Dallas, TX – The Dallas Mavericks (8-4) are back in Big D tonight, fresh off of a nice 3-game road sweep. While it wasn’t always pretty, the Mavericks managed to handle their business. Dallas won their 5th straight, and have won eight out of their first twelve games to start the season. Tonight, they will host Gordon Hayward and the Utah Jazz (6-5), who have collected a couple impressive victories of their own over Toronto and Atlanta.
Dirk Nowitzki continues to defy the odds and keep “father time” away just a little longer. Nowitzki is averaging 18 points and 7 rebounds per contest, and also carries a 23.40 PER, which is good for 18th in the NBA. On Wednesday night, he passed Dominique Wilkins for 13th all time in made field goals, and was the go to guy early on. The Mavericks have been able to lean on the big man early on in the season, which has helped dramatically when they go are going through their usual shooting slumps.
Deron Williams has also been huge early on this season. He helped finish the comeback over the Celtics the other night, and has shown the ability to lead the team on the court and get his teammates in the right spot. He also hasn’t shied away from being a closer at the end of games, which has helped as Chandler Parsons and Wesley Matthews are still rounding into form.
As of late, the Mavericks have had a lot of success against Utah. The Mavs have won eight straight over the Jazz (6-5) with Nowitzki, who sat out the last time these teams met in Utah’s 109-92 home win April 13. He shot 59.4 percent in those eight games. Dallas also has won nine in a row at home in this series.
It may be easy to defend Utah, averaging 95.3 points to rank ahead of only winless Philadelphia. The Jazz average 95.1 possessions per 48 minutes for the league’s second-slowest tempo.
What To Watch For:
Matchups Down Low:
The Jazz have a nasty duo in the likes of Derrick Favors and Rudy Gobert. They are great around the basket on both sides of the ball, and can make it tough for opposing players to get to the rim with any sort of success. Zaza Pachulia and Dwight Powell will have their hands full tonight, but they have been up to the challenge thus far. Look for Jeremy Evans to maybe get some PT at some point against his former squad.
If you didn’t figure it out from the graphic above, the Mavericks will suit up in those beautiful Hardwood Classics jerseys tonight. This will be the first of six games in which the Mavericks will wear the jerseys. If you want to snag a Dirk Nowitzki or Chandler Parsons hardwood classic, head to the Official Team Store.
Keys To #6:
Play Their Tempo:
If the Mavericks make this a game of fast pace, then I can’t see the Jazz keeping up, as they do tend to struggle filling up the basket. However, they rank #3 in the NBA at points allowed at 91.5 per game. Getting stops on defense and pushing the tempo should allow the Mavericks to get some easy baskets in transition and some good lucks on the perimeter. If the Mavericks fail to do so, going through one of their shooting slumps could be their downfall.
It’s no secret that the recipe for the early success the Mavericks have had is their “high IQ” and team ball mentality. They can lean on multiple players, so tonight will be no different. Parsons has shot the ball extremely well as he continues to ramp up the minutes each game, so if he and Matthews can provide some solid outside shooting, that could definitely put things in the Mavericks favor.
- Six Underrated Heroes as the Texas Rangers Celebrate First World Series Title
- How do the Texas Rangers and Arizona Diamondbacks Match Up in the 2023 Fall Classic?
- Texas Rangers bound for World Series vs Diamondbacks in a euphoric state
- Previewing a Texas-Sized ALCS Between Rangers and Astros
- Despite a shaky finish, the Rangers still have the same focus on postseason success as they go to Tampa for the Wild Card series