The Dallas Mavericks (48-29) are in Washington DC, playing the Wizards (33-43) Friday night. It’s Latvian Heritage night too and will feature both of the NBA’s Latvian players in Kristaps Porzingis and Davis Bertans.
It’s an important game for Dallas, in the sense that they need every win to hold on to the three seed. The Wizards haven’t much incentive to win, but they’re still playing a significant chunk of their roster most nights. Considering the narratives involved in this game, expect a spirited contest.
Here’s some thoughts prior to the game
What crazy play will Luka Doncic make over Kristaps Porzingis?
This is not a matter of if, but when. Luka is in his bag right now as evidenced by this hilarious play over former Maverick Moses Brown on Wednesday night:
Doncic and Porzingis played together for two years and practiced together time and again, probably playing hundreds of one-on-one possessions. Kristaps likely knows the litany of Doncic moves as well as anyone in the league, but will it matter? Probably not. I cannot wait to see it.
Reggie Bullock’s hot, hot shooting
After going 0-6 in the brutal loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves, Reggie’s been cooking with gas, connecting on 15 of his next 26 attempts (58%). When Bullock is hitting shots, the Mavericks tend to win games. Look for Dallas to try to keep him going and boost his confidence as the playoffs approach.
Finding a little more defense
It’s a small sample (9 games), but over the last two weeks the Mavericks have had the 22nd ranked defense in the NBA. They’ve also gone 6-3 so there’s a strong argument that this doesn’t matter and Josh Bowe’s argued that Dallas needs a better offense (they’re 9th over the last two weeks) than defense anyway.
We’ve seen Dallas turn it up when it matters, but it would assuage some of my concerns to see a good old fashioned (so like, January 2022) defensive lockdown by our Mavericks against a team that will be missing one of their key cogs in Kyle Kuzma.
How to watch
The Dallas Mavericks play an early game again, 6:00 pm CST tip off on Bally Sports Southwest.