Here are a few things that stood out from the Mavericks final preseason game.
Dominique Jones drew the start at the shooting guard position and was effective. He once again attacked the basket and drew fouls consistently. The knock on him has been finishing at the rim and consistently knocking down his jump shot. His court vision continues to be excellent and his ability to run the break has been superb in the two preseason games. My only concern is this; getting calls going to the basket is going to be a lot tougher during the regular season. And with no jump shot, he's going to be limited offensively. However, his court vision alone makes him an asset to this team this season.
With the departure of Tyson Chandler the spotlight has been on Brendan Haywood and Ian Mahinmi to start the season and through two games, the results have not been pretty. Mahinmi was consistently caught out of position on defense and bullied by the likes of Kendrick Perkins and Serge Ibaka .And on offense he was hesitant one time, too aggressive the next and wild throughout. The starting center, Haywood, has been invisible. His spacing on offense has been problematic and his defense has been subpar. I'm not going to use a preseason performance as an indicator of what will happen in the regular season but, considering the void he knows he has to fill this year, showing up in either game would have been nice.
Two bright spots from the game were Brandon Wright and Jerome Randle. Wright displayed the offensive arsenal that made him the number eight overall pick in the draft. He flashed a midrange jumper, a lefty layup, a floater and had a nice put back dunk. His defense left a little to be desired but he was able to hold his own on the boards. Randle used his speed to cut to the basket a couple of times, used the glass on a couple of midrange jumpers and hit a couple of threes. He's shown the ability to play at this level but I'd be more interested in stashing him in the D-league and getting him playing time than wasting him as the 14th or 15th guy on the bench.
The Mavericks will now have four days to get their conditioning up to speed and rotations ready before they raise that banner and welcome the Miami Heat to open the regular season on Christmas Day.