Dirk Nowitzki, Wesley Matthews, Zaza Pachulia and last night's hero Deron Williams will all rest against the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday, while Chandler Parsons is listed as questionable.
The Mavericks went to double overtime against the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday night, forcing all three rest candidates to play 40 minutes or more. The extended minutes, plus a quick flight that night and a six-day road trip beginning now, Dallas opted to give that foursome the night off.
Parsons left in the fourth quarter of Tuesday's game after running into a DeMarcus Cousins' screen, resulting in what he described as a hip bruise. He didn't play in the overtimes and might be fresher as a result if he feels OK warming up for his injury. You could imagine that this might actually be a good chance for Parsons to get his offensive game rolling again if he is able to suit up, as he'd clearly be the number one option throughout the game. However, if his hip still isn't right, there's no need to send him out there either.
The Mavericks have had one other rest game this season when they played the Rockets on Nov. 14. It was the exact same situation: a home game kicking off a back-to-back, immediately followed by a three-game road trip. Dallas actually won that game with their bench unit, starting Deron Williams, Justin Anderson, Raymond Felton, Charlie Villanueva and Pachulia in that game.
Although the game notes didn't list probable starters, I'd guess we will see a starting five consisting of J.J. Barea, John Jenkins, Chandler Parsons or Raymond Felton, Charlie Villanueva and JaVale McGee, with Jeremy Evans, Devin Harris, Justin Anderson and Salah Mejri coming off the bench. Honestly, I wouldn't count this as a guaranteed loss, either. It's very hard for the Pelicans to prepare against five-man units they have absolutely no film on and New Orleans hasn't exactly been world-beaters this year. Whereas Dallas has three games worth of tape to gameplan for, the Pelicans are basically going in blind.
I'm weirdly excited to see what the bench unit does, especially if Parsons can play. Of course, it still may very well end up being a 20-point blowout, and it's totally OK if that's what happens. But let's see how it plays out.