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Two things to watch for as Dennis Smith Jr., Mavs host the L.A. Clippers

Two things to watch for as Dennis Smith Jr., Mavs host the L.A. Clippers


After a loss to Milwaukee 116-106 concluding an 0-2 Eastern road trip, the Mavs return to the AAC to host the Clippers. This season, the home court advantage has been real, with a 16-6 record good enough for 5th in the Western Conference. They will need all the help they can get as Dallas tries to snap this four game skid.

The return of DSJ

The last month we have seen plenty of trade rumors and in house friction between DSJ and the Mavericks. From he’s not being traded, to Smith being “sick”, then Carlisle publicly asking Dennis to come back home.

“Dennis Smith is not here, but I want to let everybody know I reached out to him and his agent last night and let them know that when he’s feeling better, he’s welcome to rejoin the team at any time,” Carlisle said Friday. “We would love to have him back.”

By all account, he should be joining the team today in what appears to be first steps of the healing process.

Considering the Mavs current play, they could use the emotional boost of having their young PG back in the fold. He has the ability to defend opposing guards and get in the lane like no one else on this team. Tonight, no one should worry about if he “fits” next to Luka, just let these young guns play.

Last time the Clippers were in town, DSJ lost a tooth and won the game with a clutch block on Tobias Harris. That will be a tough performance to follow but I have no doubt he will be up for this game.

Harrison Barnes shooting woes

I won’t throw the typical “overpaid” or “third-option guy” around because I feel Harrison contributes enough to justify his contract. But lately, his shooting has just been terrible at 32% in his last six games. It gets even worse when you consider how many open looks he gets from the perimeter. Everyone goes through shooting slumps but his confidence just looks completely lacking.

“Shooters keep shooting” is a great way for guys struggling to get out of slump… just not for Barnes. Where he really shines is the midrange game, post ups, and isolations. I would not go as far to say the he doesn’t fit with Luka, perhaps more of an offensive scheme issue.

Barnes has had to adjust to changes every year he’s been here. He has played multiple positions and went from being “the man” to a really good role player. If he can’t make the perimeter game work maybe Carlisle should adjust to him for once.

Staff writer for, born and raised in the ever changing yet beautiful 214. Longtime fan of the NBA and the Dallas Mavericks. Husband, father, true student of the game, and future Luka Doncic fanatic.

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