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Felton Active vs. Timberwolves
Sunday, April 3
Earl K. Sneed of Mavs.com announced that Felton was available to play against Minnesota on Sunday.
Mavs Need Felton Healthy Heading Toward Postseason
Felton, who started the last nine games for the Mavericks, has become a crucial part of the Dallas offense in the absence of Chandler Parsons (knee). Felton has scored in double figures in four straight games and is coming off an 11-point performance against the New York Knicks last Wednesday.
The Mavericks come into Sunday's game as the No. 7 seed in the Western Conference, but they are tied with the No. 8-seeded Utah Jazz and only one game ahead of the Houston Rockets. Dallas has had to continue its playoff push without Parsons, who underwent surgery on a torn meniscus in his right knee March 22.
Losing Felton for an extended period of time would be problematic for the Mavericks. Head coach Rick Carlisle made a change to his starting lineup against the Charlotte Hornets on March 14, moving Dirk Nowitzki to center, Parsons to power forward and Wesley Matthews to small forward and inserting Felton as the starting shooting guard.
Dallas has been inconsistent since that change, but Felton has been the needed scorer in an inconsistent Mavericks backcourt.
Though he's averaging only 9.4 points per game, the team has called upon him to be a reliable scorer in the starting lineup. In 31 starts, Felton has scored in double figures 20 times, and the Mavericks are 12-8 in those contests.
Should Felton be forced out of the lineup again, backup point guards Devin Harris and J.J. Barea should see more playing time, especially since starter Deron Williams continues to deal with an abdominal injury. One other player to look for is first-round pick Justin Anderson, who has started the last two games for Dallas. He's coming off a season-high 28 minutes in the team's win over the Knicks last Wednesday.