The Dallas Mavericks face the New Orleans Pelicans on March 27, but they will have to do it without stars Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis. Saturday’s game is the second night of a back-to-back for both teams. The Mavs lost to the Pacers in Dallas without Luka Doncic as the Pelicans fell to the Nuggets in New Orleans.
KP has been outstanding in his last two games. He had 31 points and 18 rebounds in Friday’s loss. The Unicorn dominated the Timberwolves to the tune of 29 points and nine boards in Wednesday’s blowout win. He looks to be healthy and ready to go on a tear down the stretch.
The Mavs are wise to be cautious with Porzingis, and Doncic is dealing with an illness. They need both healthy and firing on all cylinders in the playoffs to make a deep run. It is why KP will be rested on the second night of a back-to-back against the Pelicans. Here is a look at who steps up without Luka and KP in the lineup.
Who steps up with Dallas Mavericks star Kristaps Porzingis out vs. Pelicans?
The Mavs will also be without Willie Cauley-Stein, Tyrell Terry, and J.J. Redick for Saturday’s game. Coach Carlisle may want to watch the minutes closely of his starters on the second night of a back-to-back, but his options will be limited.
Expect the Mavericks to play Dwight Powell, Boban Marjanovic, and Maxi Kleber at center. Jalen Brunson will earn the start for Doncic. Do not be surprised to see Dallas close the game with Brunson, Kleber, Dorian Finney-Smith, Josh Richardson, and Tim Hardaway Jr. They will go small for stretches without their two stars.
Dallas must have THJ, Richardson, and Brunson step up their scoring and playmaking on Saturday night if they are going to have any chance of pulling off a victory.
The Dallas Mavericks will be short-handed against the Pelicans. Be sure to check back to The Smoking Cuban afterward for everything fans crave on the Dallas Mavericks.