The Dallas Mavericks will look to bounce back from a 119-114 loss to the Golden State Warriors when they face the San Antonio Spurs. Wednesday’s contest will feature two Texas teams that are vying for spots in the Western Conference Playoffs. The Spurs’ recent surge has stabilized their record. Meanwhile, the Mavericks have lost steam after an inspiring start to the 2018-19 season.
The Mavericks have won two of their last three games, but they endured a three-game losing streak prior to that turnaround. Outside of those defeats, veteran guard J.J. Barea underwent season-ending surgery on his torn right Achilles on Monday. After the procedure, Head Coach Rick Carlisle explained that Barea’s absence will impact the entire Mavericks organization.
“It’s gut-wrenching for all of us,” coach Rick Carlisle said prior to Sunday’s game against the Golden State Wariors. “Its gut-wrenching for the team, for the coaches, for the fans, and I do think that he will be back.”
With Barea sidelined, reserve point guard Jalen Brunson will be on the receiving end of a larger role. Brunson, a rookie out of Villanova, recorded 30 minutes of court time against the Warriors on Sunday. His role could be even bigger against the Spurs if Dennis Smith Jr. is unable to suit up (illness).
Mavericks Starting Lineup & Roster
*Notates expected starter
PG: Dennis Smith Jr.*, Jalen Brunson, Daryl Macon
SG: Wesley Matthews*, Devin Harris
SF: Luka Doncic*, Dorian Finney-Smith
PF: Harrison Barnes*, Maxi Kleber, Dwight Powell, Dirk Nowitzki, Ryan Broekhoff
C: DeAndre Jordan*, Salah Mejri
Latest Dennis Smith Jr. Trade Rumors
After a firestorm surrounding his availability, Smith’s standing in Dallas appears to be slightly stabilizing on Wednesday. The Phoenix Suns, who emerged as a likely suitor for Smith, have denied they have engaged in trade talks with the Mavericks. According to Arizona’s Sports Station’s John Gambadoro, the Suns have no interest in acquiring Smith.
On Wednesday, Dallas Morning News’ Brad Townsend revealed that Smith has not submitted a trade request to the Mavericks. Optics aside, Smith’s fit alongside Doncic is clunky at best. Both players rely on their offense to impact games, and neither player has established a presence on the defensive end. Outside of the defensive liabilities, Doncic is at his best when he is the primary catalyst on offense. Without the ball in his hands, Smith’s lack of efficiency from beyond the arc has been thoroughly exposed.
Smith’s status with the Mavericks is a situation that deserves close attention as the NBA Trade Deadline approaches. Outside of the Suns, the New York Knicks appear to be a team that would make sense as a trade partner. Like Smith in Dallas, Frank Ntilikina has yet to find his place in New York. Ntilikina’s versatility on defense makes him an option worthy of the Mavericks’ attention.