DALLAS - The typical NBA scrimmage or preseason debut tends to see its fair share of rusty play, and after a 134-day hiatus from competitive play, that's what most expected to see when the Lakers and Mavericks met in their first scrimmage on Thursday night.
The Mavs, who have been exceeding expectations since October of last year, once again surprised the masses, however, looking sharp and potent on their way to a 108-104 defeat of the NBA Title-Favorite Lakers.
Obviously, a scrimmage with limited minutes for its stars is mostly meaningless in terms of projecting a team's success in the bubble. That said, from the limited minutes we saw from the Mavs stars, there is reason for optimism.
From Kristaps Porzingis to Luka Doncic, to Tim Hardaway Jr, to Seth Curry, each key Maverick starter had their moments to shine. Whether it was Luka's Dazzling 14-6-5 line in just 16 minutes, or Curry's 23 points on 8-8 shooting, that included 6-6 from deep, there was an abnormal crispness to the Mavs Thursday night debut.
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Even Porzingis, who despite his early foul trouble, managed eight points on 50-percent shooting in 15 minutes.
Boban Marjanovic also deserves a shout, earning a 17-point 13-rebound double-double in the win.
The night didn't go totally as planned, however, with Luka Doncic heading to the locker room in the third quarter followed closely by head trainer Casey Smith.
Luka's injury-scare turned out to be only that, is still unknown, as the 21-year old returned to the sideline in quick order, and seemed relaxed and happy to cheer along with his teammates for the sideline.
Whether the Mavs hot start to the bubble has any meaning or not remains to be seen, but with two more scrimmages, before the games start to count on July 31, they have ample time to figure that out.