Tonight the Dallas Mavericks will host the Boston Celtics. But it is a day long remembered for something that happened off the hardwood: Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

Without turning this game preview into one of my stunning high school essays for history class, it simply must be mentioned, in the very least, the impact of the man who “Had a Dream” and stood for what was right in a world that gets just about everything wrong.

 

We salute you, Dr. King.

 

The NBA does as well, and has turned the National Holiday into a day of basketball goodness. 20 teams will take the floor on Martin Luther King Jr’s day of remembrance. Eight will play on National Television. In tradition and in direct respect to King, the Memphis Grizzlies, home of the National Civil Rights Museum and the Atlanta Hawks, the birthplace of Dr. King will both have home games.

 

As a day game fanatic, I will also revel in the six games taking place at 4 P.M. or later.

 

Our Dallas Mavericks (23-19) won’t take the court until their usual 7:30 time slot. Coming to town are the Boston Celtics (22-19), winners of three straight after dropping four in a row. They currently hold down the 8th spot in the Eastern Conference.

 

The game marks the return to his first NBA home for Jae Crowder. Traded to Boston two Decembers ago for Rajon Rondo, Crowder has emerged from a role player in Dallas to the Celtics starting small forward. Of course, right?

 

Since the Josh Howard draft pick way, way back in 2003 the Mavericks have been one of the worst drafting teams in the Association. They did however find a player of value with the 34th pick in the 2012 Draft, just to make him part of the all-in package needed to acquire the hopeful missing piece in Rondo.

 

ALSO READ: Mavericks Midseason Report Card

 

The former favorite of the fans and also Mavericks Head Coach Rick Carlisle, Crowder is averaging 14.6 points, 5.2 rebounds, 1.9 assists, half a block and is tied for 7th in the league with 1.7 steals.

 

Second oldest in the league as a team, the Mavericks could use the youth, the energy and obviously the numbers Crowder is providing. He’s certainly exceeding expectations most had for him and his five-year $35 million dollar contract looks better and better for Boston each game.

 

What could have been? Not really. Whether it was Rajon Rondo and his failure, the Mavericks were going to use one of their few desired assets to acquire another player. It would have been Crowder sooner or later.

 

Leaders:

Points:

Mavericks: Dirk Nowitzki, 17.4

Celtics: Isaiah Thomas, 21.8 (12th in NBA)

Rebounds:

Mavericks: Zaza Pachulia, 10.8 (Tie-6th in NBA)

Celtics: Jared Sullinger, 8.7

Assists:

Mavericks: Deron Williams, 5.6

Celtics: Isaiah Thomas, 6.6

Steals:

Mavericks: Zaza Pachulia, Deron Williams, Wesley MatthewsDevin Harris, 1.0

Celtics: Jae Crowder, 1.8 (Tie-7th in NBA)

Blocks:

Mavericks: JaVale McGee, 1.0

Celtics: Amir Johnson, 1.2

 

How to Watch: 7:30 PM CST on Fox Sports Southwest

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