Dallas Mavericks’ Gal Mekel Will Have to Learn Quickly

Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY

Jose Calderon won’t make his first appearance with the Dallas Mavericks until Oct. 16 at the earliest, when the team plays a preseason game against the Indiana Pacers.

Calderon was brought in this year to be the starting point guard, as guard play was somewhat lacking the previous season. Calderon has been among the league leaders in assists for most of his career, and has a career assist-to-turnover ratio is better than four to one.

Since two of the other point guards on the team’s roster are nursing injuries and aren’t expected to make an appearance in the preseason at all, rookie Gal Mekel will start at point guard until Calderon returns. Even once the veteran comes back, Mekel will likely get the bulk of the backup minutes as well.

All of which means that Mekel will have to learn very quickly how to effectively play the point. In Dallas’ first preseason game, which was his first taste of NBA action, he had some up and down moments. He had five assists and five rebounds to go with two points, but he also had five turnovers. And since coach Rick Carlisle has said that turnovers are one of the keys to success this year, Mekel will have have to limit his turnovers if he has any hopes of seeing the court during the regular season.

Still, it should be taken into account that this was in fact just a preseason game, and the first one at that. As long as Mekel improves throughout the preseason, he could find himself in the rotation once the season starts, if only because he’ll have valuable chemistry with his teammates that the other point guards will be lacking.

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