Dallas Mavericks: Bubble Roster, Storylines, Betting & More

Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

The NBA is back and Heavy.com has you covered on the latest as the league restarts play. Today, we’re looking at the Dallas Mavericks, led by sophomore sensation Luka Doncic.

Doncic was in the MVP conversation earlier in the year before an ankle injury slowed him down. The 2018 No. 2 overall pick made his first All-Star appearance this season, earning the starting nod alongside James Harden in the West’s backcourt, all while surprisingly keeping his team in the playoff hunt.

Mavericks Record: 40-27

Current Seed: No. 7 in the Western Conference.

Strength of Schedule (over final eight games, via ESPN): 9th

Playoffs Clinched? Not yet. The six teams ahead of the Mavericks in the Western Conference standings have all clinched the playoffs but not Dallas. The team sits comfortably in the No. 7 seed, sitting seven games ahead of the Grizzlies—current owner of the eighth seed. ESPN gives Dallas a 51.6% chance at ending up in the No. 7 seed, though it’s possible they reach as high as the No. 3 seed.


Mavericks Restart Roster

Projected Starters

  • G Luka Doncic
  • G Seth Currey
  • G/F Tim Hardaway
  • F Dorian Finney-Smith
  • F/C Kristaps Porzingis

Remaining Roster

  • Delon Wright
  • Maxi Kleber
  • Courtney Lee (injured)
  • Dwight Powell (injured)
  • Justin Jackson
  • Boban Marjanovic
  • J.J. Barea
  • Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
  • Trey Burke
  • Antonius Cleveland
  • Josh Reaves

Earlier in the season, the Mavericks bench was a major strength, though injuries have thinned out the rotation. Dwight Powell’s Achilles injury prompted the club to trade for Willie-Cauley Stein prior to the 2020 trade deadline, however, WCS has opted out of the restart.

Courtney Lee is out because of a calf injury he sustained during the NBA’s hiatus. Lee started five of the six games for Dallas prior to the NBA suspending the season, taking over for Jalen Brunson, who injured his shoulder mid-season.

Regardless of the bench, this team is only going to go as far as Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis can take them. Porzingis will likely primarily play the five, which should unlock some funky lineups like one with newcomer Michael Kidd-Gilchrist at the four.


Dallas Mavericks Betting Notes

  • Seeding Games O/U (Final eight games): 4.5
  • Western Conference Odds: +1600
  • NBA Championship Odds: +3800

Despite currently being slotted as the No. 7 seed, oddsmakers have the Mavericks sixth in their odds to win the Western Conference. Dallas is seen as a more significant threat to win the West than the Oklahoma City Thunder (+3500), who currently own the No. 5 seed.

Dallas will be tested during the restart with games against the Clippers, Bucks, and Rockets. They also get “easier” matchups against the Suns (2x) and the Kings. That 4.5 figure will likely be decided in their tilts against the Jazz and Blazers.

Should we consider the Mavs a serious contender? Probably not, though this is an environment we’ve never seen before. We’ve seen shortened seasons in the past, like in 99′ where the Knicks rode hot shooting to the Finals as an eighth seed.

It’s in the realm of possibilities that Dallas could heat up at the right time and slay the Los Angeles goliaths and the East’s winner on their way to a title. More likely, Dallas’ best hope is winning a playoff series provided they can rise in the standings and avoid the Clippers in round 1.

*Odds via Fan Duel Sportsbook


Mavericks Schedule During Restart

After Dallas’ first scrimmage against the Lakers on Thursday, July 23, the club will play the Pacers on Sunday, July 26, and then the Sixers on Tuesday, July 28.

Here’s the Mavs’ schedule for the eight “seeding” games:

Houston Rockets | July 31

Phoenix Suns | Aug. 2

Sacramento Kings | Aug. 4

Los Angeles Clippers | Aug. 6

Milwaukee Bucks | Aug. 8

Utah Jazz | Aug. 10

Portland Trail Blazers | Aug. 11

Phoenix Suns | Aug. 13

More on the NBA:

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Wizards Center Arrives in Bubble After Recovering From COVID-19

Michael Jordan: Remembering Moments With the Wizards