The Dallas Mavericks played their first preseason game against the Oklahoma City Thunder without Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis. It did not go well as the Mavs fell 119-104.
The news that the Dallas Mavericks would not be playing Kristaps Porzingis in their first preseason game against the Oklahoma City Thunder came early in the day, but the confusion never fully set in for the fans. This nationally televised game would be a great opportunity for Porzingis to showcase his skills once again and give the people what they want.
Alas, this decision is not made by the fans, but by Coach Carlisle, who made it clear that KP would not be playing in both games of this back-to-back preseason matchup. How a team got scheduled for a back-to-back in the preseason is well beyond my level of understanding, but what happened happened and the Mavs just have to deal with it.
Since Porzingis was not expected to suit up until Wednesday, the Mavs made another move shortly before the game began that they would also sit Luka Doncic. Not surprisingly, this did not go over well with fans either. Regardless, the Mavs showed up to play and rolled out a starting line of Delon Wright, Tim Hardaway Jr., Justin Jackson, Dorian Finney-Smith and Maxi Kleber.
Despite missing the two stars of the team, this starting lineup was actually pretty entertaining and could be used during the season as a very effective switching lineup where each guy could at least hold their ground with pretty much any of the five on the other side of the ball.
Maxi and Jackson both shot the ball well and led the team in scoring with 14 each. The only other Maverick in double-digits was Jalen Brunson with 10. Dallas played a total of 16 players in the game, with Luka, KP, J.J. Barea and Dwight Powell all sitting the first game out. Barea and Powell are also expected to miss Wednesday’s game against the Pistons.
Overall, this game was surprisingly close for a vast majority of the night. The Mavs may not have been playing their stars, but OKC was and each of their starters played a minimum of 17 minutes, even more than the Mavs starters for the game.
Some of the Mavs bench players looked good in their limited time. Yudai Baba, the Japanese fan-favorite played well in 17 minutes of action, scoring 7 points and getting 2 steals. Josh Reaves also looked pretty good as he was the energy man on the court ever time he was there.
The highlight of the game has to be the Boban Marjanovic three-pointer. After Steven Adams hit a three to open the game, Boban did not want to be outdone. He got an open look from beyond the arc late in the first quarter and he drilled it to tie the score at 24. I’m not sure how many more we will see this year, but his 2nd attempted three looked good.
The Dallas Mavericks will play the Detroit Pistons at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit. The game will tip-off at 6:00 central time and will (hopefully) feature the first live action of Kristaps Porzingis and Luka Doncic on the court together.