Justin Anderson keying Dallas Mavericks playoff push

justin andersonUVA basketball alum Justin Anderson is helping key a playoff push by the Dallas Mavericks.

Anderson, a 2015 first-round draft pick, was inserted into the starting lineup March 28, and the Mavs have gone on a five-game winning streak since.

JA is putting up modest numbers – 7.2 points and 6.6 rebounds per game in 26 minutes per game.

The lineup change, necessitated by the loss of point guard Deron Williams to injury, has coincided with a move by coach Rick Carlisle, another UVA alum, to go to a slow-tempo, defense-first attack.

Over the past five games, Dallas has not allowed a single opponent to score 90 points, after giving up 100 or more in 19 of its previous 21 games.

Dallas (40-38) is currently in seventh place in the Western Conference, a game ahead of Utah (39-39) and two games up on Houston (38-40) in the race for the final two spots in the Western Conference playoffs.

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