LAS VEGAS – The biggest Isaiah Roby critic is Isaiah Roby himself.
After a phenomenal breakout game on Saturday in a 113-81 win over Houston in which he scored 14 points shooting 6-for-11 from the field, the Dallas Mavericks rookie was limited to six points in a 105-101 loss to Sacramento on Monday at the Thomas and Mack Center.
Roby hit 4 of his 6 free-throw attempts, grabbed four rebounds and a steal, and dished out a pair of assists, but he also turned the ball over three times, twice on traveling violations after catching a pass and moving his feet before putting the ball down to dribble.
“I’d say I’m doing all right,” he said. “The first game I felt that I did all right, the second game I did pretty good. [Monday] I think I had a lackluster performance, a lot of mental mistakes. But at the end of the day, it’s stuff that’s easy to fix. I’m not overly worried, I’m just not satisfied in my performance.”
On Monday against Sacramento, things looked good for Dallas early on, building a 15-point lead late in the second quarter before the Kings chipped away, eventually taking the lead early in the fourth quarter.
Roby, who played 28 minutes against the Nets and 25 against the Rockets, was limited to 15 minutes Monday with foul trouble.
“I wasn’t playing as aggressive as I should have, and I made a lot of mistakes,” he said. “I put that on myself. As a team, we had guys like Cam [Payne] who stepped up and kept us in the game. Josh [Reaves] was playing great, AC [Antonius Cleveland] was playing great, so we’ve got to put it all together.”
It’s been something of an eventful Summer League so far for the Dixon native. He scored 10 points against Brooklyn while feeling the effects of some bad sushi on Friday, and that was before the Las Vegas area felt a 7.1 magnitude earthquake centered in Ridgecrest, California, about halfway between Las Vegas and Los Angeles. The aftershocks of the sushi were still with him Saturday against Houston.
“[Monday] was the first day I felt good all game,” he said. “The first two games I felt terrible, but we won, so I was OK with it. [Monday] I feel good and we lost, so I’m not having a good day right now.”
Through three games, Roby is shooting 12-for-29 from the field, 1-for-7 from 3-point range, 5-for-7 from the free-throw line, and has grabbed 16 rebounds.
But he still has to get used to the speed of the game. Brooklyn’s Jarrett Allen was able to get by him a couple of times on Friday. On Monday, a pass from Payne on a fast break caught him unawares and led to a turnover.
“Just getting adjusted, that’s the biggest thing,” he said.
So far in Summer League games, Roby has done a bit of everything for the Mavericks: playing the low post on defense, bringing the ball up on offense, playing on the wing. That gives Mavericks coaches a chance to see a wide range of his skillset, but also means he will be playing a number of different roles, not only in Summer League, but moving ahead.
“I think that will change every night,” he said. “Some nights I might play a lot of power forward, some nights I might play a lot of small forward. At the end of the day, I’m still going to do whatever it takes to help the team win.”
Dallas has an off day today before a matchup with the Croatian national team Wednesday to close out the round-robin portion of Summer League play. That gives Roby a practice and another game to fix the things that can be fixed.
“That’s one thing I’m trying to focus on is not trying to beat myself up too much,” Roby said. “I’m often my worst critic, so I’ll be thinking of this game [Monday] night and come back [Tuesday] and think about Croatia.”