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Dallas Mavericks: 3 studs and 1 dud in home win over Spurs

Dallas Mavericks, Jalen Brunson
Dallas Mavericks, Jalen Brunson / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
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Dallas Mavericks, Frank Ntilikina
Dallas Mavericks, Frank Ntilikina / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Dallas Mavericks stud in home win over Spurs: 3. Frank Ntilikina

The Mavs were shorthanded and the absences of Kristaps Porzingis and Sterling Brown opened up minutes for Ntilikina. He saw time in two of the first three games but was limited to under four minutes in both. Thursday’s game versus the Spurs was his first chance at an extended run, and the French Prince did not disappoint.

Ntilikina helped spark the Mavericks in the first and second quarters. He was playing strong defense and making little plays that did not necessarily translate to the stat sheet. The 23-year-old finished with six points and four rebounds in 14 minutes of action as the Mavericks outscored the Spurs by 24 points during his time on the floor.

Ntilikina nailed two of his four 3-point tries on Thursday night. He struggled from 3-point range during his first three NBA seasons before going 23 of 48 last season in New York in a small sample. Can the 6’4 wing prove he is an above-average 3-point shooter this year or he will revert to his mean? His shooting is the key to Frank Ntilikina earning consistent NBA minutes.

It will be interesting to see if the French Prince gets more playing time going forward after his strong performance in the win over the rival Spurs. Ntilikina was impressive on Thursday night, and fans should be watching his next time on the court closely.