Saturday night, the Mavericks (15-30) will make the treck to the Moda Center to take on the Blazers (24-21).
The first order of business when taking on the Blazers is to find a way to manage their explosive backcourt, most notably Damian Lillard.
Lillard is having his usual stellar season. He is currently averaging 25.0 points, 6.5 assists, and 4.8 rebounds per contest and is surely on his way to an All Star berth.
Fortunatley for the Mavericks, they now boast an explosive young floor general to match Lillard’s exploits.
Clearly, Dennis Smith Jr. Is not the player Lillard is, not yet at least, but it’s easy to see the similarities that prompted pundits to compare the two during Smith’s pre-draft evaluations.
They are both similar in size and body type. Both are also vertically explosive with impressive ball skills to match.
Lillard was such a fan of Smith, that he picked the electric rookie to win Rookie of the year before the season. So, it should be an interesting first matchup between two players who will see a lot of each other in the coming years.
Saturday’s bout with Portland will mark the second game in a seven game stretch where the Mavericks will face an opponent currently in the playoff picture. During that stretch, They will see the Blazers twice in a span of 10 days, along with the Nuggets (again), Heat, Wizards, and Rockets.
A string of games that will have a large say in where the team ends up this year, either in the cellar or near the middle of the Western Conference pack.
You can catch the live broadcast on FSSW, or through the free League Pass trial if you are out of market. Streaming portions are available via the Fox Sports Mobile app. Tip off is at 9:00 p.m. CST.
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