In the Mavs 3rd preseason game of the 2019-2020 season Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis and the Dallas Mavericks faced off against Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks at the American Airlines Center.
The reigning MVP put on a show in front of a pretty sparse Dallas crowd. 27 points, 8 rebounds, and 3 assists at halftime from Giannis helped the Bucks to a 61-55 lead after 2 quarters.
Luka did his part in the first half with 20 points, including 3 straight threes for the Mavs in the last minute and a half, one from the edge of the mid court logo.
Kristaps Porzingis on the other hand struggled mightily shooting the ball in the first half and through the game finishing with 11 points on 4-13 shooting for the game.
When it came down to it, with the staring units for both teams still on the floor, Giannis was just too much and the Mavs, including Porzingis, just did not make enough shots. Any time the Mavs turned the ball over it was Giannis on the other end thundering the ball through the hoop. You may be able to contain him in the half court but if he gets out in the open floor it is game over. He is too fast, too strong, too skilled, and too elusive to stop when he is running at you with numbers. Usually you can back off and hope he passes but tonight Giannis knocked down 3 of 4 from three point range. If that trend continues, consider Giannis a lock for 2020 MVP.
Luka left the game with 27 points, 7 rebounds, and 3 assists in 23 minutes of play while Giannis dominates in his 23 minutes with 34 points, 11 rebounds, and 4 assists.
There are several players still trying to find their groove in this deep Mavericks roster. Seth Curry and Delon Wright had very lackluster game with a combined 0 points on 0-7 shooting. Delon is not known as a scorer but he is going to have to be an offensive threat at the least. He showed flashes of sneaky defense and did a good job of moving the ball around but I will be looking for him to be a little more aggressive in the next few games. Seth curry on the other hand, I guess we can just chalk this up to a bad shooting night. He had several open looks that you expect him to knock down but he still did not seem like he was as confortbale in the offense as he was a few years ago when playing under Rick Carlisle. As the rotation clears up and divinities roles are given out, I expect both of these guys to elevate their games beyond what we are seeing right now.
Justin Jackson showed me that he is in fact the right guy for the starting Small Forward role. He shoots confidently and effectively from deep and he is a killer when he gets in the lane and can use his floater. We do not need a shot chucker like Tim Hardaway, Jr. in the starting lineup, we need efficient shooting and finishing to create an optimal lineup to compete with other starting units.
When the 4th quarter hit and all the reserves were in, it was the Jalen Brunson show. JJ is not going to be able to get minutes on this team with Jalen Brunson playing like this. He gets to the rim, knocks down threes, and makes incredible plays for teammates to get easy layups.
Josh Reaves got some more run in this game and he is an absolute animal on defense. He had 2 big blocks in the 4th quarter and really knows how to pick up the energy of the whole team. He is a long way from being an offensive contributor but his defensive specialty is intriguing for a young prospect.
Boban cannot be guarded by second units. He wound up with 16 points and 8 rebounds in just 16 minutes and showed why he is a per minute productivity machine. He swallows up defensive rebounds and does a great job catching in the post ready to shoot or pass. I love what Boban can bring this team in limited minutes.
Despite the crowd being half empty and in the last 2 minutes of a meaningless preseason game with the starters on the bench, Mavs fans were eager for an elusive first win of the year. As the game closed down to its final minute the Mavs were within 5 points and the crowd could taste it. DEFENSE chants rang throughout the AAC and MFFLs hung on every free throw but it was all in vain as the Mavs dropped their third straight game to a score of 118-111 in front of the home crowd.