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Game Night: Mavs Put Winning Streak On The Line Against The Cats

Game Night: Mavs Put Winning Streak On The Line Against The Cats

Mavericks take their recent success into Charlotte for inter-conference matchup with the Bobcats.

The Game at Hand:

The Mavericks made it 5 in a row on Sunday night, starting off their road 3 game road trip with an impressive routing of the Celtics. Dirk Nowitzki led 5 Mavs in double figures with 20 points of his own. Monta Ellis chipped in 11 points and 5 rebounds despite playing with a strained hamstring. With the win, it marked the first time since early December that the Mavs found themselves alone in 7th place in the stacked Western Conference and the first time since the 2011 championship season that they also found themselves 10 games over .500 (31-21).

The Mavs will look to make it 6 wins in a row as they travel to Charlotte to face a Bobcats team that despite being 22-29 (on the season) is currently in the 8th spot in the very weak Eastern Conference. This will mark the 2nd and final time the two will play this year. The first meeting was an early-December showdown in Dallas when the Mavs used a late fourth quarter run to escape with an 89-82 win. Dirk Nowitzki and Monta Ellis combined for 47 points while Al Jefferson led Charlotte with 19 points and 12 rebounds.   It will also be the last time the Mavs play the “Bobcats” as they will make a change to the “Hornets” beginning next year. This is a very important game because after this, the Mavs will have to travel into the dreaded Banker Life Fieldhouse to face the elite Indiana Pacers and going in with confidence to start off that game could very well be the deciding factor.

Keys to the Game:

1. Win the Rebounding Battle down Low: Dallas and Charlotte are both next to each other in total rebounds per game; however, that’s not a good thing. The Mavs and ‘Cats are the 3rd (Mavs) and 4th (Cats) worst rebounding teams in the league. Only pulling down about 39 boards per 48 minutes. The Mavericks have been able to offset their rebounding woes recently due to their high powering offense but also partly due to the increased rebounding of Samuel Dalembert and Shawn Marion. Look for the Mavs to box out early and try to establish their dominance on the boards as the game progresses.

2. Play to their Weakness: Going into Tuesday night, the Bobcats are the 6th worst passing team in the league, averaging just 20 assists per game. This basically screams out that this team likes to spread out and do a lot of one-on-one’s (in example: Kemba Walker, Al Jefferson). The Mavs should look to throw the Bobcats off their rhythm by mixing it up and running some of Rick Carlisle’s famous 1-3-1 zone defense. By doing this, it will force Charlotte to pass the ball and to look for the extra pass more times than not which stats show they simply can’t do.


Charlotte Bobcats v Dallas MavericksMatchup of the Night:

Samuel Dalembert vs. Al Jefferson

This matchup on the low block is a very important part of the game plan. Al Jefferson has had a phenomenal year, using his talented back to the basket post skills to give him season averages of 20.0 PPG and 10.6 RPG. He’s been even hotter as of late, averaging 23 points and 11 boards over his last 5 games including a 40 point outing against the Lakers. Dalembert’s main and only assignment should be to limit the talented Center and to not let any easy baskets go by.  Jefferson having good games usually translates to his team’s success. If Dalembert can take away Charlotte’s number one option, the rest of the defensive matchups should follow suit. Dalembert himself however has been on the upswing of late. In this 5 game win streak he has been averaging 12 points and a team high 8 rebounds. If Dalembert can add anything on the offensive end to go along with his defensive assignment, it would make life that much easier for the Mavs.


“I think we’re just locked in, we’re just doing what needs to be done. Just playing our level, everybody was on the same page moving the ball. The streak is great, I think that everybody is contributing and understanding their role.”–Mavs Guard Vince Carter on the keys to the Mavs recent success.


“We’re looking to move up, If you look at the standings, (places) five through eight is only separated by a couple of games. We’d love to keep pushing.”– 12 –Time All-Star Dirk Nowitzki on the Mavs looking to move up in the Western Conference standings.


When and Where:

The game will tip off at 6:00 CST and will air on Fox Sports Southwest

Go Mavs!

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