Mavericks rule out 5 players tonight in must-win game against Bulls

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Mavericks rule out 5 players tonight in must-win game against Bulls

The Dallas Mavericks have five players out for tonight’s must-win home game against the Chicago Bulls. According to the injury report, Kyrie Irving (foot), Christian Wood (rest), Maxi Kleber (hamstring), Josh Green (rest), and Tim Hardaway Jr. (ankle) are all absent for this non-conference showdown.

Dallas is 38-42 and ranks 11th in the Western Conference standings. The Mavericks trail the 10th-seeded Oklahoma City Thunder by half a game. Nos. 7-10 seeds participate in the Play-In Tournament for both conferences. Therefore, Dallas has to defeat Chicago tonight to stay alive.

Upon further review of a few NBA betting sites, the Mavericks have 20th-ranked odds to win the championship. However, Dallas first has to make the playoffs. Sportsbooks are giving the New Orleans Pelicans and Minnesota Timberwolves better odds.

More importantly, the Mavericks must win tonight and Sunday afternoon against the San Antonio Spurs, and the Oklahoma City Thunder have to lose at home this Sunday to the Memphis Grizzlies for Dallas to secure the No. 10 seed.

Mavericks’ Luka Doncic (thigh) and JaVale McGee (ankle) are also probable versus Chicago. Meanwhile, DeMar DeRozan (rest), Zach LaVine (rest), and Alex Caruso (foot) are all questionable against Dallas. While Lonzo Ball (knee) is still out for the season, Justin Lewis (knee) remains out indefinitely as well.

Mavericks rule out Kyrie Irving (foot), Christian Wood (rest), Maxi Kleber (hamstring), Josh Green (rest), and Tim Hardaway Jr. (ankle) tonight vs. Bulls

Chicago is 5-5 in its past 10 contests. The Bulls are coming off back-to-back losses. Additionally, they’re 5-1 in their last six meetings versus Dallas. Chicago is 7-2 in its previous nine road games. Though, the Bulls are 2-5 in their last seven away matchups against the Mavericks.

On the other side, the Mavericks’ season has taken a turn for the worse. Dallas is 3-7 in its past 10 games, and the team is on the brink of missing the playoffs. Wednesday’s 129-119 win over the Sacramento Kings ended a three-game skid.

But will Doncic be able to propel Dallas to the No. 10 spot? Bettors are not counting on it. The Mavericks are 1-6 in in their last six encounters versus East Conference teams. “I don’t think the offense is a problem, and I always said this,” Doncic told ESPN’s Tim MacMahon.

“It’s our defensive end. I think anybody can score on us. Whoever it is, anybody can score on us. But that’s not an excuse, I’m still young, age-wise, but it’s a lot of basketball. But I gotta be way better. … When there’s still a chance, I’m going to play.”

Per ESPN’s Basketball Power Index, the Bulls have a 69.6% chance of winning on the road over Dallas. Nonetheless, sportsbooks show the Mavericks as 7.5-point favorites. Dallas is 31-21 as a favorite this season, whereas Chicago is 18-27 as an underdog.

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