The Fast Break: Mavs at Hawks

Final: Hawks 112, Mavs 107

Box Score | Highlights

Behind the Box Score

Harrison Barnes has now scored at least 16 points in 10 of his last 11 games. This has unfortunately been an inconsistent season for the Mavs, but one thing you can count on is Barnes getting 18ish points and 6ish rebounds. Death and taxes.

Notebook

  • J.J. Barea put on a show in this one. The Puerto Rican recorded his third double-double of the season, finishing with 15 points and a season-high 12 assists off the bench. His most effective stretch came, not surprisingly, when playing alongside Dirk Nowitzki, Devin Harris, and Dwight Powell.

    That group has put together some incredible runs this season. You would probably never expect that group to make up four of the five spots in the best lineup in the NBA, but that’s still the case when they play with Yogi Ferrell. Much of that has to do with Barea’s ability as a floor general, pick-and-rolling teams to death until he finds a shot either he or a teammate can live with. That group plays limited minutes, though, given the players’ roles (and, for some, ages). The Mavs have to find ways to keep things humming when that group isn’t on the floor.

    What’s Next

    The Mavs (9-25) will play the Toronto Raptors (22-8) on Tuesday at American Airlines Center at 6 p.m. Central.

  • Game 34: Mavs at Hawks

    Nowitzki Knocks Down Three

    Wesley Matthews finds Dirk Nowitzki at the top of the arc for the three-point jumper.

    The Fast Break: Mavs vs. Hawks

    Final: Mavs 111, Hawks 113

    Box Score | Highlights

    Behind the Box Score

    Tonight was the first game of Dirk Nowitzki’s 20th season, and the German became just the second player ever to play as many seasons for just one team, joined only by Kobe Bryant. The legend has etched his name in the history books once again, this time joining probably the single-most exclusive club in pro sports.

    Dennis Smith Jr. became the youngest player in franchise history to start a game (Dirk was the previous youngest) and the second-youngest to ever appear in a game for the Mavericks. It’s important to remember throughout this season that he’s only 19 years old. There will be ups and there will be downs, but it’s already clear that there’s plenty to be excited about.

    Notebook

  • Dennis Smith Jr. put on an absolute show in his NBA debut, finishing with 16 points and 10 assists. He became the youngest player ever to record a points-assists double-double in his career debut. (Scroll down for some highlights.) From the alley-oop on the opening play to scoring and fancy handles, he played a solid all-around game and flashed much of what he’s capable of at this level. He’s got almost unheard-of explosiveness for a point guard, and when combined with his speed, shooting, and playmaking ability, he’s got a pretty rare skill set that’s already pretty developed for a player his age. This season is going to be a process, but he started it off on the right foot.

  • One thing that’s really stood out about Smith’s floor game to this point is his patience and composure in traffic. During one sequence in the first half, he took on three defenders without panicking and ended up finding a wide-open Dirk for 3.

    This play more than any other demonstrates his ability to lead an offense. It’s not always about doing cool, flashy stuff. Sometimes it’s just about the simple matter of accepting defensive pressure and finding the open man. Smith probably isn’t going to see this kind of aggressive coverage all too often because he’s not the kind of player who’s going to crumble under all of this attention. Plus, he’s playing with guys who can knock down open shots. But seeing him able to do it is encouraging.

  • It wasn’t all pretty, however. At one point in the second quarter Smith rose for what would have been an incredible dunk but he was drilled pretty hard in mid-air by fellow rookie John Collins.

    Smith very briefly left the floor with a trainer before returning to the bench just a few seconds afterward.

    What’s Next

    The Mavs (0-1) will play the Sacramento Kings (0-0) on Friday at American Airlines Center at 7:30 p.m. Central.

  • Game 1: Mavs vs. Hawks

    Postgame: Dennis Smith Jr.

    Dennis Smith Jr. dishes on his first regular-season game in a Mavericks uniform.

    Mavs look to turn page on preseason play, turning attention to Wednesday’s season opener

    DALLAS — Despite finishing the preseason with a bitter taste after suffering a 111-96 defeat on the road Friday night in Charlotte, the Dallas Mavericks believe they accomplished a lot during the exhibition schedule prior to Wednesday night’s season opener against Atlanta.

    Opening up the 2017-18 regular season Wednesday at home against the Hawks, the Mavericks will try to hit the ground running towards a return to the playoffs. The Mavs will also attempt to build on things they found success with during the preseason after finishing the six-game exhibition schedule with a 4-2 record. And according to leading scorer Harrison Barnes, the Mavs will now try to flip a switch before attempting to bounce back from a 33-49 record last season.

    “I think we accomplished a lot,” Barnes said while summing up the preseason following Friday’s loss. “We got a chance to definitely get our conditioning in, get a feel and let guys get a rhythm. I think (Thursday’s 108-94 win in Atlanta) was good for our young guys, and (Friday night) was good for our vets to go out there and just play together. And I think we have enough of a base to go out there on Wednesday.”

    Showing glimpses of clicking on all cylinders when the full complement of players were available, the Mavericks averaged 95.3 points per game this preseason to rank 27th in the NBA. The Mavs also connected on 42.7 percent from the field as a team, ranking 26th in the league in that department. The Dallas team will now attempt to build on what it did successfully during the preseason as the games begin to count in the standings. That said, Friday’s loss will serve as motivation to play at a high level on a nightly basis.

