The final countdown to the regular season comes to the tip of the arrow in the Dallas Mavericks final preseason game against the Kawhi Leonard and the Los Angeles Clippers in Vancouver, and believe me, it couldn’t come soon enough. Before tonight’s game, the Mavs had won a total of, now count em carefully, ONE game this preseason so all eyes were agog Thursday on these two teams and their particular stars. Especially with this Mavs lineup:
And now we can add a second game to that total.
The allure of the entire preseason thus far has been studying the chemistry between Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis, but this dress rehearsal actually highlighted exactly what Porzingis, who was a thing of pure pulchritude bundled up in a very tall package, could do.
And this game had exactly what fans have been craving performance-wise. They dominated in almost every single way over the fractured Clippers and gave everyone a taste of the confidence this particular team (especially Luka in his sophomore year) has to offer.
That specific chemistry, which proves as an absolute aphrodisiac in visual terms, is there. And so far? It's a hurricane of absolute power that serves as an admonitory to other teams. At last at this point in time.
“I loved their aggression, I loved the way they are playing with each other, the team moved the ball and found them, and we were making good plays,” coach Rick Carlisle said of Doncic and Porzingis. “So, some very good positives.''
I get it - it's preseason. However...
During the surprising 55-35 first half of the Mavs performance in the Great North, it was all Luka, Porzingis, and turnovers as Dallas dominated on the court in almost every single fashion (not those turnovers, clearly. But hey? Preseason?).
Highlights included an awe-inspiring, stunning put back dunk sponsored by KP:
That Luka to KP rom-com love we've been anticipating for, what feels like, a looonnnnggg while now:
And a no look pass from Boban Marjanovic to Kristaps for a jumper (or as the nickname was put so mildly during media day for the duo – the Twin Towers):
However, the second half had all the makings of a perfectly entertaining, yet tense, regular-season game, which actually included Terance Mann literally getting in the face of ROY golden boy Doncic.
The offense was highlighted not only by the dynamic duo of Luka and KP, but also with the help of Jalen Brunson, who has been on fire this preseason and scored six points and had seven assists in 15 minutes this game.
With all eyes on Luka, managed to end his preseason with averages of 20.5 points, 9.5 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 25.7 minutes in four games.
Sloppy for the wunderkind this particular game, however? Nine turnovers.
The Mavericks start the regular season on Wednesday against the Washington Wizards and here’s hoping that the high from tonight’s charismatic win carries over to the American Airlines Center.
"Just step by step,'' KP said of his progress. "Another step forward for me.”
And for KP and Luka, And for all the Mavs.