3 important lessons learned in the Mavericks' 2023 preseason

Oct 20, 2023; Dallas, Texas, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Kyrie Irving (11) and center Dereck Lively
Oct 20, 2023; Dallas, Texas, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Kyrie Irving (11) and center Dereck Lively / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
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The Dallas Mavericks opened their 2023-24 preseason with a gruesome 17,000-mile road trip, which lasted just over a week. Fans could argue the team left with more question marks rather than questions answered about the team's new roster.

The Mavs would play the first two of their three scheduled games in Abu Dhabi. The team would drop both games to the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Simply put, the Mavericks looked like a team that had zero time to practice. Simple defensive coverages and offensive schemes were hard to watch due to the roster not playing together.

3 important lessons learned in the Mavericks' 2023 preseason

The Mavericks would then head to Madrid, Spain, just a few days removed from their deflating losses to play Luka Doncic's former team, Real Madrid. However, Doncic would unfortunately suffer a left calf strain, which sidelined him for all but five minutes in his rematch against Real Madrid. The calf strain suffered by Doncic seems to have improved as he practiced on Monday.

Without Doncic for the majority of the game, the Mavericks would look helpless and lose to their first non-NBA opponent in over a decade. The 127-123 loss would throw the team's preseason into shambles at the time being, but fans must remember that winning this game didn't matter.

Ultimately, the Mavs were left with more concerning questions just two weeks before the NBA season would tip-off.

However, things would shift positively for the Mavericks in their final preseason game at home against the Detroit Pistons. Dallas' 114-104 win over the Pistons would finally signal positive progression within the team. Everyone was firing on all cylinders, and the Mavericks would even hold a game-high 21-point lead at one point during the game.

The Mavericks are now just days removed from the start of the regular season. After a 1-3 preseason record what have fans and the Mavs learned about this roster?

3. Josh Green is unquestionably the fifth starter

It was a shock to many Mavs fans when Jason Kidd announced that rookie Olivier-Maxence Prosper was going to be the starting forward for the team's opening preseason game against the Timberwolves. Many thought Josh Green was deserving of the starting spot, and after a poor start by Prosper, it was clear Green would step in.

It was quickly apparent to fans that Green hadn't missed a beat during his elongated offseason. He had gotten better in multiple facets of the game, including his offensive efficiency. In the final game against the Pistons, Green would tally a game-high 22 points and shot 66 percent from the field. With numbers like this, Green could step into a conversation about being the Mavs' third-best player.

Green will have to continue working on his offensive game if he wants to become the indefinite third-best player, but the talent is undoubtedly there. Green would even showcase his moving 3-point shot in the game against Detroit. If Green is able to consistently knock down three-point shots off of pin-down screens, this would open up many offensive schemes for the Mavericks to run through Green.

Green is now set to likely be the Maverick's fifth starter as they prepare for their opening night game against Victor Wembenyama and the San Antonio Spurs.