The Dallas Mavericks will be the visiting team when they battle the Boston Celtics at TD Garden on Wednesday. The 2020-21 season hasn’t turned out the way the Celtics faithful hoped it would, after their team was two wins shy of the NBA Finals last year.
This was supposed to be the year in which the 17-time champs were going to take the next step toward title contention. Instead, they are barely hanging on to the seventh spot in the Eastern Conference with a 23-24 record.
As the Dallas Mavericks (24-21) embark on their third straight road game, they are looking to move up to sixth place in the Western Conference with a series of wins in the coming weeks. The health of Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis will be crucial to the Mavs' quest to supplant the Portland Trail Blazers (28-18) who are three and a half games ahead of them.
Dallas Mavericks vs Boston Celtics Injury Update
Since being traded from the New Orleans Pelicans, J.J. Redick hasn’t played for the Dallas Mavericks. Due to a right heel injury that he suffered prior to the trade, Redick remains unavailable with no timetable for when he will see action for his new team.
Willie Cauley-Stein is out due to the league’s COVID-19 protocols. He has missed six straight games so far and the team has no update yet as to when the 7-foot center will be back.
Rookie Tyrell Terry will miss the game against the Boston Celtics for personal reasons. He has been available to play for two weeks but coach Rick Carlisle hasn’t inserted Terry in a game since January. His continued absence shouldn’t affect the Dallas Mavericks’ rotation.
The Boston Celtics have listed Romeo Langford as questionable for the game against the Dallas Mavericks. After being out for months as he recovered from right wrist surgery, the second-year guard is currently unavailable due to the league’s health and safety protocols.
Langford has not appeared in a game all season long but he could be back any time soon. It remains to be seen if coach Brad Stevens will make him part of the regular rotation once he is cleared to play.
Similar to Langford, Tristan Thompson has also been ruled out of Wednesday's matchup in accordance with the NBA’s coronavirus protocols. The veteran center has already missed nine consecutive contests, but he could make a return against the Houston Rockets on Friday.
All-Star swingman Jaylen Brown is questionable to play against the Mavs because of a bruised left hip. He missed the previous contest, which was a contributing factor to the Boston Celtics’ loss on Monday.
During a March 27 update, Semi Ojeleye was reportedly going to be out for a minimum of 10 days. He has a hip injury that will rule him out of the next couple of games.
Dallas Mavericks vs Boston Celtics Predicted Lineups
Since Redick hasn’t suited up for the Dallas Mavericks, his absence shouldn’t affect coach Carlisle’s rotation.
Cauley-Stein’s minutes will continue to benefit Dwight Powell. He will be Porzingis’ primary backup with Boban Marjanovic possibly making an appearance in Boston.
Brown’s absence should allow either Evan Fournier or Grant Williams to start the game. If Fournier gets the nod, All-Star Jayson Tatum will start at the power forward spot. But if Williams is elevated to the starting lineup, Tatum will slide into small forward while the former takes the No. 4 position. Moritz Wagner should see time at small forward as well.
Ojeleye being out has paved the way for Aaron Nesmith to play more minutes for the Boston Celtics. He has played in six of the last seven games for coach Rick Carlisle.
Dallas Mavericks vs Boston Celtics Predicted Starting 5s
Point Guard - Luka Doncic l Shooting Guard - Josh Richardson l Small Forward - Dorian Finney-Smith l Power Forward - Maxi Kleber l Center - Kristaps Porzingis
Point Guard - Kemba Walker l Shooting Guard - Marcus Smart l Small Forward - Evan Fournier l Power Forward - Jayson Tatum l Center - Robert Williams