Tonight, the Mavericks (8-3) are taking their talents and their four-game win streak to the District of Columbia to face the Washington Wizards (7-2). Surprisingly, the Wizards come into tonight’s matchup with the 2nd best record in the Eastern conference led by John Wall (19.4 PPG, 3.9 RPG, 9.1 APG) and Marcin Gortat (13.3 PPG, 9.1 RPG, 0.9 APG). This will be the final of a two-game road trip for the Mavs before coming to back to Dallas for a Friday night showdown with the LA Lakers.
Mavs Projected Starters
PG: Jameer Nelson
SG: Monta Ellis
SF: Chandler Parsons
PF: Dirk Nowitzki
C: Tyson Chandler
Wizards Projected Starters
PG: John Wall
SG: Bradley Beal
SF: Paul Pierce
PF: Nene Hilario
C: Marcin Gortat
Mavs versus Elite Teams
Tonight presents another early opportunity for the Mavs to evaluate themselves against the NBA’s elite. During their four-game winning streak, the Mavs have had an average margin of victory of 25.5 points; albeit their opponents have a combined record of 12-29. The Mavs three losses (Spurs, Blazers, Heat) have all come against playoff teams from last year with a combine record of 20-12 this season.
The Wizards come into tonight’s game with three days of solid rest after beating the lowly Orlando Magic at home. The Wizards will be look to remain undefeated at home this season and may have some reinforcements coming in to help. Shooting guard Bradley Beal, the third pick in the 2012 NBA draft, looks to be set for his season debut. Beal, who has been out since October 10 with a broken left wrist, went through a full practice Tuesday for the second straight day and looks to be ready for his first action of the season.
The Mavs will face one of the biggest front lines in the NBA with the Polish Hammer Marcin Gortat (6-11, 240 lbs), Brazilian Nene Hilario (6-11, 250 lbs) and veteran small forward Paul Pierce (6-7, 235 lbs). The Wizards are a half-court, grind it out team that relies heavily on defensive efficiency to win ball games, allowing only 96.4 points per game to their opponents, good enough for 10th in the league. Throughout his career, Dirk Nowitzki has struggled to score against physical defenders. But Dirk should be well rested for this battle. He hasn’t played during the 4th quarter of the past three games, as the Mavs haven’t needed his services while blowing out the competition. During the past three games, Dirk has been Uber-efficient as well, with a +23 point differential while averaging 16.3 points (61.3 FG%) in just 22.7 minutes of play.
#Mavs F Dirk Nowitzki: "Washington is another tough team. They’re physical. Another East Coast team that can grind it out.''
— Dwain Price (@DwainPrice) November 19, 2014
Devin Harris Out?
Mavs point guard Devin Harris is questionable for tonight’s game after suffering ankle sprain in the 1st half against Charlotte Hornets on Monday night. This is where the depth at the guard position truly comes into play and it’s safe to speculate that Carlisle will let Harris get healthy first before he sees the court again. Look for JJ Barea to get extended minutes as the backup point guard position with Raymond Felton still serving the second of his four-game suspension.
Milestones: Dirk Nowizki
Photo Credit: Geoff Burke-USA Today Sports; mavs.com
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