The Difference is a reflection on the game that was, with one bullet for every point in the final margin. Summer League is less about wins and losses and more about trying to determine what players can contribute on the NBA level.
- The final Maverick Summer League game in Las Vegas happened to be the first time I was able to attend a Maverick Summer League game live. The differences in what you see live versus television are distinct. Media sit along the baseline, which is a very different viewing location that what I normally see, which is the sideline view from my couch. The usual things I tend to see during a game, spacing, shot selection, rotations, are much harder to see from the media location. But, given the smaller gym and crowd size, it’s possible to hear and see a number of details a television broadcast would not pick up on.
- Justin Dentmon (23 points) took full advantage of a Chicago defense that seemed unsure how to deal with his penetration. Dentmon has a great deal of confidence in his game, so much so that he often takes contested mid-range shots that look really terrible, from any viewing angle. At the 2:12 mark of the first quarter, one shot attempt rimmed out so badly it bounced out of play. Denton proceeded to stand at the location of his attempt practicing his form, as if it was that and not the challenging nature of the shot which caused it to rim out.
- ”The little things, guys, that’s got to be our goal”, Mathis said in the fourth after giving up another offensive rebound while trying to come back down 10. Monte Mathis was quite vocal throughout the game. Dallas got crushed on the boards, 46 to 30, mainly due to poor defensive rotations leaving players out of place. Mathis spent most of the second and third quarters talking to his team about over-rotating to corner three point attempts; many times two Dallas players would end up challenging a shot attempt leaving one of more Bulls players to grab a rebound for a put back.
- Brazilian prospect Alexandre Parahnos started for some reason after not playing a single minute the entire summer league. He was… not particularly good. The Mavericks played him with a large line up featuring Watford and Carmichael, which left Parahnos as the starting small forward. He managed to get up four shots in five minutes, none of which were remotely close. One actually got listed as a turnover because it was an end of shot clock air ball. I think it’s safe to say the Alexadre Parahnos era is over.
- I’ve been a vocal critic of Mathis playing Akognon and Dentmon for long stretches during Summer League. But, the truth is Dallas didn’t have other options at guard with the ongoing injuries. In a perfect world, Ricky Ledo would have played 30 minutes a game, but at his stage of development, he needs short bursts of minutes followed by interactions with coaches for teaching purposes. Seeing Akognon live is something. He’s as small as he looks on television, yet has a visible confidence about him. His shot form is fantastic and he’s able to get it off with no space.
- The differences between a player like Gal Mekel versus Akognon and Dentmon are obvious on television, but seeing how each approaches offense live was interesting. Akognon and Dentmon both constantly look at the rim on the pick and roll. Passing is a second option for both. Mekel, on the other hand, is constantly watching the movement of his teammates. He uses his eyes and head direction the way a quarterback misleads defensive backs during passing plays. Though Mekel might not be a superb athlete, he’ll be able to use this ability in the NBA. Because Akognon and Dentmon aren’t more gifted athletically, their skill sets do not translate well to the next level.
- The coaches constantly talk to Ricky Ledo while he’s on the floor, particularly on defense. He has a poor habit of getting out of his defensive position when he’s tired and the staff stay on him to develop good habits. Offensively, he takes direction well, taking suggestions and implementing things into play immediately. Ledo was also part of the best offensive play of the day. Mekel and Dwayne Dedmon started a high screen and roll where Dedmon flared instead of rolling. The defense trapped Mekel, forcing him to swing the ball to Dedmon. Dedmon then passed to Ledo in the corner, which brought both Ledo and Dedmon’s defenders to Ledo, because they expected him to shoot. Dedmon cut to the hoop and Ledo used a wrap around pass to feed Dedmon for an and-one lay in.
- Dedmon improved each game. He doesn’t have much control, patience, or spacial understanding, but he plays hard and is a physical specimen. He’s not talented enough for the NBA (at this point), but a guy that big will probably play basketball somewhere.
Be sure to check out TMG’s Bryan Gutierrez as he contributes to ESPN Dallas during LSVL.
Kirk is a member of the Two Man Game family. Follow him on Twitter @KirkSeriousFace for ranting about Dallas basketball, TV, movies, video games, and his dog.