Las Vegas, Nevada (07-18-15) – Quarter Finals: Atlanta Hawks – 91, Dallas Mavericks – 83
Saturday evenings final score marked the end to Dallas’ summer league season after their eight point loss to the Atlanta Hawks. Dallas would end up finishing 2-4 in summer league play.
Atlanta controlled the tempo for a majority of the game and were up by as many as 14 points early in the 4th quarter. Facing elimination, Dallas ramped up their defensive efforts by employing a full court press and a number of traps. Forcing some timely turnovers, Dallas cut Atlanta’s lead to three points but were never quite able to get over the hump.
Final score aside, Dallas’ first round selection in this years draft, Justin Anderson, once again dazzled spectators with his multi-dimensional game. Certainly looking like the best player on the court.
Justin Anderson finished with 23 points on 9-15 shooting (3-6 from three), six rebounds, two assists, three steals, and just one turnover.
Coming into summer league play, many were well aware of Anderson’s silky shooting stroke and tenacious defense. However, for much of summer league he displayed his ability to create off the dribble, finish in the paint using his brute strength, and his athleticism on both sides of the ball. Just take a look at this insane block.
Anderson, a physically imposing 6’6” 228 pound G/F has already made his name known. Siiiiimba. Here’s what The Starters had to say about Justin Anderson’s play, starting at the 2:26 mark.
Anderson finished summer league play with an impressive stat line.
He averaged 17.5 points, 4.1 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.1 steals, 1.8 turnovers, 0.6 blocks. Most noticeably he shot 43.3% from the field, 38.4% from three, and 90% from the free throw line. Defensively he recorded impressive blocks, some against far bigger opponents, and hounded ball handlers.
With Wesley Matthews and Chandler Parsons returning from season ending injuries and with the outspoken Mark Cuban in no rush to bring them back, Anderson could be in for some major minutes off the bench while those guys are eased in or even start in place of them if either is indeed sidelined at the start of the season.
Many critique Carlisle and his ‘unwillingness’ to play the young guns, but the reality is, at this point there aren’t better alternatives. Carlisle, a former Virginia alumn, has spoken highly of Anderson and it’s easy to imagine that he vouched for his selection on draft night. Suffice to say Anderson has earned a spot in the rotation already.
Carlisle needs players that can stretch the floor, as seen in his recent play, Anderson’s improved shooting percentage is no fluke. By playing alongside the likes of Dirk, Williams, Matthews, and Parsons, he’ll have more than his fair share of open looks from downtown.
Dallas has notoriously struck out on their recent draft picks. Jae Crowder was their last impactful player drafted but he was included in the acquisition of Rajon Rondo. Ok, let’s not think about that anymore. Prior to that, one-time all-star Josh Howard became a pivotal piece for Dallas during his seven-year tenure.
With summer league it’s always important to not put too much stock into things but maybe, just maybe, the Dallas Mavericks finally got one right.