As I wrote in the game preview, the Mavericks had to make a decision: do they want to play with fire in the playoffs (tough first round, but easier second round), or take the less-stressful, long summer road (one easier round, followed by certain death against the Lakers)?
We may never know, because the Phoenix Suns didn't give the Mavericks a chance to decide. Neither Planet Orange nor Planet Purple bothered to show up for the game in Dallas tonight, and the Mavericks scrimmaged their way to a win. Now the Mavs have the inside track on the 3 seed and at best a second-round playoff exit.
And the Suns? Off for a long vacation in 3 days.
The Suns had 3 games left as of today - a prime opportunity to play their young guys a lot of minutes to see what they could give the team in the future. The Suns did this 2 seasons ago with Lopez and Dragic, and it paid dividends in 2009-2010 as both players helped the team go deep in the playoffs.
This year? Not so much. Dragic and Clark were traded this season for "win now" talent (Gortat/Pietrus/Carter, Brooks) and last summer's draft pick Gani Lawal is out for the season with injury.
Only Robin Lopez and Garret Siler are younger than 25. They teamed up for a grand total of 16 minutes, 6 points and 1 rebound (all points and rebounds by Siler).
So what's the Bright Side? How about this: when the Suns make several more roster moves this summer, none of us will be whining about "too much change". This team HAS to change drastically to be any good again. There's no future in winning 38-40 games a season. All it gets you is a bad lottery pick.