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Dirk Returns! Mavericks Face Clippers in LA

Jan 3, 2014; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Mavericks power forward <a rel=

What to Watch For

 

Dirk Nowitzki back in action.1

 

Also, a year ago today, Dirk passed Shaquille O’Neal on the NBA All-Time scoring list.  

 

 

After a thrilling2 victory in Portland the Mavericks fly to Los Angeles3 to try and win back to back games for just the second time this season, against the Clippers.

 

This is the second of four meetings between these two teams. There’s an exercise I try to do after every game; sum the entire game up in just four words, and I wrote “Dirk Returns; Still Bad” after the Mavericks lost 104-124 to the Clippers on Nov 23rd as the Mavs dropped to a 2-12 record. The following game, the Mavericks lost by 38 in Cleveland.4 Since then, the Mavericks are 6-8 which still isn’t great but a far cry from their 2-13 start.

 

The Clippers are already without Blake Griffin for the next 3-6 weeks but they might also have to play without Chris Paul tonight who is listed as questionable. 

 

 

 

Key Matchups

 

CP3 vs Anyone

 

Chris Paul will be a tough matchup for the Mavericks5, if he suits up and plays tonight. If Deron Williams, Seth Curry, or Devin Harris (at times) are matched up against Chris Paul it’s not going to go the Mavs way defensively… Wes Matthews will probably get the assignment and do quite well but that leaves the other three to chase J.J. Redick off screens all night.

 

Harrison Barnes vs Anyone

 

In the same way, after losing Blake Griffin, the Clippers are without a real threat defensively against 4s (power forward). Paul Pierce6 has started the two games since he’s been held out, which should make Harrison Barnes super excited for tonight’s matchup. Odds are that Luc Mbah a Moute will get the defensive assignment against HB but Doc Rivers usually tries to have consistency in his starting lineups.

 

 

Injury Report

 

Mavericks

 

Dirk Nowitzki – Active
J.J. Barea – Not With Team
Andrew Bogut – Out

 

Clippers

 

Blake Griffin – Out
Chris Paul – Questionable

 

Game Info

 

  1. Enough said
  2. If not dissatisfying (for #TeamTank)
  3. Or at least they’re trying to
  4. After that game I just wrote Can it get worse?”
  5. As he usually is
  6. Yeah, that Paul Pierce

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