Short-handed Mavs fall in Detroit
The Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle had only 10 players available to play against the Detroit Pistons. Luka Dončić was out due to an ankle injury, but the biggest impact had a trade just hours before the game. The Mavs traded Dennis Smith Jr, DeAndre Jordan, Wesley Matthews and a pair of first-round draft picks to the New York Knicks for Kristaps Porzingis, Tim Hardaway Jr., Trey Burke and Courtney Lee. This meant that Harrison Barnes was the only player in starting lineup from Dallas’ regular starters.
Despite everything the Mavs were in command of the game up until the final minutes, when the Pistons had a 14-6 run and won 93-89. “It was a great effort and we were just very mentally tough, we hung in there and made plays,” coach Carlisle said. “It was headed to being a low-scoring game from the beginning and it just comes down to a play here and a play there. I love the way we competed, I’m disappointed we came up short, but obviously a lot of positives.”
Barnes scored a team-high 27 points and admitted it was tough for them losing three starters just before the game.
The coaches leave Dončić out of the All Star
Despite Dončić was third in fan votes and his high ranking after media and player votes, the NBA coaches did not select him as a reserve for the Western Conference NBA All Stars. Rookie sensation will still participate in the All Star weekend – he will represent the Team World in the Rising Stars game and will also take part of the Skills Challenge.