The Dallas Mavericks are still clinging onto a faint hope of making the play-in tournament, and are set to face a Chicago Bulls team that have little reason to play their star players. They must win against the Bulls for a realistic shot at sneaking by the Oklahoma City Thunder in the standings.

Catch this game live on Saturday, April 8, at 8:30 AM, Manila time.

Away: Phoenix Suns (45-35/17-23 Away)

Projected Starting Five:

  • PG: Patrick Beverley
  • SG: Alex Caruso (day-to-day)
  • SF: Zach LaVine (day-to-day)
  • PF: DeMar DeRozan (day-to-day)
  • C: Nikola Vujevic

The Bulls have little reason to play any of their star players because they’ve already locked up a play-in spot and likely won’t be able to climb up from the 10th to the eighth seed to get an extra game in the tournament. Because of this, it’s unlikely that Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan will take to the court, and probably not Alex Caruso either.

That leaves the Bulls severely shorthanded. With the tournament just around the corner, it’s unlikely that the Chicago coaching staff will risk any injuries to their two leading scorers.


Home: Los Angeles Lakers (41-39/21-18 Home)

Projected Starting Five:

  • PG: Luka Doncic (day-to-day)
  • SG: Kyrie Irving (day-to-day)
  • SF: Tim Hardaway Jr.
  • PF: Reggie Bullock
  • C: Dwight Powell

The Dallas Mavericks were able to squeak by the Sacramento Kings the other day thanks to Kyrie Irving going nuclear in the second half to finish with 31 points and eight assists to match Luka Doncic’s 29 points, 10 rebounds and six assists. That victory kept their faint hopes alive, and they will be playing with a sense of urgency due to that slim chance.

Though Irving and Doncic are both listed as day-to-day, the latter recently said that he would play as long as there’s a chance of reaching the play-ins. This is a golden opportunity that they can’t afford to waste, so I have my doubts about either of them sitting.

If the Bulls rest their stars as planned, they also won’t have the scoring punch to defeat Dallas’ dynamic offensive duo.


Spread: The Mavericks (-9) cover the spread.