The Mavs return to the AAC tonight a different team that went on the road just a week ago. I’m sure you’re well aware of the blockbuster trade that netted Dallas Kristaps Porzingis and others. Even as all the trade rumors fly, the quest for the postseason continues as Dallas has quietly won four of their last six. With no real incentive to just let the young guys play it out (tank), the Mavericks are all in on the hunt to steal one of the final playoff spots.
New kids on the block
Despite the outcry of fans wanting to see KP in a Mavs uniform, we will not have the pleasure of seeing that until next season. He will continue to rehab and prepare his body for the 2019-2020 season, which can’t come soon enough. The Mavs have one of best training staffs in the league, he is in more than capable hands.
What we do have to look forward to is perhaps a new starting lineup featuring Luka and Barnes next to Hardaway Jr. The talk of the Porizngis and Doncic pairing is exciting, but don’t sleep on Tim Hardaway Jr. He has been inconsistent at times being forced into a number one option in New York, but his role will differ greatly here and will benefit from playing alongside Doncic.
The bench will no doubt look a bit different. Rick should be experimenting with lineup options night in and night out. Since J.J. has been out, the reserves have really been searching for another sparkplug type of player. Trey Burke may be able to slide into that role similar to what he was doing in New York, averaging 16.5 points in his last four outings. It will take some time for everyone to adjust to each other so be patient MFFL’s.
Doncic in charge
The debate asking if DSJ and Luka can play together has ended. We may never know the true answer but the Mavericks made their decision clear that Porzingis ultimately fit better going forward. What we do know is the keys to the Mavericks offense have truly been handed over to the rookie. In the first game since the trade, he posted a line of 35 points, 11 rebounds, and 6 dimes to seal the victory against the lowly Cavs.
The pieces around Luka has changed with the trade but the focus will remain on the 19-year-old. With Dennis gone, the ball may be in Luka’s hands even more, which is certainly not a bad thing. Let’s put this thing in full throttle and see where the kid can take us.
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