Dallas Mavericks: Rondo and Reserves Fall in Battle of Benches
By Jay Knodell
The Dallas Mavericks were extremely shorthanded against the Utah Jazz, mostly by choice, and fell in their penultimate regular season game, 109-92. Now, to be fair, the Jazz were without some major parts as well. Gordon Hayward (achilles), Derrick Favors (DNP-CD), and Trey Burke (back) were all sidelined for the affair, making the contest nothing short of a battle of the benches. The loss snapped an 8-game winning streak against Utah and brought their road record to 23-18 on the year.
So how did it happen?
1: The Mavericks dressed a single starter for the game, Rajon Rondo. Chandler Parsons remains sidelined as he recovers from a knee injury, while Dirk Nowitzki, Monta Ellis, and Tyson Chandler got the night off to rest. In fact, the trio wasn’t even in the arena. They took Mark Cuban’s private jet back to Dallas following the Mavericks’ win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday.
Without four of their key guys the Mavericks couldn’t handle the Jazz, one of the NBA’s best teams, especially defensively, since the All-Star break. Dallas shot just 41% from the field.
5: Devin Harris played only five minutes before exiting with a toe injury. Another injury is the last thing the Mavericks need at this point, but luckily it doesn’t appear to be anything major and he should be ready for the postseason.
10: Jazz center Rudy Gobert collected his 10th double-double in 12 games with a career-high 20 points and 17 rebounds. He and Amar’e Stoudemire, who also played well, had a nice individual battle going on but the Frenchman was the best player on the court for either team. Now in his second year as a professional the 22-year old has learned to maximize his physical tools and when he gets a bit stronger he’s going to be a real problem. Think Tyson Chandler 2.0.
The Mavericks have Tuesday off before their final game of the regular season against the Portland Trailblazers.
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