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NBA Launches Investigation of Mavericks for Possible Tanking

The Mavericks pulled Luka Doncic early from a game.

NBA: Chicago Bulls at Dallas Mavericks Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA is launching an investigation into the Dallas Mavericks regarding their conduct in a Friday night contest versus the Chicago Bulls. Specifically, Dallas pulled star point guard Luka Doncic after the first play of the second period, keeping him in the game for only 13 minutes. The Mavericks ended up losing the game, 115-112. By virtue of that loss, their 43rd of the season, Dallas was eliminated from participation in the 2023 NBA Playoffs and now stands among several teams trying to improve their odds in the upcoming Draft Lottery drawing.

The Oklahoma City Thunder sit right ahead of Dallas in the standings with 42 losses. The two teams were competing for the 10th position in the Western Conference, a spot that mandates participation in the Play-In Tournament to earn a seed in the actual playoffs bracket.

ESPN’s Tim MacMahon tweeted the news:

NBA spokesman Mike Bass: “The NBA commenced an investigation today into the facts and circumstances surrounding the Dallas Mavericks’ roster decisions and game conduct with respect to last night’s Chicago Bulls-Mavericks game, including the motivations behind those actions.”

The Portland Trail Blazers, who have lost 15 of their last 19 games—many of them while posting 8-10 rotation players to the injury list—are looking for pockets in their gym shorts to stick their hands into while whistling. The Blazers play the Los Angeles Clippers and Golden State Warriors in their final two games of the season. Should they lose both, they will hold onto sole possession of the fifth-worst record in the league, earning the lottery odds therefrom.