Tyson Chandler will not play against the Utah Jazz on Wednesday while Monta Ellis is doubtful, Rick Carlisle said in Tuesday practice, per Eddie Sefko. With Rajon Rondo still out with facial fractures, the Mavericks could roll into their final game before the All-Star break missing three starters.
Chandler and Ellis were both in the locker room within four minutes of Monday's game against the Clippers -- Chandler with a sprained left ankle and Ellis with a hip problem. Ellis' Tuesday morning MRI results were not available at the time.
Utah does have size in Derrick Favors, Enes Kanter and Rudy Gobert, which led to Dallas signing Bernard James to a 10-day contract on Tuesday. James might be better than Greg Smith or Dwight Powell, but he's definitely more like Tyson Chandler, who is definitely the most important Maverick on the roster.
Ellis' injury hurts because Dallas loses another ball handler and player who can create scoring opportunities out of nothing. Devin Harris has been dealing with sprained ankles and all but admitted Monday night after the loss to Los Angeles that he would have taken a game off recently if Rondo was healthy.
What's clear is that the All Star Break -- and an extended one at that -- is desperately needed for the Mavericks to recover. Rondo could still need surgery sometime in then near future, but it seems the hope is for Ellis and Chandler to both be back after the break.
But no one on the team wants to be sitting on a two-game losing streak over that eight-day stretch, so beating Utah is important for Wednesday. Chandler Parsons and Dirk Nowitzki will both be called on to carry a depleted Dallas roster, and Parsons especially will need to handle the ball more than usual. It's a role the Mavericks always thought he could handle when they handed him a near-max contract last offseason, and a successful outing against the Jazz -- and against Gordon Hayward, a player in a very similar situation who made the 'leap' this season -- might hint well towards Parsons' future in Dallas.