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Improvements needed for Dallas after ‘catastrophic’ defensive game against Charlotte

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Dallas, TX– The Dallas Mavericks (1-2) met some setbacks on their way to closing out their preseason finale on Friday with a loss against the Charlotte Hornets (4-1), 123-118.

With the possibility of Harrison Barnes not starting the season opener due to an ongoing hamstring injury, Dallas made adjustments to their starting line-up to compete. Head coach Rick Carlisle increased his starting core’s minutes, close to 30-mintues each, due to other injuries on the bench.

In addition to myriad injuries up and down the roster, the Mavs’ defense struggled to hold Charlotte’s dynamic offense.

“We gave up 50 percent shooting… and 58 percent from the three, which is a catastrophic number defensively,” said Carlisle.

Carlisle also added that the next three days of practice would allow him to evaluate and tighten up some of their weak areas such as adapting to the switch and improving their spacing.

Although the defense left little to be desired throughout the game, Dallas’ offensive chemistry is surely onto something.

Luka Doncic’s ability to be in the right place at the right time is downright impressive. While his personal stats of 18 points, four assists, and four steals are notable, it’s his constant eye to work the ball around the arc and create movement within the key. His level a play allowed DeAndre Jordan to shine.

Dallas’ DeAndre Jordan addresses the media. Photo by Loren Page/TheBallOut

Jordan was a nightmare for the Hornets defense. He finished with 18 points on 6-of-6 shooting from both the field and the foul line and pull down 12 rebounds.

“I was rolling to the basket…When I do roll, a lot of guys tag, so it opens up the floor for Wes, Luka, and Dennis so those guys can make shots,” Jordan stated on his performance.

With Jordan becoming more comfortable with Dallas’ schemes, there’s a presence on the court that has long been amiss: finishing the play. Whether that is a rebound, steal, block, or transition to defense. With him on the team, finishing possessions should be much better this season.

As far as a preseason progress report, Dallas has a lot of promise with a young starting core, but less familiar faces. However, the Mavericks do need to make spacing adjustments and have better ball handling decisions to maximize both their offensive and defensive efforts this season.

The Mavericks will open up the season on the road against the Phoenix Suns on Oct. 17.

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