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3 fire takeaways from Mavericks preseason loss to Magic

Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic
Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
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The Dallas Mavericks hosted their lone preseason game on Oct. 7 against Orlando Magic. It was the preseason debut of superstar Luka Doncic, and the 23-year-old did not disappoint in his first action. He had 16 points in 18 minutes, but he only played in the first half and Orlando took advantage.

The Magic came from behind in the fourth quarter to pull the 110-105 upset. Mavs head coach Jason Kidd played his young players in the final period and the game got away from them. Dallas has an open roster spot and an unused two-way contract, so those minutes mattered, but nobody stepped up on Friday night.

What can fans take away from Luka Doncic’s first preseason game of the 2022-23 season? Here are three things worth noting from the Oct. 7 loss to the Magic.

Takeaway from Dallas Mavericks preseason win over Magic: 3. Hardy will be inconsistent

Mavs rookie second-round pick Jaden Hardy stole the show in the preseason opener with a 16-point fourth quarter that lifted Dallas to a comeback victory over the Thunder. The 6’4 guard finished with 21 points on eight of 16 from the field, including four 3-pointers in an impressive performance.

Head coach Jason Kidd gave the rookie a start next to Luka Doncic in the backcourt on Friday night, but he struggled. Hardy got plenty of open looks, but he was just one of eight from the field with just three points and one assist in 13 minutes of action in the first three quarters. Hardy returned in the fourth, but he could not get going as the Magic finished the upset.

The 20-year-old will be inconsistent just like most rookies. He is still finding his NBA legs and figuring out the speed of the game. There is plenty to like about Jaden Hardy, but he is not quite ready for rotation minutes. He will play for both the Mavs and Legends, but do not expect him to be consistent as a rookie.

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