Since we’re marching headlong into a glut of Maverick games, I wanted to take one last moment to complain that two days of between games feels like an eternity. Two whole days to do things other than watch the Mavericks and I did not care for it.
Alas, here we are, about to approach the 41st game of the season, the halfway point against the New York Knicks and as is our custom, here are some things to consider prior to the game.
Will Kristaps Porzingis play and will he be any good?
He hasn’t cleared protocols per Brad Townsend, so speculating that Porzingis might play in New York might be ill-advised. And yet, I cannot imagine him not playing against New York in New York. In his two previous games against the Knicks in New York, Porzingis has been inefficient at best, shooting just 38% from the floor while averaging 17 points, 9.5 rebounds, and a single assist.
I have a sneaky feeling he gets the green light and then looks pretty good in limited minutes. Porzingis not being able to practice the last week due to the protocols so if he plays, he likely won’t get much run, but I hope he plays and plays well.
Containing Julius Randle
Local product Julius Randle has been a Dallas fan favorite for years, in no small part because he seemingly kicks the crap out of the Mavericks every time he plays them no matter which team he’s on. After playing the best basketball of his career in 2020-21, he’s struggling a bit this year following the signing of his new big contract.
He’s shot above .500 just four times since December first, so the question I’ll be thinking about all day is whether this is going to be a bounce back for Randle. Personally, I’ll be looking forward to whether or not the recent stellar Dallas defense holds against the Knicks. It should.
Beating the Bulls would result in the longest win streak since an 8 game streak in 2011. I am unreasonably excited about this prospect because it speaks to the consistency of team play and it would be even more fascinating considering how they’ve had both Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis only available part of the time, and at different times at that.
It’s important to me that the Mavericks win and not just because I gripe after every loss. I put significance on this streak. Doing something they haven’t done since 2011 matters.
How to watch
It’s an early one, starting at 6:30 PM on ESPN and Bally Sports Southwest.