Last summer, a lot of Mavs fans found themselves following then unrestricted free agent Hassan Whiteside’s Snapchat story to see if he’d announce that he’d be donning a Dallas uniform this season. When he shared that he was staying with the Miami Heat via an article in The Players Tribune on July 1st, it was another major free agency blow for the Mavs organization and fans alike.
Last Thursday morning, that wound was healed for Mavericks fan when they acquired 22 year old big man Nerlens Noel in a trade with the Philadelphia 76ers. No scary free agency quest needed this time; Mr. Noel seems happy to be here.
The Mavs 96-83 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday night featured Noel scoring 9 points and collecting 10 rebounds in a hearty 30 minutes. The 30 minutes were one minute shy of his season high when he logged 31 minutes in his final game as a Sixer on February 15th. The Kentucky alum came off the bench in his first game with Dallas and it may or may not have had an influence on the “Did not play- coach’s decision” that Dwight Powell received. That’s definitely a storyline to watch over the next few games.
Matchup to Watch
The Mavs lost their first matchup with the Heat this season back on January 19th in a 99-95 tilt that saw Heat guard Goran Dragic go for 32 points. That performance doubled the 15.1 points per game he has averaged in 25 career games against the Mavs. It will be a tall task for rookie Yogi Ferrell to try to stay in front of the 6’3 Slovenia-native.
For Ferrell, it has been a struggle the last three games. He has shot 7/27 in those games and hasn’t scored in double figures. Is it just a cold streak or more of what Mavs fans should expect to see from Yogi in the future? Following the team’s decision to waive veteran point guard Deron Williams on Thursday, the starting point guard job is Ferrell’s to lose and he needs to step up to prevent the organization from prioritizing finding a point guard in this summer’s draft.
How to Watch
Monday night’s contest is slated for a 7:30 tip-off and can be seen on Fox Sports Southwest.