Highlights: Justin Anderson vs. the Warriors
Mavs rookie Justin Anderson dropped 34 points against the Santa Cruz Warriors Friday night.
Justin Anderson scored a team-high 34 points and Jeremy Evans scored 17 points and grabbed 7 rebounds in a quick, one-game assignment to the Texas Legends, the Mavs’ D-League affiliate. Salah Mejri added 2 points and 4 rebounds in 16 minutes.
Anderson was 13 of 24 from the field including 2 of 7 from deep. In his first appearance with the club in late November, the rookie scored 27 points. It’s quite evident even when he’s on the floor against NBA players, but Anderson is an unbelievable athlete and that was clear last night in Frisco. He’s big and strong for his position, and he has the speed and leaping ability to be a terror in the open floor both on offense and defense. He scored several fast break buckets against the Santa Cruz Warriors, mixing in some mid-range pull-ups and three-pointers.
Evans, meanwhile, is a player known for his verticality, so it should be no surprise that he threw down a dunk for the ages last night. (Note: It was “Star Wars Night,” so that explains the Force joke.)
Jeremy Evans throws it down vs. the Warriors
Jeremy Evans drives the lane for a vicious dunk against the Santa Cruz Warriors.
Rick Carlisle said Evans was actually the one who came to the team and requested to be sent down for a game so he could get some work in at the small forward spot. Evans has played both forward positions and even center this season for the Mavericks, but before this season he had little history playing on the perimeter for any team.
“It’s been a process to get comfortable with it,” Carlisle said. “He came to us to ask if he can go play in D-League games to play the perimeter position and get used to it. That’s the kind of guy you want to have in your franchise, to seize the opportunity of the Developmental League and how it can help him. It just sets a phenomenal example for all the guys on our team, and I think it’s something that people in the rest of the league will look at, because this is a way to enhance your value.”
Wesley Matthews, Raymond Felton, and Dwight Powell all turned out to the game as well to show support for their teammates.
— Texas Legends (@TexasLegends) December 12, 2015
The players were all officially recalled back to the NBA squad the morning after the game and Evans will be available tonight when the Mavs take on the Washington Wizards at the AAC. Tipoff is 7:30 p.m. However, Anderson and Mejri were reassigned to the Legends and will play tonight in Frisco.
Carlisle has said multiple times over the years that perhaps the biggest advantage of having the Legends as a D-League affiliate is that the club is right up the road. At the risk of speculating, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see some of the younger, low-minutes guys get a few more chances with the Legends during the rest of the season while both teams are at home. On an off night, it makes sense for them to drive 20 minutes up the road and get some good playing time in a system identical to the one the Mavericks run at the NBA level.