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Game Night: Mavericks Look For Big Win Against Thunder


Dirk Nowitzki #41 of the Dallas Mavericks posts up against Kevin Durant #35 of the Oklahoma City Thunder on January 22, 2016 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas.


Dallas, TX – Who doesn’t like story lines? I sure do, and there are plenty of them heading in to tonight’s game between our Dallas Mavericks (30-27) and the Oklahoma City Thunder (40-16). The Mavericks are tied for the sixth spot in the Western Conference with Portland, and are in front of Utah by 1.5 games and Houston by one game. We also have the newest acquisition, David Lee, playing in his first game with the Mavericks. The Thunder are coming off a disastrous blowout loss to Cleveland on Sunday, so they should be fired up and ready to go as well.


The Mavericks took care of business Sunday when they took down the young and inexperienced Philadelphia 76ers squad. It was their biggest win of the season in terms of point differential. Despite having a tough one tonight, the Mavericks schedule is very favorable over the next 10 games. They only play two road games and one back-to-back in that time. They need to take advantage of this stretch, and find a way to separate themselves from the bottom of the Western Conference playoff contenders and climb up in the standings.


DateOpponent (Preview)Result (Recap)Record
Wednesday, October 26@ Indiana PacersL 121-130 (OT)0-1
Friday, October 28vs Houston RocketsL 98-1060-2
Sununday, October 30@ Houston RocketsL 92-930-3
Wednesday, November 2@ Utah JazzL 81-970-4
Friday, November 4vs Portland Trail BlazersL 95-1050-5
Sunday, November 6vs Milwaukee BucksW 86-75 (OT)1-5
Tuesday, November 8@ LA LakersW 109-972-5
Wednesday, November 9@ Golden State WarriorsL 95-1162-6
Monday, November 14@ New York KnicksL 77-932-7
Wednesday, November 16@ Boston CelticsL 83-902-8
Friday, November 18vs Memphis GrizzliesL 64-802-9
Saturday, November 19@ Orlando MagicL 87-952-10
Monday, November 21@ San Antonio SpursL 9-962-11
Wednesday, November 23vs LA ClippersL 104-1242-12
Friday, November 25@ Cleveland CavaliersL 90-1282-13
Sunday, November 27vs New Orleans PelicansW 91-813-13
Wednesday, November 30vs San Antonio SpursL 87-943-14
Thursday, December 1@ Charlotte HornetsL 87-973-15
Saturday, December 3vs Chicago BullsW 107-824-15
Monday, December 5vs Charlotte Hornets
L 109-1014-16
Wednesday, December 7vs Sacramento Kings
L 120-89
Friday, December 9vs Indiana Pacers
W 111-103
Saturday, December 10@ Houston RocketsL 109-87
Monday, December 12vs Denver NuggetsW 112-926-18
Wednesday, December 14vs Detroit PistonsL 95-856-19
Friday, December 16@ Utah JazzL 103-1006-20
Sunday, December 18vs Sacramento KingsW 99-797-20
Monday, December 19@ Denver NuggetsL 117-1077-21
Wednesday, December 21@ Portland TrailblazersW 96-958-21
Friday, December 23@ LA ClippersW 90-889-21
Monday, December 26@ New OrleansL 111-1049-22
Tuesday, December 27vs Houston RocketsL 123-1079-23
Thursday, December 29@ LA LakersW 101-8910-24
Friday, December 30@ Golden State WarriorsL 108-9910-24
Tuesday, January 3vs Washington WizardsW 113-10511-24
Thursday, January 5vs Phoenix SunsL 102-9511-25
Saturday, January 7vs Atlanta HawksL 97-8211-26
Monday, January 9@ Minnesota TimberwolvesL 101-9211-27
Thursday, January 12@ Phoenix SunsW 113-10812-27
Sunday, January 15vs Minnesota TimberwolvesW 98-8713-27
Tuesday, January 17@ Chicago BullsW 99-9814-27
Thursday, January 19@ Miami HeatL 99-9514-28
Friday, January 20vs Utah JazzL 112-107 (OT)14-29
Sunday, January 22vs LA LakersW 122-7315-29
Wednesday, January 25vs New York KnicksW 103-9516-29
Thursday, January 26@ Oklahoma City ThunderL 109-9816-30
Sunday, January 29@ San Antonio SpursW 105-10117-30
Monday, January 30vs Cleveland CavaliersW 104-9718-30
Wednesday, February 1vs Philadelphia 76ersW 113-9519-30
Friday, February 3@ Portland TrailblazersW 108-10420-30
Monday, February 6@ Denver NuggetsL 110-8720-31
Tuesday, February 7vs Portland Trail BlazersL 114-11320-32
Thursday, February 9vs Utah JazzW 112-105 (OT)21-32
Saturday, February 11vs Orlando MagicW 112-8022-32
Monday, February 13vs Boston CelticsL 111-9822-33
Wednesday, February 15@ Detroit PistonsL 98-9122-34
Friday, February 24@ Minnesota TimberwolvesL 97-8422-35
Saturday, February 25vs New Orleans PelicansW 96-8323-35
Monday, February 27vs Miami HeatW 96-8924-35
Wednesday, March 1@ Atlanta HawksL 100-9523-36
Friday, March 3vs Memphis GrizzliesW 104-10025-36
Sunday, March 5vs Oklahoma City ThunderW 104-8926-36
Tuesday, March 7vs LA LakersW 122-11127-36
Friday, March 10vs Brooklyn NetsW 105-9628-36
Saturday, March 11vs Phoenix SunsL 100-9828-37
Monday, March 13@ Toronto RaptorsL 100-7828-38
Wednesday, March 15@ Washington WizardsW 112-10729-38
Friday, March 17@ Philadelphia 76ersL 116-7429-39
Sunday, March 19@ Brooklyn NetsW 111-10430-39
Tuesday, March 21vs Golden State WarriorsL 112-8730-40
Thursday, March 23vs LA ClippersW 97-9531-40
Saturday, March 25vs Toronto RaptorsL 94-8631-41
Monday, March 27vs Oklahoma City ThunderL 92-9131-42
Wednesday, March 29@ New Orleans PelicansL 121-11831-43
Friday, March 31@ Memphis GrizzliesL 99-9031-44
Sunday, April 2@ Milwaukee BucksW 109-10532-44
Tuesday, April 4@ Sacramento KingsL 98-8732-45
Wednesday, April 5@ LA ClippersL 112-10132-46
Friday, April 7vs San Antonio Spurs
Sunday, April 9@ Phoenix Suns
Tuesday, April 11vs Denver Nuggets
Wednesday, April 12@ Memphis Grizzlies