    Trailing 28-27 after the first quarter, the Mavs fought back to take a 56-54 edge into the halftime intermission Friday night. However, the Mavericks weren’t able to carry that success over to the second half, outscored by the Hornets 57-40 in the final two quarters. And after shooting just 32.6 percent from the field in the second half of Friday’s loss, the Mavs will attempt to put together a full 48 minutes during Wednesday’s matchup.

    “I think that was good for us to come out and lose like that, even with our vets on the team as well,” rookie point guard Dennis Smith Jr. said after Friday’s loss. “You know, we don’t want to think anything is sweet going into the regular season. We just got whooped by the Hornets, who’s a good team, so it was a reality check. You know, we’ve got to come out and compete.”

    All told, seven Hornets scored in double figures while outshooting the Mavs for the game Friday night, 49.4 percent to 41.2 percent. Charlotte also added a 50-37 rebounding advantage, overshadowing its 22 turnovers. And after allowing the Hornets to shoot 17 of 30 from beyond the three-point arc, Mavs coach Rick Carlisle confesses that his team will have to be better defensively Wednesday night against the Hawks.

    “Well, on an overall basis, I wasn’t pleased with how we played in Charlotte. I think we were a little detached,” Carlisle explained. “We gave up a lot of threes, and we had breakdowns. Once the real games come and Atlanta comes in here on Wednesday, you know, it’s going to be a different world. They’re going to be a hungry, young and opportunistic team that spaces the floor and shoots the heck out of the three, and we’re going to have to be a (heck) of a lot better than we were against Charlotte.”

    Note: The Mavericks will now return to American Airlines Center on Oct. 18 for the regular-season opener against the Atlanta Hawks. That game will tip off at 7:30 p.m. CT, airing locally on Fox Sports Southwest and 103.3 FM ESPN. The game will also air in Spanish on KFLC AM 1270. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by visiting Mavs.com, or by calling (214) 747-MAVS.

    Injury updates:

    Seth Curry (stress reaction, left tibia) — out
    Josh McRoberts (rest) — out

    2017 Preseason Game 5: Mavs at Hawks

    Game Recap: Mavericks 108, Hawks 94

    Gian Clavell puts up 19 points off the bench as the Mavericks cruise past the Hawks, 108-94.

    The Fast Break: Mavs at Hawks

    Final: Hawks 100, Mavs 95

    Box Score | Highlights

    Behind the Box Score

    The Hawks shot a blistering 71.9 percent from the field in the first half, good for 1.37 points per possession. The Mavs’ only saving grace was forcing 10 turnovers, which prevented shots from going up and gave Dallas chances the other way. Atlanta led 63-52 at the break. Credit the Mavs, though, for getting back into it in the second half.

    Dirk Nowitzki scored 11 points tonight and is now just 46 points away from 30,000 for his career. He’ll become only the sixth player in NBA history to achieve that feat. He also secured double-double No. 401 for his career.

    Ben Bentil made his NBA debut tonight. By my count, he’s the seventh Mav to make his first league appearance this season, joining A.J. Hammons, Dorian Finney-Smith, Nicolas Brussino, Jonathan Gibson, Pierre Jackson, and Quinn Cook.

    Notebook

  • This was the third time in four games that both Harrison Barnes and Seth Curry both scored at least 20 points. Those two have done the bulk of the heavy lifting especially in each of the last two games now. Monday against Miami, they were the only Mavericks to score in double-figures. Tonight, no other Maverick scored more than 11 points. But those two have been in such a good rhythm as of late, both by themselves and together in an emerging two-man game, that the Mavs might as well continue to ride what’s working for them for as long as they can keep it up.

  • I’m a pretty serious stat nerd, but not even I can’t find this one: What does Seth Curry shoot from the field after using a pump-fake? It must be above 60 percent, or maybe even higher. He’s been money from all over the floor lately after he can juke a defender out of the way, and it’s been really impressive to see. Former Maverick Chandler Parsons had a smooth pump-fake, too, be he usually deployed it in order to set up a dribble-drive. Curry, on the other hand, can pump and then shoot from the same spot he was at, which isn’t something you see very often.

  • As this season hits the home stretch, one big thing to watch for in my opinion will be home/road splits. The Mavs are younger now than they’ve been in a long, long time, and typically young players tend to play better at home than on the road. The Dallas youngsters committed several unforced errors tonight and, especially in the first half, didn’t look as sharp as they did at times during the win against the Heat earlier this week. Then again, the club awoke in the second half after allowing 72 percent shooting in the first, and Dallas ended up claiming its first lead of the game with four minutes to go. In between the slow start and the dramatic comeback was a long stretch of turnover-heavy play by both teams. The Mavericks thrive on forcing those giveaways, but have tended to win this season because they’ve avoided making mistakes themselves. As Yogi Ferrell, Quinn Cook, and the other guards get more experience, and as Nerlens Noel continues to work his way into the mix, the Mavs should develop better chemistry and play some cleaner ball.

  • Wesley Matthews missed tonight’s game with a hip injury that Rick Carlisle said the Mavericks do not believe is serious. Still, it sidelined the Iron Man for this one. Nerlens Noel was slated to start the game in his place, but he was late to the team plane and came off the bench as punishment. Rookie Dorian Finney-Smith got the nod instead, but he picked up two very early fouls so Noel entered the game almost immediately anyway, and he also started the second half for the Mavericks. Matthews has been a constant for Dallas in a season full of change, so hopefully for the club’s sake his injury won’t be a long-term thing. Stay tuned for updates there.

    What’s Next

    The Mavs (24-36) will play the Memphis Grizzlies (36-25) on Friday at American Airlines Center at 7:30 p.m. Central.