Game 1 of the 2021 NBA Summer League didn’t go as planned for Dallas.
The Dallas Mavericks Summer League team made their debut this afternoon against Tyrese Maxey and the Philadelphia 76ers. After the Sixers jumped out to a 31-14 lead in the first quarter, it was clear the game was over. Final score: Philly 95, Dallas 73.
The two biggest storylines? Dallas struggled to shoot the three-ball all game, and Tyrese Maxey proved to be too good for the Summer League Mavs. Still, there were some things for Mavs fans to take away from this beat down.
Summer League is normally a time when you get to watch your team’s first-round draft pick get some burn at NBA speed. In the case of the Dallas Mavericks, they didn’t have a first-round pick this year, and last year’s first-rounder is still recovering from an Olympic run with Australia. That means we get to watch a whole lot of Tyrell Terry, Nate Hinton, and Eugene Omoruyi.
This isn’t a bad thing, though! Terry had first-round hype during the 2020 draft and could carve out a role in the upcoming season. Hinton works harder than anyone ever (I’m confident in this). And Omoruyi has shown some nice flashes.
Here are three thoughts from Game 1.
Tyrell Terry showed signs of life
Terry struggled mightily to start the game but came on hot toward the end. He finished with a team-high 22 points on 8-of-16 shooting from the field and 3-of-6 shooting from 3-point range to go along with three assists and three steals. Terry looked the part of an NBA player out there. He definitely has NBA skill on offense. He just needs to put it all together consistently.
One of the issues with Terry’s game that you’ll likely see as Summer League wages on is that he needs some good guys around him to lighten his load. He isn’t the kind of guy right now that will go out and lead your Summer League team to victory. He needs others around him to step up and relieve some of the pressure that opposing defenses put on him. That’s not to say Terry is a bad player, he’s just the kind of Summer Leaguer that would really benefit from playing next to a first-rounder or two.
Nate Hinton needs to make a positive impact
Nate Hinton had a poor showing today. There’s really no other way to put it. He finished the game with one point on 0-of-7 shooting from the field and turned the ball over five times. It’s tough to win games when one of your better players puts up those kinds of numbers.
I still believe in Hinton’s ability to positively impact winning, though. Despite having a rough day, he still hauled in eight rebounds, dished out six assists and recorded three steals. If he found a way to just connect on a few more of his shots, or take care of the ball a little better, he would’ve been one of the best players on the court today. Look for Nate to bounce back in Game 2. He has it in him.
Coach St. Jean can do more to help his team
I’m not an NBA coach, so I don’t have all of the answers, but whatever Coach St. Jean had the Mavs doing today looked brutal. They were ill-prepared for anything resembling a basketball game. There was a whole lot of standing around watching a guy try to make something out of nothing with the ball. Rarely did that ever work.
I’m hopeful that the Game 1 woes are largely to blame on a lack of team chemistry — something that will naturally improve over the course of Summer League — but Coach St. Jean needs to help make things easier on his guys. Maybe it means running more pick-and-roll. Maybe it means drawing up more set plays. Maybe it means playing the starters even more than they did today.
Whatever it is, the Mavs need to come out better prepared to compete at an NBA level if they want to benefit from Summer League.
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