Tonight, Dallas once again battles its I35 rival in what always seems to be a great game regardless of team records. After falling to Golden State on Monday 119-114, the Dallas Mavericks will attempt to salvage this two-game home stand against the Spurs.
DSJ and his sudden “illness”
Once considered a potential building piece with the Mavericks organization, it seems the team is ready to part ways. With multiple outlets reporting DSJ is being shopped or possibly open to being moved.
Coincidentally DSJ missed practice yesterday with an “illness” and will most likely be out until a cure (trade) can be discovered. This also brings into question the “sore back” that has kept him out recently.
Regardless of what side of the Smith trade fence you are on, these situations are tough. It becomes a distraction on-and-off the court until a resolution is reached. It should be interesting to see how the team handles the media circus in the meantime.
The bench is not the same
The season ending injury for J.J. Barea was a massive blow to the team. He was the head of the snake when it came to the bench mob and the main reason for the success they had. Many games this season the bench was responsible for digging out of the deficit the starters had fallen into early on in the first half of games. The Barea led reserves have been a major weapon in what has been a surprise of sorts for the Mavericks playoff hopes.
With J.J. out, there is a massive hole that needs to be filled by the rest of the team. Devin Harris was the first man to step up when he scored 9 points in the fourth quarter against the Warriors. Perhaps Devin or Brunson will take the helm as the new bench floor general only time will tell. Injuries are never a good thing but it might serve as a chance for other guys to get more
Luka continues his All-Star campaign
At this point I feel pretty safe in saying Luka will win ROTY, it’s hard to imagine anyone catching him. His play as of late has most questioning not if he is the best rookie but if he is All-Star worthy this year. With the latest fan voting having Luka only behind LeBron James in the Western Conference front court players, it seems he has more than enough support from the fans.
Ever since Zaza Puchilia was almost voted in via the fan votes as what was considered a prank of sorts in 2016, the voting process for starters changed. It is no longer 100% fan voted starters, the new format has 50% from the fans and 25% each for the coaches and players. Doncic has the chance to continue to impress coaches like Popovich and Kerr who all have a hand in getting him to the All-Star game. If “The Wonder Boy” can lead the Mavs to a victory tonight and get Popovich seal of approval it will all but guarantee his ticket to Charlotte.
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