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3 things to watch as the Mavericks visit Milwaukee

With seven games left to go, enjoy Mavs basketball this season while (and if) you can

NBA: Preseason-Dallas Mavericks at Milwaukee Bucks Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Mavericks have lost four straight, after dropping Friday night’s matchup in Memphis. It is possible that by the time they take the floor again Sunday, they will officially be eliminated from the playoffs (a Portland win over Phoenix Saturday would do it). Suffice to say, there are not many incentives at this point for Dallas to win, but bless you if you’re the one still cheering them on to victory.

Time to rest some guys?

With the postseason all but unattainable, it might be finally time to get serious about "resting players", or, y’know, losing. Seth Curry left the game against the Grizzlies and did not return, and word is he may be held out altogether against the Bucks. With a mid-week back-to-back on the horizon, we may see some vets (Dirk, Wes?) get some down time, as well.

Putting aside any talk of ping pong balls, it may be a good chance to get a look at some of the six-dozen players Dallas has called up from the D-League and/or signed to partially guaranteed deals. Jarrod Uthoff, Nicolas Brussino, I’m looking at you (not really; it’s an expression).

Milwaukee is impossibly long

On the other side of things, Milwaukee has won 6 of 7, and have you looked at the lineups they’ve been rolling out lately? 7’1 Thon Maker (who turned 20 five weeks ago) started at center against Detroit and scored a career high 23. Giannis and Khris Middleton round out the forwards, Tony Snell and either 6’5 Malcolm Brogdon or 6’4 Matthew Dellavedova play the point. In other words, their team is enormous. Who knew acquiring skilled players who were also really tall would work as a strategy?

In any event, I promised I wouldn’t bring up Shane Larkin (oops).

Yogi digs the longball

Okay, something positive, something positive...well, Yogi Ferrell has been making his threes lately. In the five games prior to Friday’s loss in Memphis, he’d made 14-22 from behind the line, which has all but erased the slump he’d be in since the All-Star Break (before that scorching hot five game stretch, he’d been 13-42 from deep after the ASB). While he’s clearly demonstrated rotational potential in his rookie year, I’ve been largely ambivalent about Yogi’s long term future in Dallas. However, being able to hit some threes off the bench would make him far more palatable.

Streaky as he might be, he is back over 40 percent for the season (43 percent in nearly 30 games as a Mav, and 29 percent in 10 games as a Net).

How to watch

It’s a mid-afternoon start (for our North American fans, anyway), 3:30 Eastern Time, 2:30 Central. Try to catch some hoops after a late lunch, perhaps. Enjoy!