On Monday night against the Philadelphia 76ers, the Dallas Mavericks got one of their young stars on the court for the first time. First round draft pick Shane Larkin broke his ankle during a Summer League practice and missed all of training camp and the first ten games of the season. During his absence the Mavs have relied heavily on veteran Jose Calderon and rookie Gal Mekel; both of who have done a great job for Dallas.
Larkin was drafted, though, because of his ability to run a very effective pick-n-roll. This is a part of the game they’ve been missing since they lost Jason Terry, who ran it to perfection with Dirk Nowitzki. Head coach Rick Carlisle made it clear this is one of the reasons he is on the Mavericks roster.
After missing so much time because of the injury, Larkin finally made his debut for Dallas. He only played 8:35 in the game but they gave fans a glimpse of what to look forward to in the future. Larkin only scored three points, but two of those came at a crucial point in the game. With Dallas nursing a small lead, Vince Carter caused a jump-ball situation. The ball was tipped by the 76ers but Larkin snuck into the backcourt, stole the ball and had an easy layup for his first NBA basket.
Besides his three points, Larkin also had three steals and three assists. Larkin brings another level of athleticism for the Mavericks with his playmaking ability. It may take some time for him to get prepared and get used to the professional game. What he showed in his first game, though, is extremely promising for Mavs fans.