While fans and pundits are actively talking about the upcoming NBA trade deadline, the Dallas Mavericks (16-32) are trying to get some winning streak going in the month of January. They get a chance to do that tonight as the face the Portland Trail Blazers (26-22) at the AAC,
The Mavericks haven’t found their groove yet in the New Year, only beating three out of the seven teams to start out the month. Their latest win came from a dominant defensive performance, where the team held the Washington Wizards to just 75 points on 30 percent shooting from the field. It also brought out best in Wes Matthews who went 4-out of-8 from the three-point line. If the Mavericks want to make something out of this month, they need to get back to consistently playing defense on every possession.
Their next test won’t be an easy one as they host a Trail Blazers team that currently sits in the seventh spot in the West playoffs and recently beat the Mavs on Saturday night. That’s when one of the most explosive backcourts in the league, Dame Lillard and Cj McCollum, combined for 57 points. The Mavs never really had a hold of the game,
If Dallas wants their fourth win of the month, it’s going to take a team effort on the defensive side to stay close.
Another great point guard and another opportunity for rookie Dennis Smith Jr. to face off against another All-Star point guard in Dame Lillard. This matchup is going to be intriguing to watch on the defensive side for Smith Jr. Lillard is a scoring machine and it will be fun to see if Smith Jr. could handle his own against a guard of his caliber.
While both teams are on two different trajectories, both have struggled to really play to their full potential. For the Mavs, it is all about gaining experience and stacking some wins together. This Portland team is the perfect test for this up-and-coming Mavs squad.
Catch all the action on Fox Sports Southwest. Tip-off is at 7:30 P.M. CST.
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