The Mavs hope to carry over the momentum from the 126-91 blowout win over Golden State against the Kings tonight. With not much left to play for and little else can be done for the lottery standings, winning should be the only thing on Dallas mind.
Everyone in a Maverick uniform pretty much had a great game Saturday against the Warriors, but Dirk was vintage. Having just recently passed Wilt as the sixth all-time scorer, he had 21 points and five rebounds in just 26 minutes of play. It wasn’t long ago this would have been a typical maybe even a slow night for #41. Not only is it impressive the way he played but he looked like a different player from the one we have seen this season.
After the game, Durant had this to say “Has Dirk retired yet? I feel like everyone trying to push him out the league. He looked great tonight.” He has yet to officially announce that he will retire this year but all signs point to yes. However, with games like this maybe it is feasible for Dirk to lace up for one more year. Dirk asked for no-fuss be thrown at Oracle Arena as he does not want the attention. Or maybe he is laying the groundwork for a less awkward return when he decides to come back for year 22. I truly don’t believe even Nowitzki is sure but this definitely adds another layer of intrigue.
Once upon a time most MFFL’s were hoping the Mavs would land Marvin Bagley or Ayton to fill the need of a dominant big man. I think it’s safe to say Dallas is happy with how things turned out with most believing Luka is the clear favorite for ROY. If he had played more minutes early in the season, Bagley might be in that conversation as well.
He has only started two games this season and played behind a log jam in the front court. The young rookie had a great night against Dallas in Sacramento with 22 points and 12 rebounds. With his athleticism and natural scoring ability, it’s easy to see why he was picked #2 overall. Throw Brunson into the mix and you have three rookies that could be major players for years to come.
Return of Barnes
This will be Barnes first visit at the AAC since famously being traded to the Kings during halftime. Barnes is no longer with the team but what he did here in his short time should not be forgotten. He was good on the court and even better off the court in the community. A veteran locker room guy, and did everything that was asked of him. Harrison played out of position most nights while carrying the team on the offensive end at nearly 20 points per game. This former Mav deserves recognition from all the fans in attendance and it would not be out of the questions if the Mavs do a video tribute to #40.
While he is still mastering his new role and teammates, he has averaged 10.5 points and five rebounds in his last four games. Barnes will be a key piece in the young teams future that seems loaded with talent. Don’t be surprised if Harrison finds his groove against his former team tonight.
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