Mavericks Preseason: A First Look at Ntilikina, Bullock

Reggie Bullock

Getty Reggie Bullock catches his breath between plays against the Wizards.

The Dallas Mavericks kick off their regular season schedule in less than a month against the Atlanta Hawks on October 21. As they look to have another successful season on the shoulders of superstar guard Luka Doncic, the next few weeks will be key in getting off on the right foot. 

Mavericks media day is on Monday, September 27, followed by training camp that will begin on Tuesday. 

This will be a first look at some of the Dallas free agent signings, with guys like Frank Ntilikina, Reggie Bullock and Sterling Brown beginning a new chapter with the Mavericks. 

Training camp will also be an opportunity for the Mavericks’ pair of two-way players to learn the system and kickstart their development with the team. JaQuori McLaughlin and Eugene Omoruyi will fill those two spots this season as an extension of the 15-man roster.

Prior to their season opener in Atlanta, they’ll have four preseason games to build chemistry starting on October 6.


Preseason Schedule

October 6: Utah Jazz

Dallas will open their preseason schedule at home against Utah. During this game, fans will get a chance to watch the new members of the roster play in Mavericks jerseys for the first time. 

October 8: Los Angeles Clippers

The Clippers have knocked the Mavericks out of the playoffs in two consecutive seasons. While the preseason doesn’t affect Dallas’ regular season record or playoff push, it should be a competitive game since it’s the first time these teams have faced off since the postseason. 

October 13: Charlotte Hornets 

The Mavericks will have the opportunity to match up with LaMelo Ball and the Hornets during their preseason stint. Charlotte is a team that is on the rise and could be a playoff team in the Eastern Conference this season. 

October 15: Milwaukee Bucks

Dallas will close out their preseason campaign against the reigning champion Bucks. This will be a key game for several players on the Mavericks roster, as it will be the last chance to showcase their skills through on-court action before cuts have to be made. 


Chemistry & Development

While the top players on the roster won’t play full minutes in these preseason matchups, it will be a good opportunity for the young guys and new players on the roster to start to mesh and learn the system. Additionally, it will be an opportunity for players on training camp deals to compete for a roster spot. 

For the guys who are battling for a roster spot, there’s a lot that goes into those decisions. While games are the best way to showcase skills in public, these prospects will also have to impress the coaching staff and front office every day in camp. 

With quite a few new faces on the team, training camp and preseason games will help build chemistry. If Dallas wants to start the season on a high note, they’ll have to ensure the roster has meshed and is playing well together by their opening regular season game.

Frank Ntilikina

GettyFrank Ntilikina goes up against his new teammate in Luka Doncic.

For players like Doncic, Kristaps Porzingis and the other core pieces of the roster, training camp is all about getting back in game shape while also staying healthy. 

If all of these things happen, the roster will naturally be put together with the right pieces and Dallas will have success in the 2021-22 season. Especially with how little teams are able to practice during the regular season, the weeks leading up to it are extremely important. 


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