The NBA has once again been thrust into the spotlight as the police shooting of Jacob Blake has created another flashpoint for American society.
Although the Mavericks are scheduled to take on the Clippers it seemed likely the game would be postponed.
Sham Charania let us know via Twitter that the Clippers and Lakers voted to discontinue the season last night.
Sources: The Lakers and Clippers have voted to boycott the NBA season. Most other teams voted to continue. LeBron James has exited the meeting.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) August 27, 2020
Woj confirmed talks would continue as the league tries to unify around the issue.
Discussions on continuing season will extend into tomorrow, sources tell ESPN, but appears unlikely the three playoff games on Thursday will be played. "Everyone is still too emotional," one high-ranking source tells ESPN. "There needs to be more time to come together on this."
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) August 27, 2020
That unity was found quickly as the league and the players have agreed to continue the playoffs confirmed via a Woj tweet.
The NBA's players have decided to resume the playoffs, source tells ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) August 27, 2020
When analyzing American professional sports, it is clear the NBA has taken the lead when addressing social justice issues. They have acknowledged the pain and strife of its players and many American communities. While creating avenues for those emotions to be constructively used worldwide. The league may not have wanted the boycott but it was necessary for the greater good.
The other leagues followed the NBA’s example to a degree. This was evident as games were postponed in the MLS, MLB, and the WNBA. Those moves should signify the overall importance of social justice and its widespread impact.
WHEN PLAY CONTINUES . . .
The Mavericks playoff run will thankfully resume after a brief postponement adding to this drama-filled season. When play resumes they will have their work cut out for them. Luka Doncic’s unexpected buzzer-beater in game four catapulted the squad into a new reality. The possibility of a legit lengthy postseason run could be taking shape. The Mavericks had a steep hill to climb in game five, to say the least. The eventual blow out highlighted the Mavericks Achilles heel and addressing it now may be near impossible.
Health is at the forefront of this teams’ concerns. The Mavericks entered the bubble riddled with injury but reaching relative full strength is key to winning game six and shock the NBA community.
The urgency of these circumstances places a significant amount of pressure on Kristaps Porzingis. The sharpshooting big-man missed two of eight play-in games along with two recent playoff scratches. The sting of his absence was mostly felt in game 5 as the Mavericks were manhandled on the boards 49 – 31. In three playoff games, KP has averaged of 23.7 points and 8.7 rebounds. So it’s naive to think his potential impact in game five would have been minimal. The Maverick’s star 25-year-old and his ailing knees are key to future success. Kristaps isn’t just the franchise’s highest-paid player. He leads the team in both rebounds (9.5) and blocks (2.0) per game. The Latvian big-men on-court presence is palpable, so the franchise’s cautious approach is warranted and should be expected. With that said KP has to play in game six barring any long-term impact on his health. Otherwise sitting him is justifiable.
Equally, if not more important is the left ankle of Luka Doncic. The ailment did not impact his starting status in game five, but he was clearly affected by the injury. The Mavericks took exception to the rough play Luka received.
According to Tim MacMahon, they have submitted multiple plays they believe merit disciplinary action from the league. Of course, Marcus Morris being the primary offender.
NBA reviews all fouls — including the loose ball foul against Marcus Morris for stepping on Luka Doncic's foot/sprained ankle — to determine if further disciplinary action is merited. Mavs also want NBA to review this uncalled landing space violation: https://t.co/PhSNTrT4KW
— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) August 26, 2020
Absent Luka “Magic” and this series would be all but over. The Clippers 40-point beat-down in game five did however allow Luka to rest basically the entire second half. The back-to-back outline of these playoffs put a premium on rest, but that routine is on a justifiable hold. When the playoffs continue the Clippers will likely be at relatively full strength. The Mavs would like to be the same and that can only be accomplished with rest.
The Mavericks team chemistry is by far one of the tops in the NBA. They genuinely respect the differences of one another and have utilized it to obtain team success. What a steadfast sample for the country to examine.
A group of individuals from literally all over the world focused on a central goal is the example we all need RIGHT NOW. The decision has been made to continue the season and it’s paramount the message of unity and social justice is amplified.
Only then will we be able to justify the continuation of the game.
Featured Image: Kevin C./Getty Images