The NBA has finalized a 22-team field that is set to continue playing this season after the COVID-19 pandemic brought the season to a halt, and the Dallas Mavericks are still looking to punch their ticket to the playoffs. They are only 1 1⁄2 games back from the sixth-seeded Houston Rockets and seven games ahead of the eighth-seeded Memphis Grizzlies ahead of the NBA’s restart in late July. The Luka Doncic-led squad is looking to tackle the eight regular season games it has left while dealing with multiple season-ending injuries.
Dwight Powell was the first domino to fall, as the big man tore his Achilles in January and won’t play again this year. Dallas responded to his injury by trading for Willie Cauley-Stein, but they’ve played him sparingly in the 13 games he’s been available. Kristaps Porzingis is holding down the starting center spot for Dallas, but Dorian Finney-Smith is a major downgrade at power forward. Establishing an effective frontcourt rotation will be important moving forward, as the Mavericks will likely face the Denver Nuggets or Los Angeles Clippers in the first round of the playoffs.
Jalen Brunson provided grit and energy off the bench behind Luka Doncic at point guard this year, but suffered a season-ending shoulder injury in February and underwent surgery in March. His absence could cause Delon Wright to take on a bigger role. Seth Curry could also help out with some ball handling though, as he is expected to be fully recovered from a nagging ankle injury that bothered him in mid March.
Mark Cuban says Luka Doncic is clear of the thumb injury that affected him just before the NBA season went on hold, but that hasn’t helped or Hurt the Mavericks’ title odds over the course of the last month.
Dallas Mavericks Championship odds
Dallas was at +4000 to win the title on DraftKings SportsBook last month, and that number hasn’t budged since May 13th. That’s surprising considering the rough path it’ll have to take to the NBA Finals.
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