As the Dallas Mavericks continue to integrate their injured players into the lineup (with Chandler Parsons eyeing his season debut Sunday and the status of Deron Williams now somewhat uncertain), they will receive little mercy from the schedule makers.
After bringing an undermanned squad to the court Thursday night against the Clippers, Dallas will likely have to do the same thing on Nov. 11, when they host DeAndre in Dallas for the first time since the debacle, once again on the second night of a back-to-back.
In fact, Dallas has four back-to-backs all before Thanksgiving rolls around, and check out who they play on the second night in all four instances:
@ L.A. Clippers (Oct. 30)
vs L.A. Clippers (Nov. 11)
@ Houston (Nov. 14)
@ San Antonio (Nov. 25)
Back-to-backs are difficult for every team, but for an older roster like the Mavs' -- and especially one with the injury issues Dallas is trying to overcome -- they are practically a scheduled loss. Dirk Nowitzki, now 37, struggled badly in both road games and in back-to-backs last year, making his 6-of-15 shooting performance Thursday no surprise. I would expect that going forward Dirk could sit out in those games. Who else Carlisle does or doesn't rest remains to be seen.
On the season, I count 17 back-to-backs, with only one coming after the All-Star break. So, at the very least, the Mavs have the chance to keep their guys on the floor to close the season.
Getting back to the immediate future, Dallas may have a chance to go on a winning streak -- starting Sunday against the Lakers -- before the circus that's likely coming their way when the Clippers come to town. After this past game's antics, who knows what will be in store that night.