The Dallas Maverick’s top draft choice, Shane Larkin, finally made it back on the practice court yesterday. This is the first time the diminutive first round pick has played since breaking his ankle earlier this summer.
Exactly when he makes his first game appearance is unknown.
“I felt good out there,” Larkin said (as reported first by ESPN Dallas). “I don’t have my quickness back yet, but that’ll come in the next couple of practices. Hopefully within the next couple of weeks — a week, week and a half, I’ll be back being able to play.”
It also remains to be seen what kind of impact Larkin can make on this rebuilt Maverick team. The undisputed starting PG is Jose Calderon. Calderon is mostly known as a traditional pass-first PG while Larkin is more of a penetrator and pick-and-roll shooter.
Currently backing up Calderon at the point is Israeli rookie Gal Mekel. Mekel has performed admirably in the short sample we have seen so far - meaning a good battle for the back-up could be in store this season.
If Larkin shows he’s not a complete liability on defense, he could prove to be a valuable piece to the puzzle. Larkin entered the NBA draft as the top pick-and-roll PG. As most know, Dirk Nowitzki thrives in the pick-and-roll and has been loving working it with new SG, Monta Ellis.
Multiple pick-and-roll options are definitely a good thing to have in an 82-game regular season so it’s safe to say there’s a place for both.
It’s likely Larkin will see most of his opportunities at PG when Ellis is catching his breath on the bench. They may play different positions but they could fill a similar roll this season (regarding the pick-and-roll).
If things go right, Shane Larkin could be a key component on the Mavericks this season. He possesses strong shooting and the kind of speed and quickness that has been lacking since JJ Barea left following the Title run of 2011.
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