Although his blue team lost to the white team, 86-85, in overtime, in a Saturday afternoon brawl in America Center Airlines, assistant coach Jared Dudley couldn’t help but sing the praises of rising goalkeeper Jaden Hardy.
Hardy played like a seasoned veteran, taking 15 out of 18 points in the second half while looking very comfortable on the field. He also converted four three-pointers.
“I think the bright spots for our team, for the Blues, are rookie Hardy,” Dudley said. “(It was nice) to see his talent for shooting big hits. What we need is his ability to get into the track and put pressure on them.”
Hardy graduated from high school in 2021 and averaged 17.7 points last season for the G League Ignite in the NBA. If Saturday is any indication of what’s to come, Hardy has made the transition from the G League to the NBA look smooth – albeit in a mere squabble.
“Really, I just go there by keeping the game simple and making the right reading and doing the simple gameplay,” Hardy said. “I just felt like being there would come to me. It was a great feeling to be there playing in front of the fans for the first time and just competing with the players.
“But really, it was done with all the work I did this summer with coach (Sean) Sweeney and coach (Greg) St. Jane, and then I sat down with coach (Jason) Kidd this morning and they get what they want from me and apply it to our workouts. That’s what help me “.
“This is just from applying open courses together, and he’s just a vet giving me information and his willingness to help me,” Hardy said.
That information sometimes paid off – other than the incomparable Luka Doncic – Hardy seemed like the best player on the field.
Late in regulation, Hardy and Doncic each exchanged four baskets, with three pointers by Hardy putting his Blues ahead, 83-80, with just over a minute left in the game.
“What I’m really looking forward to is just playing my first NBA game… We’re ready for the season and it’s going to be fun,” Hardy said.
MCGEE showed its value: JaVale McGee didn’t waste much time showing why the Mavs signed him to a three-year, $17.2 million free agent contract over the summer.
After a missed shot in the game’s opener, the 7-foot, 270-pound center maneuvered inside and scored on tip. Shortly thereafter, McGee scored on another tip, then was run inside for another basket.
“JaVale is amazing,” said assistant coach Kristi Tolliver. “His height and athletic life is something we haven’t seen lately, so it’s clearly a lot of fun coming from Phoenix.
McGee finished with 18 points, and was largely responsible for the white team’s ability to hold on to victory. McGee even showed off his skills in the ocean as he nailed three pointers in the first half.
“JaVale, just being able to move around, and using his height defensively to protect the edge would be very valuable to us,” Tolliver said.
Rookie Jaden Hardy also admired McGee.
“McGee has done a really good job,” Hardy said. “I feel like when it comes, it brings a lot of energy.
“He’s a good paint protector and he’s a good vet also for us guys.”
hit wood paint: When it comes to the Euro move, assistant coach Jared Dudley said quarterback Christian Wood is somewhat compared to Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antikonmo.
Wood certainly didn’t disappoint on Saturday as he finished with 17 points after joining the Mavs in this summer’s deal with the Houston Rockets.
“One thing about Seawood,” Dudley said, “the day I was playing, I trained with him.” “He’s got that Giannis-esque, write Euro (step) over his height and athleticism.
Wood showed why he was being chased by the Mavs as he continued to drive over and over to the basket and finish those plays with dunk shots. Dudley said Wood’s priority this season is: “For him, defensively, how can he get busy in our system to play at a certain level to be able to play 25-30 minutes a game.
“Offensively, I wouldn’t call him a wild card, but he’s the key for us to reach our full potential. I don’t think anyone would be ashamed to say that. He has all the tools and it’s our job as a coaching staff to try and pick and choose where we are to be able to train him to become the player we want to become” .
Green was money: Josh Green caught the attention of many MAF coaches and fans on Saturday.
Not only did Green have all over the field, but shortly before the break he buried a triple pointer, then stole and rushed onto the field for a knockout just before halftime.
Green, who scored 10 points on Saturday, made some steady improvements last season after hitting big numbers during his rookie campaign in the 2020-21 season when he was barely playing.
“He grabs and shoots from the wing, from the corner. He takes the hit and directs it, aggressively, to get to the basket. You’ll see a big jump from Josh Green.”
Necktie? What does tie?: With the organizational play over and the score 83-83, coach Jason Kidd said the match would end in a draw if no one else scored.
No one else has registered. But Kidd’s position changed when the players, led by Doncic, persuaded Kidd to put an extra two minutes on the clock after regulation ended.
“We wanted to finish it, and that’s how it went,” said junior guard Jaden Hardy. “We couldn’t finish a tie. Someone had to win.”
Assistant coach Jared Dudley agreed. So did the crowd of 7,520.
“For me, that crowd was phenomenal,” Dudley said. “I know it was covid last year, so it was tough. I’ve been to a lot of different teams and half empty yards, but the bottom pot is all sold out.
“It shows you the will of the Mavericks fans. They won a championship here (2011) and last year they went to the Western Conference Finals, so hats off to the Mavericks fans because that was a big crowd today.”
the summary: Luka Doncic leads all scorers with 27 points. And he was smiling the whole time. Doncic scored 24 of his points in the second half and overtime. He also broke the tie 83-83 in overtime when he buried three free throws after being fouled by Theo Benson. With the overtime period coming to a close, Benson had a chance of redemption. But his triple shot wide open on the overtime bell did not continue. . Everyone laughed when Davis Bertans sent Dorian Vinnie Smith to the floor with a brilliant crossover late in the second half. However, Bertans laughed when he failed to finish the play because his wide open triple pointer didn’t pull the iron. . After a slow start, Tim Hardaway Jr hit back-to-back players in the first half, then opened the second half with three three-pointers in fast style while finishing the game with 20 teams led by the Blues. points. . Assistant coach Kristi Tolliver described Saturday’s brawl as a good experience for all involved. “The idea was did the fans have fun, and I think they did,” Tolliver said. “I think our guys put in a great show for them. It was competitive. They went after it, but kept it light and kept it fun, so it was a great time, a great Saturday. We keep getting better every day on both sides of the ball. As we continue to build our team’s chemistry and the players get to know each other.” Some people and build their connections, it will help us, I’m sure, on the defensive side of the ball. And then on the offensive level, we have one of the best players in the world (at Doncic), so obviously we’re going to rely on him a lot. But we have great support around him. He became Guys are better in the off season. I look forward to seeing everyone’s contribution and seeing the growth. There is clearly more target on our back this year than there was last year. Guys understand that and work with it and understand that pressure is a privilege. There is more pressure on us this year than there was On it last year and I think the players are looking forward to that challenge.”