“We just need to seize this opportunity,” said Wesley Matthews, who seemed to shoot his way out of his slump. We just need ‘em. It doesn’t matter if we play these games in Alaska. We need ‘em. It’s too tight right now. I don’t feel that we’re a team that deserves to be in the situation that we’re in, but we put ourselves there, so we’ve got to get ourselves out of it. And we got the best opportunity to do it.”


The Mavericks also have the ability to catch the reeling Memphis Grizzlies. It was announced yesterday that big man, Marc Gasol, underwent surgery to repair his broken foot, and is out for the remainder of the season. The Grizzlies also traded Jeff Green and Courtney Lee before the deadline, so I’m not sure what direction they could go but down.


Tonight is crucial for the Mavericks to set a positive tone in the locker room and throughout Mavs Nation. A win over the Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and the Thunder would do just that. The Mavericks have lost all three match ups with Oklahoma City this season, so hopefully they can put an end to that trend.




Absolute-LEE A Great Addition:


(Andy Jacobsohn/The Dallas Morning News)


Despite not playing since January 10th, David Lee will take the floor for the first time in a Dallas Mavericks jersey. While there will certainly be rust, he should prove to be a very solid addition for the Mavericks stretch run.


“I haven’t asked for any promises on anything but being given an opportunity, and the rest is going to be determined by how I play,” said Lee. “I look forward to being able to help us on the glass and offensively and defensively fitting in with a team that’s already done pretty well this season.


The Mavericks hope that Lee can serve where Amar’e Stoudemire helped last season, coming off the bench and causing problems for the opponents. He should help with rebounding, and should provide a scoring option as well. His passing has improved over the years, and he is a proven veteran player who won a championship back with Golden State last season. He still feels as though he still has the same abilities as he did earlier in his career.


“[Last season] in Golden State, unfortunately I had some injury problems and wasn’t able to play a whole lot until the end of the year and I was able to help us win a championship. This year in Boston, for a variety of factors, things weren’t able to work out there. But I think I’m in wonderful shape right now and am really coming in here expecting to make an impact and to help this team win games.”




What To Watch:


Wesley Matthews scored 21 points on 8-12 shooting Sunday night against Philadelphia, but he has done this in the past, only to fall back into a slump. With Chandler Parsons continuing to build on his amazing start in 2016, the benefit of having Matthews return to his shooting form would be a welcome sight for the Mavericks heading into this stretch. When locked in, Matthews can cause real issues for opposing defenses, and really allow the team to be able to spread the floor and attack.


It will also be interesting to see who will be affected by the acquisition of David Lee. Who’s minutes will be decreased, and just what type of rotations will Lee be involved with. While I don’t expect to get all of that information tonight, I think Carlisle will try a multiple of options, and find a way to yet again make another piece fit in this crazy never ending puzzle Carlisle deals with night in and night out.




How To Watch:


Game tips off at 7:30 CT at the American Airlines Center. It will be televised on Fox Sports Southwest as well.




Ryan Wilson founded Mavs Fanatic (Now Dallas Sports Fanatic) in January of 2012. He had a vision of starting something new and different. A place where fans of the Dallas Mavericks and fans of writing could come and be heard. A blog "Run By Fans For Fans". He is also a fan of the Dallas Cowboys and the Chicago WhiteSox (His hometown team). Mavs Fanatic is now known as Dallas Sports Fanatic, a blog that covers all of the major Dallas pro sports teams.    

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