DALLAS – It’s been 134 days since the Dallas Mavericks have played a game together. On March 11, the day the NBA suspended its season due to COVID-19, the Mavs beat the Denver Nuggets 113-97 at home.
Now, it’s finally (!) tip off time. Well, kind of. The Mavs open scrimmage play with a star-studded matchup against the Los Angeles Lakers at 6 p.m., Thursday.
NUMBER TO KNOW: The Mavericks were on pace to have the best offensive efficiency rating in NBA history when the season was suspended
THE MATCHUP: The West-favorite Lakers are looking to fill the void of Avery Bradley and Rajon Rondo. Can Lebron James and Co. find consistent chemistry to ramp up for a long playoff run?
The game will not count for seeding purposes but it does serve as an important opportunity for the Mavs to find their rhythm again while working out kinks, after going four months without a game.
FORMAT: Each of the 22 teams involved in the NBA restart will play three scrimmage games. The rules for the first scrimmage will be tweaked, adjusting to 10-minute quarters instead of the usual 12 minutes. The second and third scrimmage games at Disney will use standard timing.
Score and statistics will be kept and provide the NBA’s stat crews that were hired to work for three months at Disney a trial run before regular season resumes.
QUOTE: “We’ll be looking at combinations, we’ll be looking at our conditioning, we’ll be looking at how to attack different coverages that the Lakers throw at us,” Mavs coach Carlisle said. “We’ll look to change up our coverages defensively and study how we’re doing with different kinds of things from base defense to switching to trapping scenarios... I’m looking forward to it.”
DUO’S FIRST PLAYOFFS: Looking to make a run, Mavs stars Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis have never played in an NBA playoff game. However, both have played in high-level competition in international situations. The duo looks to continue its dominance; Since Jan. 1, they have produced an offensive rating of 116.7 while sharing the floor. Carlisle says all of his available guys will play tonight; we will have more from the coach later this aftrtnoon.
Game Time: 6 p.m. CT
Location: Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando
TV/Radio: NBA TV, ESPN 103.3 FM
Records: Mavericks (40-27, 7th in the West), Lakers (49-14, 1st in the West)