DONUT 1: Mavs fall to Thunder 100-88
Deron Williams, Dirk, CP and Wesley Matthews sat out Tuesday night’s game once again, this time a 100-88 loss to OKC at Tulsa. So what you got was a starting lineup of point guard J.J. Barea, 2-guard John Jenkins, forward Jeremy Evans, stretch-4 Charlie Villanueva and center Zaza Pachulia ... and what else you got was OKC opening on a 10-2 run that effectively put Dallas in their rear-view, though it took Mitch McGary capping a 12-0 Thunder run with 5:36 to go in the fourth to put OKC up 91-82 to truly seal it.
“The first half I thought was really good,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “There’s some positives. I’m disappointed to lose. I’m disappointed but not dismayed.”
There is, of course, still no reason for the Mavs to play that first group just yet, even as we have a positive report on the full-contact progress of Wes. ... though one would think that D-Will, Dirk and CP (especially the first two) will get to knock off the rust at some point this preseason.
In the meantime? The Mavs are obviously at their best right now when Barea and Devin Harris are in the backcourt. It will obviously be a different dynamic when D-Will and Wes get back, but its good to see that the two vets can handle the burden in the absence of the Mavs new big guns in the backcourt.
DONUT 2: Not enough D
Defense is still an issue so far this preseason. That being said, it’s hard to grade the Mavs defense without Williams and Matthews, especially considering the Thunder were at full strength in this game. If Justin Anderson can play to his potential early this season, it will go a long way to improving that defense as well.
You get offense from some in this group. Hotel Zaza (13 points) is going to be a nice piece for the Mavs pick-and-pop game this year. (And while Zaza isn’t going to replace Tyson Chandler’s toughness and defense inside, as few players in the league could do that, he continues to show that he will be solid rebounder in the paint for Dallas. He showed a lot of the toughness he is known for against Steven Adams on Tuesday.) However, players like Javale McGee are going to have to step up (if he is physically able and if the Mavs are financially willing) and protect the paint if the Mavs want to be successful.
Pachulia had 13 points and five rebounds on the night. ... but ... Enes Kanter carved up the Mavs bigs when he was in the game. He is very impressive offensively. Dallas will have to find an answer to that in a hurry. Kanter finished with 17 points and 11 boards. Insummary: Dallas needs big-man D, too.
DONUT 3: Jump-out Jenkins
John Jenkins has really shot the ball well this preseason. If he can keep it up, then he has a chance to carve out a nice little role in the rotation. Here, he continued his impressive preseason performance with 26 points on 11 of 18 shooting. ... and kept it up even as OKC continued to play some front-line guys.
As Jenkins said (via Mavs.com): “It was a perfect opportunity for all of us. For them to play their guys, and we rested our guys after halftime. They still played their guys, so for us younger players, we look at that and we’re playing against Westbrook and Durant. For me, I’ve went against them before. But for the younger guys, it’s big time. You don’t get any better than that. We can practice all we want against each other. But when you’re playing a game and it’s competition like that, it’s great.”
DONUT 4: Justin's dunk
Justin Anderson (11 points) is going to be critical to the Mavs early success this season. He is going to have to find more consistency than he did tonight if he wants to find a role upon CP and Matthews' return to the lineup. Anderson showed his athletic ability on a thunderous dunk in the third quarter ...
And two other springy kids also helped. Jeremy Evans was very active on the glass in this game. That is a very encouraging sign for Mavs fans moving forward. Evans finished with eight boards. ... and this ...
And N’dour once again showed a lot of energy and activity, though he mostly struggled on the offensive end.
DONUT 5: At the line
The little things can help a team that the oddsmakers think will win just 38 games. (Yup. That's the Dallas over/under for 2015-16.) The Mavs really did a good job of getting to the line in this game, as they hit 22 of 31 from the line to OKC’s nine of 17.
Getting to the line and making 'em. The little things.
DONUT 6: But the big things
Overall the Mavs shot below average well on the night, hitting 38.8 percent from the field. Three-point shooting, however was even worse, as the Mavs went 4-of-22 from deep as a team.
DONUT 7: The Tunesian's debut
DB.com reported that Salah Mejri's broken leg was healing enough to cause him to just miss a bit of camp, and here he was. The Tunesian center made his Mavs preseason debut in the third quarter and showed some good things. Mejri looked healthy, ran the floor well and rebounded.
Some very encouraging stuff there. Mejri finished with four points and five rebounds.
DONUT 8: Mavsellaneous
Jarrid Famous hasn’t been able to find the floor very much through the first three preseason games. He might be a D-league warrior, as he was with the Texas Legends for the end of last season ... Billy Donovan could have found a lot worse of a roster to start his NBA head-coaching career with, just sayin. ... Not really sure Jamil Wilson is going to make this team. He seems to disappear on the floor at times where has just been a none-factor, and he got a lot of PT. ... The Mavs got outrebounded for the third straight game. While the margin was smaller in this game, it is still a concern moving forward. ... The Mavs will head home to face the Atlanta Hawks thisFriday at 7:30 PM at the American Airlines Center.
DONUT 9: Where to watch
Friday and Saturday live music ... hanging out with the Mavs, Cowboys, Stars, Rangers, college football and FC Dallas ... serving up the best burgers in town and 80 different beers and 30 TVs including the 200-inch screen ...
Come see us at The Maverick Bar!
DONUT 10: The Dirkie/Player of the game
John Jenkins is your guy. He led the team with 26 points and was really Dallas’ only consistent offensive threat all night. And if you include him with the guards in general, you have easily the Mavs best position group not only in this game, but also throughout the preseason.
DONUT 11: The Larry Sanders Story
Larry Sanders is not yet 26 years old and yet he is well-established in the NBA as a jumping-jack athlete with prowess in the areas of shot-blocking and rim-protecting. At 6-11, he is a classically gifted defensive center and because of his tender age, is seen by many to have plenty of room to grow on the other end of the floor as well.
DONUT 12: The Final Word
“Overall, I really liked our competitiveness. Parts of the game weren’t pretty, but we were playing hard and doing things hard tonight. And we were doing it together, too, so I’m happy about that.” - Rick Carlisle.