Will it be trick or treat when Dallas looks to snap its four-game losing skid tonight? The Mavs will be in Staples Center hoping to deliver a third-straight loss to the LeBron James-led Lakers on Wednesday. A productive rookie, defensive deficiency, and costume night highlight a few things to follow when both teams meet at 9:30 p.m.
1. Double-digit Doncic
Mavs point guard Luka Doncic currently leads all rookies in points per game (20.4 ppg) outpacing Hawks guard Trae Young (19.1) in field goal and three-point percentage.
Doncic logged double-digit point totals through each of the Mavs’ previous seven contests and ranks second among all rookies in assists per game (4.0) and third in rebounds per game (6.4). Early returns put Doncic ahead of the pack when evaluating first-year talent and he’ll have another chance to display those abilities tonight against the likes of another heralded young prospect, Lonzo Ball.
2. Defensive efficiency is not strong on either side
One thing is obvious when watching the NBA this season: scoring totals are increasing league-wide. In seven games teams have yet to score fewer than 110 points against Dallas. The same is true for Los Angeles, the Lakers allowed 110 to San Antonio in a 110-106 loss, aside from that teams are logging big scoring numbers against the new-look Lakers.
According to the Hollinger Team Index on ESPN.com, both teams are among the bottom third of the league in defensive efficiency. Los Angeles ranks 26th among 30 teams with Dallas checking in just below at 27. The Mavs rank just ahead of the Lakers in defensive rating, according to the NBA’s official website, with both teams registering among the bottom third of the league. Mavs fans can expect a high-scoring affair tonight when these two teams meet for the first time this season.
3. Costume night in Staples Center
Of course it isn’t as good as costume night in American Airlines Center, but it will have to suffice. With both teams meeting on Halloween night, the over/under on camera cuts to the crowd is safely set at 25. Is it too much to hold out hope for a Mavs-themed costume (where’s the young Dennis/Doncic costume duo?) with the game tipping in California, but one can hope.
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