NBA launches investigation into Mavericks’ sudden decision to bench players in crucial game

The Dallas Mavericks officially got out of postseason competition after sustaining a crushing defeat against the Chicago Bulls by a score of 112-115 at the American Airlines Center on Friday.

The Mavericks had a narrow chance to qualify for play-in round as the 10th seed from the Western Conference, but they blew it by leaving key players on the bench. They appeared with a second-choice roster, and the Bulls took advantage of it to ensure their 10th seed.

Following such an unorthodox approach, the NBA launched an investigation against the Mavericks to find out if they had any ill intentions.

Why did the NBA investigate the Dallas Mavericks?

The 2011 NBA champions decided to bench stars like Kyrie Irving, Tim Hardaway and Jaden Hardy, and even Luka Doncic played only 13 minutes of the game. From the outcome of the game, it can be easily determined that the Mavericks could win the game if they wanted to.

There are several reasons for not playing at full strength, but the NBA suspects intentional tanking to gain an advantage in next season’s draft. NBA spokesperson Mike Bass released a statement regarding the development.

“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 motivation behind those actions,” Mike said.

The NBA prohibits any attempt by owners to manipulate game outcomes in order to gain a business advantage. Moreover, their sudden and hard downfall raised some eyebrows in the NBA community.

In February, when they strengthened their roster by recruiting Kyrie Irving from the Brooklyn Nets, the Mavericks were the 5th seed and facing a favorable scenario to qualify for the playoffs. Their downfall in just two months with a better offensive roster doesn’t seem to follow any logic or sense.

However, there’s one positive to come from the losses: a lower finish in the standings improves a franchise’s chances to get an upper-top-10 pick in next season’s draft, and fortunately, Dallas has been linked with French sensation Victor Wembanyama.

What do you think? Did the Dallas Mavericks lose the game intentionally? Leave your thoughts with us in the comment section.

Shahbaj Arefin

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Shahbaj Arefin is a professional Sports Content Writer at SportsZion. He mostly covers NBA, alongside NFL and MLB. His favorite basketball player is Michael Jordan. Arefin is also a football enthusiast. He is a die-hard supporter of Argentina and Chelsea FC, frequently posting on Facebook during the their matches.


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