The Dallas Mavericks were fully healthy for the first three games of the season and even played all 15 men on their active roster against the Houston Rockets in their home opener. They won two of their first three games under new head coach Jason Kidd, but game number four will be a difficult task.
The Mavs host the San Antonio Spurs on Oct. 28, but will be shorthanded on the first night of a back-to-back set. Kristaps Porzingis suffered a back injury in Tuesday's game and was ruled out before tipoff. Dallas is also without Sterling Brown (ankle) and Trey Burke (health and safety protocols) against the Spurs.
The Mavs lost another player as Boban Marjanovic was also ruled out with a back injury leaving Dallas down to 11 active players on Thursday night. What could that mean for the Mavs?
Boban Marjanovic (back) out vs. Spurs: What does it mean for Dallas Mavericks?
The Mavs are going to play small versus San Antonio. Reggie Bullock is starting in place of Kristaps Porzingis. Expect Dwight Powell and Willie Cauley-Stein to handle the center minutes, but Dallas will fill the floor with shooting around them. They will need Luka Doncic to step up and have a monster performance if they are going to top the Spurs.
The defense will be the thing to watch on Oct. 28. Kristaps Porzingis is the team’s best rim protector, and the Mavs do not have a logical replacement on their roster. Expect them to rely more on Reggie Bullock, Maxi Kleber, and Jalen Brunson. Can Bullock and Kleber defend well enough on the perimeter to keep Dallas in the game?
Josh Green is also likely to be in the rotation for Thursday’s game. What will fans see from the second-year wing? Green has shown flashes throughout his NBA career but has failed to earn consistent minutes. Fans should be watching his performance closely on Thursday night.
Stay tuned to The Smoking Cuban for all the latest on Boban Marjanovic’s injury and the Dallas Mavericks this season.