The Dallas Mavericks Defeated Oklahoma City Thunder with a score 98-96 in the season opener Wednesday night from Tulsa, Oklahoma. If you are not sure where this game is taking place, the live stream was there to guide you. Christian Wood led the Mavericks with 16 points and 13 rebounds. Shoot 7 out of 13 from the ground, including 2 out of 4 out of three. Josh Gedi led the way of thunder, scoring 13 points and providing three assists.
The Mavericks struggled to score for long periods, but they kept him close the entire time because they were playing the Oklahoma City Thunder in pre-season. Transformations plagued both sides, as the Mavericks attempted an NBA record for gifts on passes across the courts. The dirty first half saw the Mavericks lead 53-52 in the locker room. With Spencer Dinwiddie, Dorian Finney Smith and Reggie Bullock finishing the first half, the Mavericks struggled hard in the third quarter and let Thunder build a double-digit lead.
But Wood had a set of buckets against Thunder scrubs to close the third, narrowing the gap and giving the Mavericks a chance to get in on the last period. After an ugly start to the quarter, Jaden Hardy decided the Mavericks wouldn’t lose tonight and scored 16 points in the fourth quarter, securing a Dallas win. Pre-season games don’t matter but winning is always more fun than losing, and the Mavericks were able to do just that!
Nobody wants to be the third handler of the ball
After Spencer Dinwiddie exited the game, Mavs fans everywhere were on the edge of their seat waiting to see who would face the first offense management foul. To my surprise, the off-roster McKinley Wright got the first chance and played very well in those minutes. In fact, Wright outperformed every non-Dinwiddy Mavericks guard on the team tonight. Frank Ntelikina got a chance to open the second half and looked awful. He struggled with minor runs and turns, threw the ball away, and failed to generate anything resembling an attack. Josh Green got some possession bringing the ball up and doing the headlight deer routine we’re used to seeing when he has to dribble a basketball. Green looked strong in other areas tonight, but he didn’t do much to inspire confidence in his ability to attack.
Her third ball wizard problem Dominate the speech of the absinAnd tonight it was easy to see why. It is clear that the team needs help in this area. The fact that an unpatched player is fighting to make the list completely outperform the other internal options is not a good sign.
Here is Christian Wood’s experience
Christian Wood was a very nice match overall. The numbers were excellent. Coming off the bench in the first half, he took some practice in defense and grabbed some possessions to rack up some outrageous shots, but overall he looked solid enough. Wood really did turn it on in the late third quarter, blow drying three times and putting some nice finishes on the edge. It’s important to remember that he did it against the third-series players, but it was nice to see him assert himself and take over the game as the clear best player on the field. Obviously, he has a special talent on the offensive end.
Wood is also incredible on the glass and would easily be the best player on the team since Mavs Legend DeAndre Jordan. The question with Wood will be whether he can engage in defense and stay within his role.
Jaden Hardy is fun
Hardy had a very inauspicious three quarters tonight. He made multiple shots, flipped them once or twice, and generally looked like a rookie playing his first real game in the NBA. Then the fourth quarter happened and Hardy switched to Summer League Game One Jaden Hardy. The rookie scored 16 points in the final frame, draining shots from all over the ground.
It’s easy to see why so many are fascinated by its potential; A child can simply get in buckets in bunches. I don’t think he’ll get much running in the regular season, but I wouldn’t rule out the possibility of him changing him a game or two for the Mavs during the dog days of the NBA season.
Spencer Dinwiddy is as healthy as a bull
One of the bright spots in the first set tonight was Spencer Dinwiddy’s play. His nine points, two rebounds, and three assists don’t jump off the page, but he looked interesting and in control tonight as he managed the attack. He shot 3 of 6 off the ground and 1 of 2 on three, and he looked like the Mavs’ best player while on the ground. With how much the Mavericks have counted on him this season, it was heartening to see a performance like this.
Many have speculated that another year after ACL surgery could unlock another level for Dinwiddie, and if tonight is any indication, there may be something to it.
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