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3 thoughts before the Dallas Mavericks host the Portland Trailblazers

A basketball like substance

Dallas Mavericks v Portland Trail Blazers Photo by Cameron Browne/NBAE via Getty Images

Friday night the Dallas Mavericks (50-30) faceoff against some iteration of the Portland Trailblazers (27-53) at American Airlines Center.

Portland is playing the second game of a back-to-back, as they got crushed by the New Orleans Pelicans Thursday evening. Dallas is already locked into the playoffs, so at this point it’s about getting there healthy and trying to take a stab at the three seed which is currently held by the Golden State Warriors. The Mavericks are currently a hilarious 18 point favorite. That’s how bad the Blazers are.

Let’s get to it then, shall we?

Who in the world is going to play for Portland?

Let’s take a gander at the ESPN Injury report!

So... then like... who is left to play in Portland? Currently they’re rolling out a cast of characters I am not entirely familiar with! Brandon Williams, Keon Johnson, CJ Ellerby, Greg Brown III, and Drew Eubanks are some of the names I don’t really know. Ben McLemore’s one I know. Maybe he’ll hit all the threes.

Josh Green should play all five positions and play 30 minutes or more

If the Trailblazers aren’t going to field a real NBA team, then I’d like to see Josh Green get as many minutes as he can handle, doing as many different things as the coaching staff will let him try.

Look, I have a sneaky feeling that come playoff time, Green’s going to be a casualty of slashed minutes. Yes, he’s largely been helpful in these 10 minute bursts he’s getting in games now but every starter’s minutes are fixin’ to go up. He doesn’t have a specialist skill yet to call for inclusion into a seven player rotation. That’s okay, he’ll get some time, I’m just betting it won’t be consistent.

Understanding that, I want to see him play a million minutes. Run some point guard, play center and dunk an ally-oop, take off the dribble threes. I do not care what it is, I just want to see it.

Maxi Kleber and proof of life

It’s been said and said again so why not say it one more time: Dallas can only go so far without Maxi Kleber looking like a functional two-way player. So if he’s healthy enough to go, let’s hope he gets fed 10 or so shots from the three point line. He needs to see some go down. Confidence is a rolling stone.

How to Watch

Dallas plays on Bally Sports Southwest at 7:30 pm.

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