Monday, 11/11 – Mavericks @ Boston
What to watch for:
– The Mavs beat up on a young Memphis Grizzlies team on Saturday by scoring 138 points. Luka Doncic didn’t even play the 4th quarter. In a testament to this Mavs team’s biggest strength, eight of the eleven Mavs that played scored in double digits. Although Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis are the main pieces of this team, Dallas won’t succeed unless their glue guys show up. That was evident in the Knicks game on Friday after Luka and Porzingis dropped 38 and 28 respectively but still lost. Seth Curry, Tim Hardaway Jr., and Delon Wright can be the x-factors in a game that is headlined by multiple established and rising stars. If they struggle the team performance might look more like the Mavs that showed up against the Knicks than the team that handled the Grizzlies.
– After Friday nights dud against the Knicks, Dallas gets the opportunity for a statement game against the top team in the Eastern Conference. The Mavs will try to end 7-1 Celtics seven-game winning streak on the road in TD Garden. They are catching a lucky, and unlucky for Boston, break after Gordon Hayward broke his hand on Saturday. It has yet to be determined what will happen with Hayward going forward, but he was starting to look like his former All-Star self again. Prior to the break he was averaging 18 points, 7 rebounds, and 4 assists. Kemba Walker, Jayson Tatum, and Jaylen Brown will have to carry even more of a burden for the Celtics team that lacks the depth to match Dallas.
Matchup of the Night: Luka Doncic vs Kemba Walker
Both of these teams point guards are walking buckets. Three-time All-Star Kemba Walker is averaging 25 points on 40/40/95 shooting splits this season. 2018-2019 Rookie of the Year Luka Doncic comes into the game averaging 28 points, 10 rebounds, and 8 assists. Both of these guys are the focal points of their teams with roughly 30% usage rates this year. Look for the ball to be in their hands early and often. If this game is close at the end we will get to see Doncic and Walker exchange clutch shots in crunch time.
– Trevor Rathbun
Wednesday, 11/13 – Mavericks @ Knicks
What to watch for:
– Wednesday will mark KP’s first game back to Madison Square Garden to play in front of the Knicks fans. Though he played against his former team last Friday in Dallas, it’s just not the same as playing in his former city in front of all those crazy Knick fans. It will certainly be an emotional night for KP. How he handles it on the floor is too be determined. Feed KP early and feed him often. He showed playing against his former team didn’t phase him. Lets hope the bright lights in MSG and the boo bird from the Knick fans don’t shake his confidence.
– The Knicks big men killed the Mavs last week. Whether it was Marcus Morris, Julius Randle, or even Bobby Portix and Taj Gibson; they were making every shot. The Mavs should know better now to let them shoot comfortably from the perimeter without a hand in their face. Expect more aggressive close outs on the Knick big men on the perimeter.
– Luka + Madison Square Garden = must-watch television.
Matchup of the Night: Kristaps Porzingis vs Madison Square Garden
– Michael Mulford
Saturday, 11/16 – Raptors @ Mavericks
What to watch for:
– Toronto will be without Kyle Lowry and Serge Ibaka, but that has not slowed down the defending NBA champion Raptors at all. They are still one of the best teams in the East and so far this season, they are #1 in the NBA in three-point percentage and rank #3 in made threes. Limiting their good looks from 3 will be crucial for the Mavs.
– The Mavs have already lost three home games to Blazers, Lakers and Knicks. This will be the first game at home since the loss to the Knicks and even though the season is very young, the Mavs need to do a better job at home. Toronto will also be playing the 5th game of a 5 game west coast road trip so that should be something the Mavs should be able to take advantage of.
Matchup of the Night: Big men vs. Pascal Siakam
So far this season, the Mavs have gone up against Anthony Davis, Kevin Love, Nikola Vucevic, Nikola Jokic and it doesn’t get any easier with Pascal Siakam coming to town. With Kawhi no longer in Toronto, Siakam is averaging 27 points and 9 rebounds a game after signing a massive contract right before the season. Slowing him down will go a long way into deciding who wins Saturday night.
– Corey Douglass
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