Dallas Mavericks: What to know before their game against the Hornets
By Arsal Hussain
The Dallas Mavericks face the Charlotte Hornets in their final preseason game, and here is what fans need to know about that contest.
We’re all in those feels right now. A whole summer went by, autumn coming up, and you know what that means. Dallas Mavericks basketball is back!
Before we get all happy and excited, we still have to remember that the Mavericks have one final preseason game before they are set to meet the Phoenix Suns on opening night.
The Mavs face the Charlotte Hornets. The Hornets have been a mediocre team so far, with wins coming against the Chicago Bulls, Boston Celtics, and Miami Heat. They’ve also made minor improvements with additions such as Tony Parker and Miles Bridges added to their roster.
With that being said, here is what fans should be expecting at the American Airlines Center come Friday evening.
Where to watch: Fox Sports Southwest
When: 6:00 p.m. CT
Where: American Airlines Center in Dallas
Hussain’s Prediction: Mavericks win by two
Harrison Barnes still out with injury
As confirmed by Dwain Price during Wednesday’s practice, Harrison Barnes will sit out his fourth consecutive preseason game. Barnes had suffered a right hamstring injury early in training camp and was already expected to miss the entire preseason.
However, Coach Carlisle discussed Barnes’ chances of playing on opening night here. Since Barnes is still recovering, he might miss the start of the regular season.
That’s a bummer since we still haven’t seen any Luka Doncic to Harrison Barnes shots yet. Hopefully, the injury heals, and Barnes is only expected to miss the first game of the season. With Barnes out, expect Dorian Finney-Smith to be starting in his place against the Hornets.
More Luka Doncic and Dennis Smith Jr.
If you watched the previous preseason games against Philadelphia and Beijing, then you know from the start that Luka Doncic and Dennis Smith Jr. are a fantastic duo.
Monday’s game against the Sixers saw them combine for 25 points, ten rebounds, and eight assists on top of 50 percent shooting. That’s impressive. It’s exactly what fans expected to see from the rookie and second-year guard.
Doncic needs to take better care of the ball. He had four turnovers in each game in China. That number may be small, but it is also only the preseason. Doncic has eyes in the back of his head with his spectacular no-look passes, but he needs to be a little more cautious.
Dennis Smith Jr, on the other hand, has been playing marvelously. He has had at least ten points in every preseason game, with a big outlier game on Oct. 5 against Philadelphia with 20 points, five rebounds, and five assists. DSJ could be a future candidate for Most Improved Player, but fans will have to see about that.
With just a few minutes per game, Kostas Antetokounmpo is quietly becoming an outstanding big man. With highlight plays like these, it won’t be long until we see The Greek Freak’s brother out of the G-League with a full NBA contract.
Fans have seen him perform very well. With only nine minutes of action, this year’s Mr. Irrelevant managed to get eight points and two amazing blocks against the Beijing Ducks. Expect him and Daryl Macon to flourish with the Texas Legends.