From early indications, Mike Weinar has been able to dot all the i’s and cross all the t’s during his first two meetings with the Dallas Mavericks’ summer league squad.
The squad held a team meeting on Monday, and followed that up with their first practice on Tuesday at the Lympo practice facility. Weinar, the head coach of the Mavs’ summer league team, pointed out that from a competitive standpoint, the 14 players on his roster are all on the same page and eager to soak up some knowledge.
“We had a good couple of open sessions here,” Weinar said. “We had a nice meeting yesterday and kind of got everybody acclimated, and we had a good competitive practice today.
“It was fun seeing the guys working together and getting up and down the floor a little bit. We’re keying in on hard play and how much we can come together here this week, and we made some steps in that direction.”
The Mavs will play their first of at least five games at the MGM Resorts NBA Summer League in Las Vegas on Friday at 6 p.m. CT at Cox Pavilion against the Brooklyn Nets.
Tuesday afforded the Mavs their first look at Isaiah Roby, the 6-8, 230-pound rookie second-round pick out of Nebraska. Acquired in a draft day trade last month, Roby obviously will get more than his share of looks on the offensive end of the floor in Vegas.
“I’ve been really impressed with his work ethic and all the off-the-court things so far,” Weinar said. “Obviously he’s stepping into this thing new. It’s clear that he was well-coached in college and we’re excited to see what he does here over the next week-and-a-half or however long it is.”
Weinar acknowledged that he’s also excited to see the progress made by forward Kostas Antetokounmpo and guard Daryl Macon. Both saw limited action with the Mavs last season while spending the majority of their time playing for the Texas Legends in the NBA G League.
“I would expect to see their knowledge of the system helping us in the summer league, because they’ve been around it,” Weinar said. “Obviously in Frisco they run over stuff and run coach (Rick) Carlisle’s system, and they’re ahead of the game with that.
“But their level of competitiveness needs to show not only with knowledge.”
Greece’s Antetokounmpo is one of six foreign players on the Mavs’ roster, which also includes Lebanon guard Wael Arakji, Japan guard Yudai Baba, Canada forward Dyshawn Pierre, New Zealand guard Finn Delany and Senegal center Youssou Ndoye.
“He’s a guy that can do a variety of different things,” Weinar said, referring to Delany. “We’re excited to see how he competes on the floor with some of these other guys like Roby and some of these other guys that he’s playing against or are playing with.
“It’s early for him, but we’ll see what happens here. I know that we scour every nook and cranny – everything – across the world. All these guys come from all parts of the world and we’re excited to have them.”
Weinar is the only coach in the Mavs’ history to win the summer league title. He was the head coach when the Mavs captured the summer league championship two years ago in Orlando.
So, is a repeat performance on the horizon?
“I appreciate you bringing that up, but this is a new time and a new era,” Weinar said. “Obviously in the last two years the game has changed, and these are new guys. It’s not the same team.
“We had a very successful trip down there (to Orlando). But we’re excited for this opportunity and this team.”