Mavericks Show Unlimited Potential in 68-Point Preseason Win

Luka Doncic (left) and Kristaps Porzingis of the Mavericks

Getty Luka Doncic (left) and Kristaps Porzingis of the Mavericks

Although it’s only the preseason, the Dallas Mavericks are already showing just how special of a team they can be. With two young stars at the helm and solid supporting cast, the Mavericks looked flawless in their third preseason contest.

On Wednesday night, Dallas matched up with the Charlotte Hornets, winning by 68 points. While most preseason games stay fairly close, the Mavericks absolutely dominated every aspect of the game.

While no single contest should be analyzed too closely, this win did speak to the ceiling of the team. The Hornets are set to be a potential playoff team in the Eastern Conference this season, but were no match for the Mavericks. If they’re able to put together performances like this throughout the season, there is no question that Dallas could be one of the best teams in the Western Conference.

In the 127-59 win for the Mavericks, there were quite a few things that stood out as positive for the team going forward. With the 2021-22 NBA season kicking off a week from today, Dallas should feel optimistic.


Starting with Defense

Blowing teams out in the NBA always starts with defense. Scoring points is only half of the equation when you’re winning by nearly 70 points.

It was the first game of the preseason in which the regular starters all took the floor together and played in their standard rotations.

Against the Hornets on Wednesday night, the Mavericks were excellent on the defensive end of the floor. When it was all said and done, Charlotte only scored 59 points, shooting 27.4% from the floor.

They also struggled from deep, with Dallas doing a great job of protecting the perimeter, as the Hornets converted on just 15.8% of their 3-point attempts.

In a league where 3-point shooting is king, perimeter defense has never been more important. Even without a couple of their best defensive players suiting up in this game, the Mavericks showed how their defensive principals have changed under new coach Jason Kidd.


Top Performers

Perhaps the most important player for the Mavericks this season outside of Luka Doncic is Kristaps Porzingis. The 7-footer had an outstanding game on Wednesday, finishing with 31 points and five rebounds on the night.

Tim Hardaway Jr. saw his first extended action of the preseason and was extremely efficient on the offensive end of the floor. He scored 20 points on 12 shots, including five made 3-pointers. As the third best player on the Mavericks roster, this is the type of performance they’ll need from him in the biggest games of the upcoming season.

Tim Hardaway Jr.

GettyDallas Mavericks guard Tim Hardaway Jr. flexes after hitting a big shot against the Miami Heat.

A less-known name, Sterling Brown is one of the newest members of the Mavericks. An offseason acquisition in free agency, he scored 12 points off the bench while going 3-for-4 from beyond the arc.

It’s just the preseason, but the Mavericks looked exceptional in their third preseason game, which was the first in which they played their regular rotations. There will be many highs and lows in the upcoming season, but the potential is certainly there in Dallas.

 


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