What we learned in the season opener

Finally! The NBA season is back, which means from now until June there will be plenty of dunks, crossovers, game-winners and tough losses.

The Dallas Mavericks already have game one of this young 2014-2015 season in the books, and unfortunately it was a loss. But, don’t hang your heads low MFFL’s because Dallas lost to the reigning World Champions by one point, 101–100. Now, it’s easy to point out all the negatives that happened but let’s just take a moment to point out what we learned overall from the game:

Dirk’s still got it

Dirk showed no signs of rustiness or old age in the season opener, dropping 18 points, grabbing six rebounds and shooting an effective 7-11 from the field. Nowitzki showed the same level of competitiveness that we’re used to, and was very vocal with the referee’s on certain calls… or no calls. Dirk’s performance in the season opener showed that even entering into his twilight years, he’s still nearly unstoppable with his mid-range jumper.

Tyson Chandler Parsons

Mavs fans should feel relieved because the presence of Tyson Chandler should eliminate any questions about finding a quality big man. Not only does Tyson bring a huge presence on defense, with his 10 rebounds and two steals against the Spurs, but he brings a level of intensity and leadership that Dallas has been looking for since Tyson left. While Tyson did get into foul trouble, with five fouls on the night, he almost got a double-double in his first game back in a Mavericks jersey.

Now, this was a tale of two Chandlers. While Tyson Chandler had a quality night, Chandler Parsons showed that he’s still adjusting to playing with his new team. Yes, not seeing Parsons light up the Spurs was disappointing, but it is the first game of the season and everyone deserves a pass right?

Parsons shot 2-10 on the night, and missed the potential game-winning three-point shot which makes it even worse. But don’t fret devoted Mavs fans, because Parsons’ shots will start to fall, and when they do everyone will forget about the first game of the season.

Point Guard Frenzy

Everyone had questions going into the season as to who would be the starting point guard, and while Jameer Nelson started, Devin Harris scored 17 points off the bench. The same rule can apply to Nelson as to he still isn’t fully comfortable with the team yet, but whoever starts at point guard won’t matter because both guards proved to be effective last night on offense, but the defense can still use some work.

The Monta Ellis Show

26 points and six assists. Need I say more?

Defense, defense, defense

Let’s face it, the Mavericks won’t be facing many teams like the Spurs, but they will be facing everyone in the Western Conference, which means that the defense needs to tighten up. Not everyone is going to shoot as effective as he Spurs did from beyond the arc, but that game was a good early lesson that defense is still the weak point of this team.

Four of the five starters scored in double figures for the Spurs, and Manu Ginobili (yes he’s back) racked up 20 points coming off the bench. It goes without saying that Dallas will have one of the top five most potent offense’s in the league, but they can’t rely solely on the offense to carry them throughout the season.

The Mavericks needs to find a way to be just as deadly on defense as they are on offense, or else they will find themselves losing to the really good teams and beating the mediocre teams.