Dallas Mavericks: A win over Milwaukee would go a long way for the reserves

The Dallas Mavericks take on the league-best Milwaukee Bucks tonight in Milwaukee. Without Luka Doncic, what would a win do for this Mavs team’s confidence?

The loss of Luka Doncic is something the Dallas Mavericks are going to have to figure out for a short time. There is a real possibility that we don’t see the Slovenian superstar again for a couple weeks, and unfortunately, that means the Mavs have to find someone new to take over each statistical category that is led by Luka. That means pretty much all of them.

Luka is currently leading the Mavericks in points, rebounds, assists, steals, minutes and field goal makes and attempts. Through 25 games, it has seemed as if Luka could do nothing wrong. Sadly, we won’t get to see if one of the NBA’s best defenses will be able to do anything against the sensational youngster.

Instead, the Milwaukee Bucks will be tasked with taking down a likely starting lineup of Delon Wright, Tim Hardaway Jr., Dorian Finney-Smith, Kristaps Porzingis and Dwight Powell. Needless to say, the Mavericks had a lot more confidence in their chances with Luka running the offense. That said, Rick Carlisle knows how deep this team is, and although he may not expect a win, it wouldn’t surprise him if we got one.

If Dallas did pull out a win against the best team in the NBA right now, it would do a lot more than just stop the bleeding. A statement win would help with the confidence of some of the role players on the team realizing that this team really can cause some problems in the league. Dallas would no longer be viewed as just another low-seeded playoff team. The league’s eyes will be opened.

Players like Wright, Jalen Brunson, Justin Jackson, even Porzingis could use a confidence boost. The Mavs have been winning and they have each played pivotal parts in those wins, but there is no doubt that they lean heavily on Luka. This will give the rest of the team a chance to dive in with the sharks and see how they fare.

Next: How will Carlisle use Barea in Luka's absence?

The Mavs and Bucks tip-off at 7:00pm central time in Milwaukee at the Fiserv Forum. The Mavs will be without Luka Doncic, but the rest of the team is expected to be active. For the Bucks, Eric Bledsoe is listed as out, a big loss for the team, but they still have their strong core of Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton and Brook Lopez.