On Thursday night against the Milwaukee Bucks, the Dallas Mavericks had seven players in health and safety protocols, including Luka Doncic, Tim Hardaway Jr, Maxi Kleber, and four others. In addition, Dallas was without Kristaps Porzingis(toe).
Dallas had five players who they recently signed to 10-day contracts(Brandon Knight, Marquese Chriss, Theo Pinson, George King, Carlik Jones) play Thursday night, and while the Bucks also had some health and safety protocol issues(Giannis Antetokounmpo, Dante DiVincenzo, and Bobby Portis), Milwaukee(21-13) still had Khris Middleton(26 points), Jrue Holiday(24 points), and DeMarcus Cousins(22 points).
Ultimately, the Bucks defeated the Mavs 102-95 at American Airlines Center.
Dallas has now lost three of four. The Mavericks(15-16) had six players in double figures, including all five starters. Jalen Brunson led the way with 19 points.
The Mavericks trailed 95-90 with just over five minutes to go, and they would score only five points the rest of the way. However, Mavericks head coach Jason Kidd was happy with the team’s effort.
“The guys played hard,” Kidd said. “We were in position, a great position tonight against the world champs. We missed some opportunities. Had good looks, got stops, just couldn’t score the ball there [in] the last five minutes.”
The players on the 10-day contracts for the Mavericks have an opportunity to catch on with the team or elsewhere, and according to Kidd, those players have a limited amount of time to impress.
“For the guys, this is their second game, Theo [Pinson] and those guys, [Marquese] Chriss; they did everything they could. And for the new guys, [Brandon] Knight, George [King], they’ve just got to get their feet settled,” Kidd said. “Unfortunately, they’re on the clock; it’s only 10 days. I don’t know what the rules are, but if you bring them back another 10 days, we’ll see who makes that.”
Chriss, who had 13 points and five rebounds off the bench, added: “I think the biggest thing was just sitting at home watching everybody else play and missing it and feeling like I could contribute and be somewhere and be myself. I’m just thankful to be here and taking it one day at a time.”
The Mavericks travel to Utah to battle the Jazz on Christmas Day. They will continue to be a depleted team due to health and safety protocols, which will give the newly signed players more opportunities to make an impression.
Dallas is in a tough spot, but they have to figure it out.