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Mavs Likely to be Without Top Two Guards in Game 2

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The Dallas Mavericks are likely to be without their top two point guards in Game 2 against the Oklahoma City Thunder, after J.J. Barea and Deron Williams aggravated nagging injuries during the team’s blowout loss Saturday.

Barea will miss Game 2 because of a groin strain that sidelined him for two of the Mavs’ last three regular-season games. He aggravated the injury on a layup during the second quarter Saturday and did not return to the game after fouling on the next possession. Williams is listed as doubtful because of a sports hernia that caused him to miss eight games late in the regular season. He performed poorly in Game 1, scoring only two points on 1-of-9 shooting in 22 minutes.

Source: Tim MacMahon of ESPN

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Sources: Mavericks Gauging Trade Value of Kristaps Porzingis

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The Dallas Mavericks set out to fortify their defense around Luka Doncic and their historic scoring attack this offseason.

Yet here the Mavericks stand, ninth in the Western Conference, ranking 27th in overall defense, and Kristaps Porzingis’ steady decline on that end of the floor appears to be the biggest dilemma this front office is now facing.

In fact, Dallas has quietly gauged the trade market for Porzingis, according to league sources, as the Mavericks have begun reevaluating whether the 25-year-old center can truly support Doncic as the second option on a contender. “They’ve kicked the tires on everybody on their roster that’s not named Luka,” one person with knowledge of Dallas’ thinking said. “You know [president of basketball operations] Donnie [Nelson]; they’re always tinkering.”

“They’ve definitely sniffed around on him,” an assistant general manager told B/R. “They’re taking the temperature, because they know at some point it’s gonna come around.”

Source: Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report

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Sources: Timberwolves Dismiss Ryan Saunders

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The Minnesota Timberwolves have dismissed coach Ryan Saunders, sources tell ESPN.

Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter

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Sources: DeMarcus Cousins, Rockets to Part Ways

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The Houston Rockets and center DeMarcus Cousins are planning to part ways in coming days, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. Houston wants to go smaller, younger in frontcourt when Christian Wood returns and this allows Cousins to find an opportunity elsewhere.

Source: Shams Charania on Twitter

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