NBA: Israeli Gal Mekel Hits the Jackpot

Gal Mekel enjoyed an exceptionally good first quarter during his third game with the Dallas Mavericks.

Omer Shubert
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Omer Shubert

LAS VEGAS − Gal Mekel finished his third game with the Dallas Mavericks in the summer league on Tuesday with 7 points, 9 assists, 6 turnovers, 3 steals and 2 rebounds in 31 minutes, in the 75-82 loss to the NBA D-League Select Team.

Mekel stormed into the game with an exceptionally good first quarter, managing 7 assists, 6 points and 2 steals, leading the Mavs to a 26-15 advantage. It was his best quarter yet in Las Vegas and earned applause from the Dallas bench.

He was rested in the second quarter, but without him Dallas seemed confused and unfocused, failing to score and letting their lead dwindle to four points. Mekel returned to the court after three minutes and helped stop the Select Team’s momentum.

Mekel stayed on court throughout the third quarter, and fed some good balls into the paint, but the Mavs’ front line missed some easy shots and allowed the Select Team to take the lead for the first time, until the quarter ended 57-57.

Mekel sat on the bench for the beginning of the fourth quarter and saw the Mavs trail by 6 points. He returned for the last five minutes, with Dallas behind by 5, but the Select Team managed to hold on and win 82-75.

“I had an excellent first half and terrible second half,” Mekel said after the game. “My foot still bothers me. It’s a shame because we had a really good first half, and then lost our rhythm in the second.

“Unfortunately we lost. I was sure that we were about to quash them. I think that, all in all, I managed to show my worth in the first three games. I had good energy and I was happy on court, and that leads to good things. My job is to lead the guys; that’s what I’m expected to do and that’s what I’m trying to do.”

Meanwhile, off the court, Mekel was shown on Dallas’ Instagram account carrying a bag with a picture of Justin Bieber. New players are often teased in the NBA and forced to do silly things. The Mavs’ other newcomer, Ricky Ledo, for example, now carries a Hello Kitty bag.

From left: Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle, Alon Mekel, Gal Mekel and Mavericks general manager Donnie Nelson, July 10, 2013. Credit: AP

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