DALLAS – Tonight is the final game before the All-Star break for the Dallas Mavericks (18-39) as they look to build on the 104-97 loss in Houston on Sunday. The odds were already stacked against Dallas before hitting the court simply because they would be without their star veterans—Dirk Nowitzki (left ankle), J.J. Barea (return from injury management), and Wesley Matthews (lower back).
Traveling with a skeleton crew could have gone south for Dallas. Instead, the young guys showed a promising future for the Mavs.
“I’m definitely proud of our young guys, being able to come here and play against a team with a lot of talent and a lot of great players. I thought we battled,” said Harrison Barnes.
A struggling Sacramento (17-38) team continues their 3-game road trip tonight at the American Airlines Center. The Kings dropped their second straight game on Sunday against the Minnesota Timberwolves 111-106. D’Aaron Fox led the way with 23 points along with Buddy Hield posting 16 points.
With new additions from the trade deadline, the Kings hope to hit the reset button. Sacramento traded George Hill to Cleveland to receive Iman Shumpert, Joe Johnson, a 2020 second round pick and some cash. This deal isn’t exactly what the Kings wanted especially with a potential buyout of Joe Johnson but having Shumpert on the wing is always a positive.
Dallas also had a shakeup to the roster after the NBA trade deadline. As part of a 3-team trade, Big D welcomed Doug McDermott from the New York Knicks, a second round pick, and said goodbye to Devin Harris. Head Coach Rick Carlisle has pushed for the “youth movement” and adding Doug McBuckets – yes, that’s his nickname – to the mix definitely helps set the foundation.
McDermott has had his share of being traded around the league. He’s played for teams like Denver, Chicago, and had a stint in Oklahoma. However, it must’ve been “fate” so he says when he landed in Dallas to play alongside a former high school teammate, Harrison Barnes.
“I like what he was doing…offensively he really is a guy you’ve got to pay attention to. I think he’s just a good mix with the guys that we have here,” said Carlisle.
The season series is tied at (1-1) with each team winning on the road. In the last meeting, the Mavs picked up a crucial road victory snapping a 5-game losing skid. An electric 16-0 run in the fourth sealed the win 106-99 with six Dallas players finishing in double-digits.
The heat is on tonight with both teams fighting for lottery spots at the AAC. Tipoff is set for 7:30pm CT.
Whitley Pleasant is a graduate of the University of North Texas with a Bachelors in Art. The Mesquite, Texas native had an early interest in media beginning in high school. Whitley spent one year being a student DJ at KEOM 88.5 FM writing scripts, editing sound bites, conducting interviews, and operating the switchboard for the morning and evening drive. Working at the radio station paved the way to her television career.