\When cutting the turkey, are you thinking of Luka Doncic?

How about when you grab the gravy — does Tim Hardaway Jr. come to mind?

Thanksgiving is a time for friends and family, but what happens when your favorite Dallas Mavericks suddenly turn into Thanksgiving dishes?

Let’s jump into the land of food and make-believe to find out.

Turkey: Luka Doncic.

Luka Doncic
Nov 23, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) celebrates against the LA Clippers in the second half at Staples Center. The Mavericks defeated the Clippers 112-104 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

As consistent as it comes, turkey and Doncic are synonymous. With turkey, you know what you’re getting. And when done right — fried, in my humble opinion — it can carry any Thanksgiving day feast. Similarly, when Doncic is on his A-game, he can carry anyone in a Dallas Mavericks uniform, including you, me, and that one uncle that swore he could have made the league if not for his bum knee.

Green bean casserole: Kristaps Porzingis

Kristaps Porzingis
Nov 15, 2021; Dallas, Texas, USA; Dallas Mavericks center Kristaps Porzingis (6) shoots during the second half against the Denver Nuggets at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Porzingis as a green bean casserole just makes sense. When it’s good, it’s really good. When it’s bad — well, I think you know what I mean. Nonetheless, a good green bean casserole is integral to any Thanksgiving table’s success. The same goes for Porzingis and the Mavericks. When he’s on, he’s on. And when he’s off, he’s really off. But, he’s every bit as necessary to Dallas’ success as Doncic is.

Mac & cheese: Jalen Brunson 

Jalen Brunson
Nov 21, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Jalen Brunson (13) tries to move the ball past LA Clippers guard Paul George (13) during the third quarter at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Thanksgiving isn’t complete without the mac and cheese. It’s so simple, yet so effective — just like Brunson’s game on the hardwood. He won’t wow you, but it’s extremely difficult for him to disappoint you.

Gravy: Tim Hardaway Jr. 

Tim Hardaway jr
Nov 17, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Dallas Mavericks forward Tim Hardaway Jr. (11) dunks against the Phoenix Suns during the second half at Footprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Gravy is the embodiment of Hardaway. When he has it going, his game can accentuate everyone else’s skills on the court. Similar to gravy, when it’s good, who cares if it gets on your turkey and a little bit of it gets in your green bean casserole? The only problem is, you never know how good the gravy is going to be. One minute you’re feeling, the next you’re feeling queasy.

Mashed potatoes: Dorian Finney-Smith

Dorian Finney-Smith
Nov 12, 2021; San Antonio, Texas, USA; Dallas Mavericks forward Dorian Finney-Smith (10) dunks during the first half against the San Antonio Spurs at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

Being a mashed potato is a thankless job. People don’t notice you when you’re there, but the moment you’re gone, your presence is felt. Insert, Finney-Smith into this equation. He does all the dirty work and is hardly ever thanked. At times, he’s the glue that holds this team together, the same way mashed potatoes hold together your Thanksgiving dinner plate.

Stuffing: Dwight Powell

Dwight Powell
Nov 6, 2021; Dallas, Texas, USA; Dallas Mavericks center Dwight Powell (7) shoots in warmups before the game against the Boston Celtics at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Stuffing doesn’t do much. It’s there if you need it, but your plate is fine without it. The same goes for Powell. He’s good enough to be at the party. But once he’s there, don’t expect anything else out of him.

Cranberry sauce: Reggie Bullock

Reggie Bullock
Nov 12, 2021; San Antonio, Texas, USA; Dallas Mavericks forward Reggie Bullock (25) lays in a basket during the second half against the San Antonio Spurs at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

No one goes into Thanksgiving thinking of cranberry sauce. But if it’s good, you’ll eat it. No one goes into a Mavs game thinking about Bullock, but when he plays well you know about it. However, like cranberry sauce, you never know when he’s going to be good, iffy, or awful.

Sweet potato casserole: Maxi Kleber

Maxi Kleber
Oct 28, 2021; Dallas, Texas, USA; Dallas Mavericks forward Maxi Kleber (42) in action during the game between the Dallas Mavericks and the San Antonio Spurs at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Immensely underrated, and in turn, underappreciated — sweet potato casserole and Kleber just make sense. He may not start every game, but his defense, 3-point shooting and leadership make him indispensable. In the same breath, if you don’t have sweet potato casserole on your plate, you’ll always go back and grab some when it’s available.

Pie: Boban Marjanovic 

Boban
Nov 6, 2021; Dallas, Texas, USA; Dallas Mavericks center Boban Marjanovic (51) shoots in warmups before the game against the Boston Celtics at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Marjanovic is pie because when he checks into the game, you know the game is close to over. And who doesn’t love a good pie after all the Thanksgiving day food?

Happy Holidays.

Related Dallas Mavericks reading:

“Kristaps Porzingis says he and Doncic can be among the NBA’s elite duos.” 

“Mavs Journal: Doncic’s superhero return, Dallas secures a big win in LA.”

“What did we learn about the Dallas Mavericks over the road stretch?” 

Feature image via  Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.