The preseason finale is upon us as the Dallas Mavericks (3-4) will host the one team to never beat them – the Charlotte Bobcats (1-6).
A whirlwind of news came through yesterday when the Mavericks suspended guard Delonte West for the second time in October. This time around West will not return and has played his last game for the Mavs.
In light of West’s pending departure, Dallas claimed center Eddy Curry off waivers after the San Antonio Spurs released him days earlier. The Mavericks also signed guard Chris Douglas Roberts and forward Melvin Ely to compete with Curry for the remaining roster spot.
Curry holds the early advantage and will start in his very first game as a Maverick. Coach Rick Carlisle has no better options with several injuries in his frontcourt after Brandan Wright rolled his ankle and will join Dirk Nowitzki (knee) and Chris Kaman (calf) in street clothes Friday night.
“I can be a presence down low, especially with Chris being out, Dirk being out. I’m just trying to help them out and give them a physical presence.”
Without West on the team, the Mavs need to quickly determine who will take over as Darren Collison’s primary backup at point guard. Dominique Jones has shown spurts of running the point well, but it remains to be seen whether he can be effective enough without a jumpshot.
The three newcomers Curry, Douglas-Roberts and Ely ought to see significant playing time in a last-ditch effort to prove themselves worthy of an NBA-roster gig.
Rookie guard Jared Cunningham hasn’t seen much action in preseason and that trend likely continues once the regular season begins.
Expect to see plenty of Jae Crowder once again as his beyond impressive streak of six straight double-digit scoring efforts will become seven.
Ex-Mavs center Brendan Haywood makes his return to the American Airlines Center after deemed the team’s amnesty player and waived the summer.
The Mavs should handle their own tonight and remain undefeated againt the Bobcats.
Action tips at 7:30 p.m. CT and airs on KTXA 21. Let’s Go Mavs!
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