Early in their Summer League contest on Monday against the Dallas Mavericks, the Golden State Warriors announced center Damian Jones had a Grade 1 MCL sprain in his right knee. Jones was expected to compete for a sharp increase in playing time given the departures of centers JaVale McGee and Zaza Pachulia, but this setback could derail his offseason momentum by limiting — or even ending — his chance to impress in the Summer League.
Without Jones in the lineup, Golden State was manhandled 91-71 by the Mavericks. For a team hoping to develop youngsters to bolster its depth, it was not a particularly confidence-inspiring performance, especially with Dallas guards Dennis Smith Jr. and Luka Doncic held out of action.
Here are three takeaways from the action:
These were not the long-range sniping Warriors who’ve taken over the NBA with three championships in four seasons. Guards Josh Magette and Kendrick Nunn didn’t make a single 3-pointer from the backcourt, and as a team, Golden State went 6-for-23 from deep. The Warriors’ first make didn’t come until about seven minutes left in the third quarter from forward Marcus Derrickson.
Not that those numbers are a total surprise, given the players on the floor.
Magette is a 28-year-old who shot 30 percent from three in the G-League last year. Nunn averaged 25.9 points per game at Oakland last season but shot 39 percent from three — hardly a knockdown rate from distance for a college player. First-round pick Jacob Evans hit from deep at a 37 percent clip at Cincinnati, and he’s now 1-for-13 from three-point range over his past four Summer League games.
Jacob Evans no-show
Less than a week after Golden State’s rookie wing scored 13 points in his Summer League debut, Evans failed to make an offensive impact against the Mavericks, attempting just four shots in 17 minutes.
Evans didn’t flash elite skills at Cincinnati, according to talent evaluators, but his all-around balance made him an intriguing draft selection. He was known as both a solid offensive and defensive contributor in college.
That’s why Warriors reportedly planned to make him a rotational mainstay next season, needing someone to hold up in a game increasingly defined by one-on-one matchups.
Before Evans gains that kind of regular-season responsibility, though, his offensive game will need to offer more upside than it did on Tuesday. He’ll get plenty of chances to prove himself capable of more this summer.
Center Jordan Bell missed Monday’s action, compounding Golden State’s lack of inside presence with Jones shelved due to injury. Dallas out-rebounded the Warriors, 55-34, leading to a number of easy second-chance points.
Play of the night
Dallas guard and former Villanova standout Jalen Brunson fooled the Warriors with a no-look dish to center Ray Spalding underneath the basket, with about five minutes left in the third quarter. His move came after evading two Golden State defenders on the perimeter.