The Dallas Mavericks have been hit hard by COVID issues. Jalen Brunson missed four games after he was forced to quarantine in Denver because of contact tracing. Josh Richardson and Dorian Finney-Smith each sat out nine contests in the health and safety protocols. Dwight Powell also missed eight games. Maxi Kleber sat nine straight and has already been ruled out for Friday’s game.
The Mavs are finally getting healthy. Richardson, Finney-Smith, and Powell played against the Jazz on Jan. 27. All three were rusty after missing multiple weeks, but Dallas needs them back in the lineup. They were forced to give extended minutes to Josh Green and Wesley Iwundu during their absences, and the defense suffered mightily.
Yes, the Mavericks were blown out by the Jazz without Donovan Mitchell on Wednesday night, but fans should reserve judgment of the team. Kristaps Porzingis is not playing his best basketball yet, and the three returners need time to get their legs back. Dallas is missing a key piece of the rotation in Kleber too. Fans got a glimpse at Mavs coach Rick Carlisle’s preferred starting five and rotation, though. Let us take a closer look.
Dallas Mavericks starting lineup and rotation with players returning from protocols
It is worth noting that Carlisle is still experimenting. He did not have Kristaps Porzingis during the preseason. Willie Cauley-Stein entered in the first quarter against the Jazz, but did not get back in the game after three minutes of action.
Two things were clear, though. Carlisle wants to play small, and he still believes in Dwight Powell. Here is a look at what the Dallas Mavericks starting lineup and rotation looks like with Josh Richardson, Dorian Finney-Smith, and Powell back in the fold.
Next: Starting 5