We are early enough in Dallas Mavs training camp that it’s still about learning lessons.
One lesson learned? If you’re expecting a massive crowd for “Fan Jam” at the AAC, don’t schedule it in conflict with a Dallas Cowboys game.
“That’s great for a Sunday with the Cowboys playing,” new coach Jason Kidd said of the enthusiastic audience that watched the Mavs scrimmage. “It shows how strong the Mavs’ fans run. It was a great turnout … Great to see.”
Even more great, and an even better lesson learned? The friendship between Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis may have been rekindled.
The “Blues,” Dallas’ backups, ended up with a 72-57 win over the “White” (“Grey”?) starting squad featuring Luka and KP (along with Tim Hardaway Jr., Dorian Finney-Smith and Dwight Powell. And kudos to the victors, with newcomer Reggie Bullock looking like a valuable two-way player.
Bullock worked with the starting “Blues” Jalen Brunson, Sterling Brown, Maxi Kleber and Willie Cauley-Stein. And the session featured good work from young big Moses Brown as well.
“Moses has frustrated everybody, especially on the offensive rebounding,” Kidd said. “He’s going to help us be a better rebounding team just because of his length and his effort.”
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“It was a terrible game,” Doncic says. “We couldn’t make nothing. But 81 to go.”
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But no effort is more critical to the fate of this hopeful NBA contender than what the organization, and Porzingis and Doncic themselves, do to fix the fractured friendship between the two stars.
The 40-minute scrimmage featured plenty of Luka’s usual “unusualness” as he pushed the first-team era to an early 14-2 lead. But it also featured positive exchanges between Doncic and Porzingis.
At one point early last season, we mistakenly made fun of the “body-language experts” who speculated about conflict between the pair.
Consider that a lesson learned for us, too.
Kidd, who logically must be part of the Luka/KP glue, said his communication with the All-NBA star Doncic has been “high-level.”
Good. Now get “high-level” in the same category out of Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis, and the Mavs might be ready to move from winning scrimmages to winning games.