The Dallas Mavericks tipped off the NBA preseason opener against the Minnesota Timberwolves in Abu Dhabi earlier today. This would be the first of two matchups against the Timberwolves for the Mavericks.
The Mavericks would start the ball game with a starting unit of Luka Doncic, Kyrie Irving, and Grant Williams, along with both rookies Dereck Lively II and Olivier-Maxence Prosper. Many fans were surprised to hear both rookies would start, but Mavs head coach Jason Kidd emphasized that he wanted to see how they fit next to Doncic, Williams, and Irving.
However, this sudden change could be a large reason the Mavericks got off to a slow start in their first preseason game. The Mavericks would end the first quarter with an abysmal 19 points. Doncic would close the quarter with 14 of the team's 19 points, but this wouldn't keep the Mavs from having an all-around sluggish start.
This was the first game of organized basketball that the Mavericks had played in over four months, which is a large contribution to the lackluster start as well.
Mavs rookie Lively II showed flashes of his potential of being a good center, but due to lack of experience, he was oftentimes caught out of position. This would contribute to his foul trouble throughout the game. However, Lively II would connect with Doncic on a lob attempt where he showcased his athleticism in the second quarter.
Newcomer, Grant Williams would be the benefactor of some open 3-point looks where he would knock down two shots from behind the arc. Also, Luka Doncic would conclude the first half with a game-high 25 points. He was firing on all cylinders and seemingly couldn't miss at times.
Due to the Mavericks' rough start, the team would be behind all game and lose 111-99. Nevertheless, fans shouldn't be concerned as this is just the first of four preseason games. Expect to see some adjustments before the October 7 matchup against the Timberwolves which will conclude the Mavericks' Abu Dhabi road trip.
For more updates on the Dallas Mavericks' next preseason game on October 7 stay plugged into The Smoking Cuban.