Previously-unbeaten Mavs Gaming’ first loss of the season to up-and-coming Hornets Venom GT was a very exciting best-of-three series. Let’s take a look at some clips and commentary analyzing both offenses, as well as some thoughts on the gameplay we’ve seen in the league so far this season.
I really liked this play from Sherm. It starts out with him spacing well on the fastbreak, and finding himself open on the wing with the ball. After making a defender jump out of the play with a pump fake, I love his composure to not rush to try and make a play. He was patient, and after realizing the other defenders weren’t closing out, he hit the three himself.
This next clip further highlights Sherm’s ability as a playmaker. He beats his man off the dribble and draws the help defender, leaving a two-on-one on the left-hand side of the court. He anticipates the movement of the off-ball defender, and hits Sleetys in the corner for a wide open 3. I think it’s incredibly useful how both Sherm and Dimez, in the dual-ballhandler offense that Mavs Gaming runs, are capable of making those high IQ plays. It adds another element to their play on that end of the floor, and keeps the defense on its toes at all times.
Good spacing here from fourth-round pick Spartxn off the inbound, finding himself open after Dimez draws two defenders. Much like the aforementioned play by Sherm, Spartxn stays composed after making one defender jump and splits another defender by dribbling towards the rim. While he certainly had the space for a mid-range jumper, he instead scores off a hook down low. Having different players so comfortable dribbling and creating their own shots, especially at power forward or center, is likely one of the reasons for Mavs Gaming’s offensive success.
A really simple but effective play here. The handoff between Sherm and Pete is very tight, but it confuses the defense and affects their rotations. Sherm and Dimez space out well, and it’s an excellent read from Pete to hit the open man for the 3.
This is a very nice play from the Charlotte offense. A smart cut from sixth-overall pick Expose draws the help defense from the corner, leaving Zae momentarily open before he receiving the ball. Similar to the previous play by Spartxn, Zae drives towards the rim after making the defender jump, although I love the pull-up jumper out of the corner. Zae is a very polished offensive player, especially for a power forward, and his ability to put the ball on the floor and make that type of play is lovely to see.
Again, another beautiful team play from HornetsVenomGT. Mavs Gaming presses on the inbound as we’ve seen a lot so far this season, but four quick passes from Hornets Venom gets the ball up the court to a wide open Zae in the corner for a 3. This direct play reminded me of how Raptors Uprising beat the press in their week two win over the Hornets, but it’s a vital part of any offense to be able to move the ball up court when the opposition presses full-court, especially against strong defensive teams.
All in all, a tightly contested series between two great teams