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3 things to watch as new-look Mavericks take on T-Wolves

A new face and some rested legs will hopefully start things off right for Dallas post-All-Star break.

NBA: Minnesota Timberwolves at Dallas Mavericks Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Mavericks return to action after a nice, relaxing All-Star Break to take on the Minnesota Timberwolves in Minneapolis. Nothing else happened over that week off, right?

Will we get to see Nerlens Noel?

Obviously, the big question is whether or not Dallas fans will get to see newly acquired bouncy big man Nerlens Noel. As of this writing...I don’t have that answer. Center A.J. Hammons was recalled from the Legends, a move that might suggest Noel will be held out, but we won’t know for sure until tomorrow, presumably when Donnie Nelson holds his press conference. Stay tuned.

Mavs give the keys to the car to Yogi

The other significant move from Thursday’s trade deadline was that Dallas native Deron Williams was waived, a move that allows the free agent to be a chance to join a contender, but also allows Rick Carlisle and the Mavs to give Yogi Ferrell an extended audition as starting point guard. I have to admit, I’m a little surprised, given Carlisle’s reputation for preferring a veteran presence at the point, but for all those who have wished for a real "youth movement" in Dallas, this would seem to be as close as you’re likely to get. Point guard looks like the major positional target for the upcoming offseason, but Yogi will have some say in that matter.

Playoff push starts now

Dallas has 26 games remaining in the 2016-17 regular season. Prior to Thursday night’s action, they were three games out from the 8th spot, with four other teams vying for that final seed in the West currently held by Denver. One is Friday night’s opponent, Minnesota, and another will be the club Dallas takes on Saturday, the New Orleans Pelicans, who you may have heard also acquired a talented big man recently.

The Mavs will not be the favorites to sneak into the postseason, for obvious reasons, but a pair of wins this weekend would dramatically improve their odds. Drop both, however, and Dallas will be back on the precipice of falling out of the race entirely. Things are about to get interesting.

How to watch

Tip-off is scheduled for 8:00 Eastern Time, 7:00 Central, and the game can be watched on Fox Sports Southwest or through your League Pass account. Enjoy!