Dallas Mavericks point guard Gal Mekel has played a microscopic four minutes in the last four games combined. When the season began, Mekel had the backup point guard job all to himself as both Shane Larkin and Devin Harris were still recovering from offseason injuries. It didn’t take a long time for Mavericks fans to appreciate the two-time former Israeli Basketball Super League MVP star’s skills, either.
Right off the bat in two of the first four games of the regular season, Mekel recorded a whopping six assists. This 25-year old kid that just about every Mavericks fan had never really heard of, let alone seen play basketball (unless they saw him play at Wichita State), let it be known with his quickness that he can ball.
In those two games in which he showed Dallas fans that he was born to assist, Mekel happened to play 23 and 26 minutes, respectively. Since that third game of the season, though, Mekel’s minutes have, for the most part, been chopped in half. In fact, there has just been one other game this season in which Mekel has managed to escape from Rick Carlisle‘s doghouse and get on the court for 20-plus minutes.
How many assists did Mekel have in that game? Seven.
Yes, it’s true that the position is called ‘point’ guard but an NBA point guard’s primary job is not to score points but rather distribute the basketball. And this out-of-nowhere rookie, when given the opportunity this season, has distributed the basketball superbly.
Of course, when Larkin did return he predictably stole minutes from Mekel, but Larkin has looked overmatched at times this year and has likewise been in and out of Carlisle’s doghouse this season.
Carlisle’s doghouse must not be a fun place to be, but Mekel is just going to have to patiently wait his turn and hope that maybe Carlisle has an epiphany that veteran starting point guard Jose Calderon, whose assists are down big time this year, should get some rest.
That would free up some minutes, and Harris would probably be back by then.