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Game Preview: New York Knicks vs Dallas Mavericks, February 8, 2024

Luka Dončić leads Mavs into MSG to face the depleted Knicks.

New York Knicks v Dallas Mavericks Photo by Tim Heitman/Getty Images

On NBA trade deadline day, Knicks business is big news for us. Shortly before noon, Adrian Wojnarowski announced that the Knicks were sending Quentin Grimes, Evan Fournier, Malachi Flynn, Ryan Arcidiacono, and two second-round picks to Detroit in exchange for Bojan Bogdanovic and Alec Burks.

With all the players injured for New York, the reinforcements can’t come fast enough. The Knicks could certainly use their services tonight against Luka Dončić and the Dallas Mavericks (28-23).

In their first meeting of the season, on January 11, the Mavs defeated the New York Knicks, 128-124. Despite playing without Luka, Dallas scored a season-high 44 first-quarter points. Over the second half, New York outscored their opponent 69-54 and fell just short of a comeback.

For the victors, Kyrie Irving scored his season-best 44 points and added 10 assists. Tim Hardaway, Jr added 32 points on 50% shooting and made six of 13 three-point attempts. For New York (33-18), Jalen Brunson, Julius Randle, and Donte DiVincenzo combined for 81 points.

In their second and final matchup of the regular season, on Thursday night, Luka might be back in action (nose, probable), but Julius Randle will not (shoulder), and former Mav Jalen Brunson (ankle) and Jericho Sims (illness) are maybes. Also out for the Knicks: OG Anunoby (elbow) and Mitchell Robinson (but coming back soon!).

Dallas did a bit of business today, too, trading Grant Williams, Seth Curry and a first-round pick to the Charlotte Hornets for PJ Washington, per Shams Charania. The Mavs also dealt Richaun Holmes and Draft compensation to the Washington Wizards for Daniel Gafford, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. In other news, Spencer Dinwiddie was shipped out of the country.

When Dallas beat the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday, 119-107, their starters were Dončić, Irving, Josh Green (SG), Derrick Jones, Jr. (SF), and Maxi Kleber (C). Kleber was filling in for Dereck Lively II, the rookie center whose nose was broken in a recent game against the Magic. Kleber missed the last contest versus New York and is listed as questionable for tonight’s tilt (toe).

Josh Green recently logged back-to-back 20 games against the Bucks and Sixers. He was one of the team’s best defenders against Philly but evidently inconsistent on that front. He scored 18 against the Knicks in January.

Derrick Jones, Jr. is averaging a career-high 9.8 points due to increased usage but playing a ho-hum season overall. His 34% from downtown is also a career-best, and he attempts 3.8 per game.

As for the headliners? This season, Luka has averaged 34.5 points, 9.4 assists, and 8.8 rebounds, while Kyrie has averaged 25.5 points, 5.4 assists, and five rebounds. Irving is also listed as probably tonight, nursing a thumb issue. Hey! Kyrie has played 29 games this campaign; six more would equal one-quarter of the total games he played as a Brooklyn Net.


The Mavs are a respectable shooting team (60% eFG%) that can deliver 118 points per night, but their defensive intensity is intermittent and they are insufficient at crashing the boards. A full-strength New York squad could beat them, but neither team will be full-strength tonight.

Expect a feisty performance from the Knicks, especially the frontcourt tandem of Isaiah Hartenstein, who could grab 20 boards, and Precious Achiuwa, playing another 40-minute sweatfest. In his extended minutes Miles McBride should break 20 points, while DiVincenzo and Hart will demonstrate their leadership abilities again. If Luka and Kyrie play, New York is in trouble, but if not: Knicks by +5.

Game Details

Who: New York Knicks vs Dallas Mavericks

When: 7:30 pm EST, Thursday, February 8, 2024

Where: Madison Square Garden, NYC

Watch: TNT

Follow: @ptknicksblog