Mavericks guard Frank Ntilikina (thigh) out vs. Kings

Dallas Mavericks, Frank Ntilikina
Dallas Mavericks, Frank Ntilikina / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Mavericks are dealing with massive COVID issues right now. They have had ten players enter the health and safety protocols over the last two weeks, including superstar Luka Doncic. Eight remain out in the team’s final game of the 2021 calendar year against the Sacramento Kings. Dallas lost a heartbreaker to the Kings on Wednesday night, and they are looking for a bit of revenge on New Year’s Eve.

Less than an hour before tipoff, the Mavericks ruled out Frank Ntilikina with a left thigh contusion. He will be the tenth Maverick on the sidelines for Friday’s game.

Ntilikina’s absence comes at a bad time for Dallas. Here is a look at a potential issue the Mavericks will have as they face the Kings.

Dallas Mavericks rule out Frank Ntilikina vs. Kings: Why guard depth could be a problem

Luka Doncic, Tim Hardaway Jr., and Trey Burke are out in the health and safety protocols. Dallas signed two replacement guards in Brandon Knight and Isaiah Thomas that have subsequently joined the COVID list. Reggie Bullock will return to action on Dec. 31, but guard depth will be an issue.

Jalen Brunson and rookie Carlik Jones are the only two point guards on the Mavericks that will be available to face the Kings. Jones has played a total of 14 NBA minutes coming into the game, and he could more than double that total on New Year’s Eve.

The Mavs need Josh Green to step up and handle some of the playmaking duties because they will be light on ball-handlers on Friday night. Dallas did not sign a replacement player when Isaiah Thomas entered the protocols, so they are rolling with just Brunson and Jones as playmakers until their other guards can return.

The Dallas Mavericks will miss Frank Ntilikina as they take on the Sacramento Kings on Dec. 31. It should be a fun and entertaining game that could go right down to the wire, and fans will not want to miss it.

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