After losing their past two games by a combined 69 points, the Mavericks take on the Washington Wizards. Dallas has the eighth worst record in the NBA and a loss to Washington would tie them for the seventh worst record with, well you guessed it, these Wizards.
With seven losses in the last eight games, the Mavericks have gone into full unintentional tank mode. Even if Luka Doncic is a team’s best player, when the second best player on the roster is maybe Dwight Powell, that team has no shot at making the playoffs.
For the remainder of the season the games will look an awful lot like the last two seasons, though the Mavericks have a very small chance to keep their pick. At their current position they have a 26.3 percent chance to keep their pick. If they pass Washington in the tank standings that chance increases to 31.9 percent, and if they pass Memphis (three games ahead) that chance increases to 37.3 percent.
Now with all that in mind, here’s what to keep an eye on in this important game for the Dallas Mavericks.
Dwight Powell’s three point shooting
In 10 games during the month of February, Dwight Powell shot 40 percent on 20 attempts from deep. So far in March he’s shooting 86 percent on 7 attempts. During his time in the D-League, Powell was a good shooter from deep in the high 30s, but in the NBA he’s a .296 career shooter.
Powell has been second best player on the Mavericks in the last five games or so. His activity hasn’t ultimately resulted in a lot winning, but he plays an important role on this current team.
Dirk Nowitzki’s possible last game in Washington D.C.
With his elevated play in a starting role, Dirk Nowitzki has opened the door just a crack that he might return next season, but that door on his career is still nearly shut.
Whether or not he comes back next year, away arenas this season have shown their respect in bunches. Watching opposing arenas possibly say farewell to Dirk might be the best part of road games for the rest of the season.
Since the trade deadline Rick Carlisle often brings up how he wants to have flexible rotations to see what he has in the newly acquired players. Players like Courtney Lee and Ryan Broekhoff haven’t gotten a great deal of minutes and both have contracts with the Mavericks for next season (Broekhoff has a non-guaranteed deal).
Both of them played over 18 minutes against Brooklyn on Monday and could be important rotation pieces next season. Seeing how they fit with the team, as well as players like Justin Jackson and Trey Burke, will be important to watch against the Wizards and for the rest of the season.
How to Watch
Tip off is set for 6:00 CT, and can be watched on FSSW or the FoxSports Go app.