The Los Angeles Clippers are in Dallas tonight to play the Mavericks for the third time this season. With Dallas having dropped its last four games, the Mavericks will be looking to get back on track at home and take a 2-1 regular season series lead over the Clippers. Of course, none of that will be what this game is about. All eye’s will be squarely on Dennis Smith Jr. as he makes his return to the team after the trade rumor debacle that erupted last week. With that in mind, let’s take a look at what we can potentially expect tonight.
Even though its just been a week, the timeline of Smith’s possible trade seems like it has taken longer. There’s no point in recapping all the events that led up to this moment, but tonight’s game will be a circus. Every party involved handled the situation poorly and now they have to piece their relationship back together. It’s not going to be easy and it’s probably not going to be fun, but if the Mavs really want things to work how things go tonight will be telling about Smith’s future with the team.
You may recall the first meeting between the Clippers and Mavericks got a little heated. Patrick Beverley knocked out one of Smith’s teeth and was then ejected later in the game after throwing the ball at fan Don Knobler after the two had been jawing at one another. Could we see more of the same tonight? Knobler has season courtside tickets. Let’s hope the two have made up.
The Clippers will potentially be without three of their top players tonight. Danilo Gallinari and Luc Mbah a Moute are listed as out and Lou Williams is listed as questionable. With the seasons that Gallinari and Williams are having, Dallas might just dodge a bullet tonight. However, the Mavericks will still have to contend with Tobias Harris, who is flat out balling.
How to watch
7:30pm CT on FSSW or NBA League Pass