7. Pit: Josh Green’s elbow injury
One of the more underwhelming storylines of the 2023-24 NBA season for the Dallas Mavericks thus far has been the play of fourth-year guard Josh Green. After Green signed an extension before the start of the regular season with Dallas, many fans assumed Green was poised to take the next step as a perpetual starter in Dallas.
Green showed many promising stretches last season as he tamed his aggression on the defensive end en route to a more stout defensive stand last season and flourished when he was given expanded opportunities with the ball in his hand on offense.
Green's issue has always been how sporadic and inconsistent his stretches are on offense, but the Australian native has shown just as much playmaking and ball-handling potential as any of the Mavericks' young wing/guard prospects have. Green's field goal percentage and points per game are down fairly substantially, but barring that not many of his counting stats have changed drastically compared to last season.
Unfortunately for Green, he'll have to wait even longer to get out of this rough stretch that he is in as he has missed the past five games with Dallas due to an elbow sprain. Ironically enough, Green missed time for a few weeks with the same injury in December of 2022, so it's extremely unfortunate to see him sidelined at such an important juncture of the season in back-to-back years.
Shams Charania of The Athletic said Green would miss the next couple of weeks on "The Rally" just a little over a week ago, so we'll be monitoring closely to see when the 23-year-old guard will be returning to the lineup for Dallas.
The way other Mavericks have stepped up in Green's absence, such as fellow Australia native Dante Exum, jeopardizes Green's spot as one of the first few rotation pieces off the bench as of right now. It'll assuredly be intriguing to see how many minutes Green receives from head coach Jason Kidd upon returning from injury.