Bedgear Training Camp Practice Report: Seth Curry

Mavs G Seth Curry talks to reporters after the team's Open Practice Wednesday.

There’s only so much you can deduce from watching a scrimmage just 24 hours after a team comes together for the first time, but there were still a few takeaways from today’s Mavs Open Practice on Day 2 of the preseason, presented by bedgear.

If you missed out, you can check out the stream on the Mavs’ Facebook page.

Here are some thoughts after watching:

— Seth Curry can really play. The first-year Maverick mostly played off-guard next to Jonathan Gibson (those two seemed to have very nice synergy), so he did more shooting than facilitating, leading all scorers with 15 points. He knocked down three straight shots midway through the 20-minute game, and another trey would have counted if he hadn’t stepped out of bounds as he caught the ball in the corner. He also delivered a couple nice assists to teammates, including one on a smooth dump-off to Dorian Finney-Smith for a dunk.

Curry is one of the most exciting players on the roster, and it’s not only because of his last name. The 26-year-old is still somewhat raw by NBA standards, having played only one full season in the league to this point, but he can shoot the lights out and began showing his ability to run offense toward the end of last season while still in Sacramento. Where exactly he fits in the rotation is still unknown to us — and to him, he said, at least as far as which position he’ll primarily play — but if today was any preview of how he’ll play this season, his role will take care of itself. He looked very sharp.

— Much was made of A.J. Hammons’ motor immediately after the Mavs drafted him No. 46 overall in June, and it was a big storyline while the team competed at Summer League in Las Vegas. But Hammons never appeared to be noticeably tired today, despite the game being played at times at a pretty fast tempo. In fact, he looked much more comfortable today than he did in Vegas, and Rick Carlisle said he was pleased with Hammons’ effort level. He worked on the block offensively, making a nice turnaround hook shot on one trip down the floor. He blocked two shots on defense, as well, one of which was a pretty authoritative rejection of Gibson, point-blank at the rim. He’s got the size and touch to play center in the NBA, so if he can continue improving his physical build, he can be a good player in this league for a long time.

— Justin Anderson led the winning Blue team in scoring, with nine points. It took him and the other players a few minutes to find a rhythm, but once he did he looked effective, knocking down a 3-pointer and throwing down a dunk on a fast break. After practice on Tuesday, Anderson and Curry were working with new Mavs player development coach God Shammgod on their handles. Anderson working to add an off-the-dribble game was a big talking point toward the end of last season and over the summer as it relates to what he must do to take the next step offensively. He didn’t spend too much time handling the ball in today’s scrimmage, but I wonder if, as the season wears on, he might spend more time on the ball — should his work with the legendary Shammgod be fruitful. (There will be more on the new coach soon.)

— Kyle Collinsworth, the D-I triple-double record-holder from BYU, looked very comfortable facilitating today, leading all players with five assists. He played positions 1-3 in Las Vegas during the Summer League, and out there it appeared he was most successful in an off-guard role as a secondary or complementary playmaker. Today he was able to attack and penetrate both himself and when playing off a teammate, and that’s an ability that comes at a premium from the off-guard and wing spots in today’s NBA. The Mavs are loaded at guard, so I wonder how much we’ll see Collinsworth this Saturday against New Orleans, but I wonder if on the preseason roster he fits in best at the off-guard spot or the 1. Time will tell.

— Collinsworth, Gibson, Finney-Smith, Jameel Warney, Nicolas Brussino, Keith Hornsby, and C.J. Williams are all essentially competing for just two spots on the roster. I expect that to be a very competitive battle as camp wears on. Who’s in the driver’s seat for both spots could change by the day, given the hectic tempo of preseason. The Mavs play Saturday and Monday, so by then it might be clear who might have the strongest case to make for the 14th and 15th spots on the roster. Each player brings something different into the mix, too, which is what’s going to make this such an interesting race. Rick Carlisle isn’t lying when he says this is going to be an intense training camp.

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