Dallas Mavericks: How will they adjust with two starters out vs. Celtics
By Tyler Watts
The Dallas Mavericks are facing the Boston Celtics on the second night of a back-to-back on Feb. 23. They topped the Memphis Grizzlies on Monday night without Kristaps Porzingis in the lineup. Dwight Powell earned the start in KP’s place and won the Defensive Player of the Game belt for his performance.
Maxi Kleber injured his ankle in the fourth quarter versus Memphis. Fans saw him limp to the bench, and the Mavs were quick to rule him out for the rest of the game.
Both players are listed as out on the NBA’s official injury report heading into Tuesday’s game. How will the Mavs adjust without their two starting big men? Let us take a closer look.
How will the Dallas Mavericks adjust without two starting big men versus the Celtics?
Powell played well on Monday night, so expect him to remain in the starting five against the Celtics. Dallas will likely play smaller most of the game with Dorian Finney-Smith or Luka Doncic earning minutes at the four. Tim Hardaway Jr. and Jalen Brunson should both see around 30 minutes versus Boston.
Do not be surprised to see James Johnson re-enter the rotation. The veteran has been a did not play by coach’s decision in six straight games, but Dallas needs another big body against the Celtics. Boban Marjanovic could also see spot minutes if the Mavericks want to use his size on Tristan Thompson.
The Mavs will need multiple players to step up if they plan on defeating the Celtics on Tuesday night. Josh Richardson, Jalen Brunson, and Tim Hardaway Jr. answered the call versus the Grizzlies. Dallas will need them hitting shots and making plays to earn their second straight win.
Fans should expect a monster performance from Luka Doncic as well. The 21-year-old superstar wants to get the Dallas Mavericks back to .500. It will be no easy task, especially short-handed, but do not count them out. Stay tuned for what promises to be an exciting game.