We have finally reached the All Star Weekend for the 2019-2020 NBA season, and the intermission provides the league’s individual teams with some time for perspective reflection: how are things going currently (standings placement), how things can be renovated or improved (transactions at the trade deadline), and how the rest of the season can be finished with a bang (competing in the playoffs).
As for the Mavericks, they currently find themselves at 32-22 in 7th place in the Western Conference standings; and while that may seem dire without context, they have a comfortable lead above the Grizzlies (the team currently holding 8th place) and the handful of teams in the hunt for that last spot. Furthermore, with the W-L difference between the 2nd and 7th seeds being only 6 games, Dallas still has plenty of time to shake things up among the ranks, and potentially get a higher seed and/or a favorable matchup depending on how the last leg of the regular season plays out.
Injury troubles have marred the Mavs at points throughout the season, notably from the absences of their biggest stars. MVP candidate and defending Rookie of the Year Luka Dončić’s ankle problems have led him to miss the past 7 games, but fortunately he returned to the lineup last night against the Sacramento Kings. Dončić is back just in time for the All Star game, able to fulfill his earned starting spot. In only his second-year in the NBA, Luka has established himself as a must-see superstar as fast as we’ve seen since LeBron James.
The other cornerstone fighting injuries has been Kristaps Porzingis, with lingering knee pain from his few years of bad wear and tear in New York. While he has been back and playing solid recently in Luka’s absence, Porzingis still can assert himself more in the paint to be able to quell opposing star bigs from having big nights.
After the loss of Dwight Powell for the season, a few days later Dallas traded for Willie Caulie-Stein from the Golden State Warriors in exchange for their 2020 second round pick. With him to fill in a role greatly missed from the loss of Powell, the Mavericks’ pick-and-roll offense can thrive once more.
With the team in the final stretch, it’s all hands on deck as everyone is ready to make a playoff push for the first time since 2016. In the meantime, players get to take it easy for the All-Star Weekend festivities soon to be coming. Be sure to check out Luka as he participates with the best the league has to offer on Sunday evening.
All-Star Weekend Schedule
4pm – Hall of Fame Class of 2020 Announcement | NBA TV
6pm – NBA All-Star Celebrity game presented by Ruffles | ESPN
8pm – NBA Rising Stars | TNT
7pm – State Farm All-Star Saturday Night | TNT
- Taco Bell Skills Challenge
- MTN DEW 3-Point Contest
- AT&T Slam Dunk Contest
7pm – 69th NBA All-Star Game | TNT