The Dallas Mavericks have been dealing with COVID issues since their Jan. 7 win over the Nuggets. Josh Richardson was one of three players quarantined in Denver. The Mavs have since had two more enter the protocols, and only Jalen Brunson has returned to the lineup. It has been a brutal eight games without a host of key rotation pieces.
JRich appears to be getting closer to returning to the court. He was at the American Airlines Center for Saturday’s game but was not active. Before tipoff, Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said this about the four players still in the protocols.
"“I don’t have a timetable on when people are going to start playing, but Josh is probably going to be the one that is first to get back on the floor in game action.”"
The Mavs play four times this week including a two-game road trip in Utah on Wednesday and Friday. It sounds like Richardson could return at some point during that stretch, so what should fans expect from him?
What to expect from Josh Richardson when he returns to the Dallas Mavericks lineup
The Mavs still have not played their best lineup this season. Kristaps Porzingis missed the first nine games rehabbing from offseason knee surgery. Just as the Unicorn returned, Richardson, Dorian Finney-Smith, and Jalen Brunson went into the league’s health and safety protocols.
JRich has not played since Jan. 7, so expect coach Carlisle to watch his minutes closely early on. The Mavericks need his perimeter defense. They have allowed over 112 points in six straight games. Richardson will guard the opposition’s lead ball-handler and will be in the running to win the belt in every victory.
How the 6’5 wing is fitting into the offense is the thing to watch. Is Richardson used strictly as a spot up shooter? Does he get more involved in the playmaking? Do the Mavericks try to find ways to increase his scoring? Fans have not seen him play with Kristaps Porzingis yet. How Richardson is used on offense will be interesting to follow.
After a few games to knock the rust off, Dallas Mavericks fans should expect Josh Richardson to average 15 points per game and play stout defense. He will thrive in his role as the Mavs slowly transform into an elite team. Do not miss it.