The Dallas Mavericks have been the latest team to be affected by COVID-19. Four players will now miss significant time. This includes Josh Richardson, Dorian Finney-Smith, Jalen Brunson, and Maxi Kleber. The first three were all ruled out after the Mavericks’ win versus the Denver Nuggets, while Kleber was ruled out after the win versus the Orlando Magic. The rotation for the next couple of days will, of course, be affected – but Dallas has solid depth to remain competitive.
Luka Doncic is still available. That’s a game-changer as he’s not only the team’s best player but one of the best players in the league. Expect his minutes to go up slightly during this tough stretch.
Trey Burke may end up starting, but if not, he’ll be the first name off the bench. He was electric in the Dallas win over Orlando, scoring 29 off the bench. He’ll eat up the majority of Brunson’s minutes.
Expect to see a heavy dose of rookies Josh Green and Tyrell Terry. Both have played limited minutes this season, although Green started versus Orlando. Green is a solid perimeter defender and a decent shooter. Terry, although very inexperienced, may prove to be an “X-factor” due to his proven ability to shoot. Terry will be tasked with Burke’s usual role.
Tim Hardaway Jr. will split time at shooting guard and small forward. He’s already a crucial player, and this will remain the case. He scored 36 versus Orlando, and will likely be Doncic’s main sidekick on the backcourt.
Finney-Smith and Kleber are mainstays in the Dallas lineup. Their absence is only going to hurt.
Kristaps Porzingis, however, is likely going to make his debut this week. That’s good timing for the Mavericks, as they’re going to need all the help they can get. With that being said, Porzingis should be on a minutes restriction. He’s coming off a major knee injury and has to be eased back into action. Being on the floor for 20-25 minutes will prove to be enough, however.
Willie Cauley-Stein and Dwight Powell already play often but will see an increased workload. Cauley-Stein has proven to be an excellent defender and a solid offensive player. Powell needs to improve his play during this stretch, however. His rebounding numbers are low, as is his offensive effectiveness. Now’s as good of a time as ever to be better.
James Johnson will be crucial during this stretch. He’s a terrific defender, and an underrated ball-handler and shooter. He’s going to take a lot of Finney-Smith’s and Richardson’s minutes.
Wes Iwundu and Boban Marjanovic play limited minutes. Marjanovic is actually quite effective and should see an increase of 15-20 minutes per game. Iwundu can fill the void temporarily as a solid perimeter defender.
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