The Dallas Mavericks face the Utah Jazz in a crucial Western Conference showdown on March 7. Luka Doncic and company are just 1.5 games behind in the standings, and the Jazz are on the second night of a back-to-back. The Mavs have the advantage, but they will be shorthanded after ruling out Jalen Brunson with a right foot contusion on Monday afternoon.
Since Brunson moved into the starting lineup on Dec. 12, he is averaging 17.3 points, 5.6 assists, 3.6 rebounds, and 1.0 steal in 34.0 minutes per over 39 games. He is shooting 51.0 percent from the field, 42.6 percent on his threes, and 85.0 percent from the foul line. JB has taken his game to another level and cemented himself as a starter and key contributor for the Mavericks.
With Brunson out for a crucial game against the Jazz, who steps up? How will the Mavericks adjust without JB? Here is a closer look.
Who steps up for the Dallas Mavericks with Jalen Brunson out vs. Jazz?
The Mavs will insert Spencer Dinwiddie into the starting five in Brunson’s place. Since coming over from the Wizards in the Kristaps Porzingis trade, Dinwiddie has averaged 17.6 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 2.3 rebounds per game. The Mavericks have encouraged him to be aggressive, and his ball-handling and playmaking abilities make a massive impact. Dinwiddie is coming off a 36-point game and will fit nicely into the starting five.
Head coach Jason Kidd will need to stagger the minutes on Monday night, so Doncic or Dinwiddie can be on the floor at all times. Expect Josh Green to get more run with Trey Burke and Frank Ntilikina likely getting opportunities off the bench to fill the Mavs playmaking void.
The Dallas Mavericks will miss Jalen Brunson on Monday night as they host the Utah Jazz. Hopefully, it is just a minor injury, and the 6’1 guard is back on the floor against the Knicks on Wednesday night. Stay tuned to The Smoking Cuban for updates on Brunson’s injury as they become available.