a limb and predict another victory from your Dallas Mavericks over the Charlotte Hornets tonight. Make sure you watch to get a taste of what the 2017-2018 regular season might hold.