The Dallas Mavericks lost 115-112 to the Chicago Bulls. The loss means the Mavericks are officially eliminated from play-in contention. And yet, it is one of the most positive days of the seasons. In a rare bit of correct self-evaluation, the Mavericks finally realized that they are not a team who is a threat to do anything this season even if they managed to sneak into the play-in.
They made the pregame decision to rest most players other than Luka Doncic, due to the game being Slovenia night at the American Airlines Center. But even Doncic only played 13 minutes before being pulled himself. This was a course change for the Mavericks who had vowed to fight till the bitter end, but it was the correct decision. Here are the stats to know.
34: Minutes Reggie Bullock played
Perhaps no number better symbolizes Bullock’s fall from grace. Bullock was indescribably important to the Mavericks during the playoffs last season. They could not get him off the court in the playoffs because of his combination of stifling defense and elite shooting. Tonight he led the team in minutes in a game the team wanted to lose.
Bullock has followed his yearly script of starting the season off shooting poorly only to rebound into a elite shooter late in the season. But the heavy minutes from last season’s playoffs, Father Time and a lack of team cohesion have neutered his once special defense.
13: Points for Marcus Morris in 8 minutes
Morris stated that he thought he would get an opportunity to play following the trade to the Mavericks. He never really did. This stretch certainly doesn’t mean he would have done more if given more minutes earlier, but it was nice to see an older player have a nice outburst to finish out the season.
9: Points for JaVale McGee
McGee was fantastic for his few minutes on the court tonight. Perhaps he can use this as a springboard to show some team that he can still play in order to get a contract for one last year next season. McGee has been on a series of one-year contracts for years and this season may finally be his last. It was nice to see a player who has often been ridiculed, end on a good note. (Author’s note while this is satire deriding the team for giving a player who there would seem to have been no reason give a multiyear contract to, I was the sole member of this website who wanted McGee. Let this stand as my apology.)
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