Tuesday, 11/26 – Clippers @ Mavericks
What to watch for:
A late November meeting between the Mavericks and Clippers probably hasn’t had this much juice and excitement before. The Clippers (12-5) will come into Tuesday night’s matchup with a five-game winning streak just like Dallas following their 134-119 win over the Pelicans on Sunday. It is worth noting that the Clippers will not be on the first night of a back-to-back on Tuesday with the tail end being in Memphis on Wednesday. Who knows if that could mean rest for either Kawhi Leonard or Paul George on Tuesday.
This game will also be the debut of the polarizing new city edition jersey and court for the Mavericks. It is definitely going to be an interesting look to trot out for plenty of games this season. Whether or not they look any better on the court than they do in photos remains to be seen, but it will certainly be something that gets Twitter talking.
Matchup of the night: Leonard/George defending Luka
As much as we tend to overhype the importance of one-on-one defense, the league’s rules and officiating are incredibly geared toward allowing more success for offense, we’re always still intrigued by matchups like this. With two Defensive Player of the Year awards and five All Defense appearances for Leonard, that alone would be enough to intimidate any offensive player looking to have success against the Clippers defense. Then you have to also factor in George who is the reigning steals champion in the NBA and has four All Defensive team appearances himself. The length and strength of both defenders will be something Doncic hasn’t had to deal with yet this season. On the flip side, Leonard and George haven’t had to deal with Luka Doncic yet either.
– Dylan Duell
Friday, 11/29 – Mavericks @ Suns
What to watch for:
Since reaching their high water mark of 7-4 back on November 14th, the Suns have lost four out of five to fall back to .500 at 8-8 (as of Monday morning). As a team most had penciled in to finish last in the daunting Western Conference, their performance in the first month-plus of the season is a good sign for a franchise that has definitely struggled since the fall of the Steve Nash era that ended in the early stages of this decade.
Phoenix has a top 10 offensive rating in the league and they are led by Devin Booker who is quietly having a 50/40/90 season (52%/43%/95%) while also continuing to develop as a playmaker with six assists/four turnovers a game. Adding the not-very-exciting but very effective Ricky Rubio to the mix was a solid move for Phoenix this summer as it gives Booker the opportunity to play with and learn from a legitimate NBA point guard for the first time in his young career. In a November filled with all sorts of incredible performances from stars around the league, Booker has flown a bit under the radar for his individual level of play, but that will definitely change if he’s able to keep the Suns flirting with a playoff spot.
Matchup of the night: Advantage on the Glass
The Mavericks have been a top five rebounding team in the league so far this season mostly thanks to their two stars taking big steps forward in that department. Phoenix, on the other hand, has definitely missed DeAndre Ayton’s presence on the glass ever since he was suspended after the first game of the season. Phoenix is in the bottom five in the league in total rebounds but is 28th overall when it comes to offensive rebounding. This of course leads to them being 27th overall in second chance points. While Phoenix doesn’t seem to emphasize crashing the boards on offense, Dallas is the seventh best defensive rebounding team in the league so far this season. If this trend continues for this game, both Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis should finish with double-digit rebounding numbers and the Mavericks can get their offensive sets going faster.
– Dylan Duell
Sunday, 12/1 – Mavericks @ Lakers
What to watch for:
You could argue that the first matchup between these two teams in Dallas on November 1st was one of the best games of the season so far as the Lakers won in overtime after Danny Green drained a corner three at the buzzer to send it into OT. It’s pretty evident that LeBron and AD will get their points as will Luka for the Mavericks but whichever team has strong contributions from their role players likely steal this game.
Both teams are on a roll, as the Mavs go into this week on a five-game winning streak compared to the Lakers seven-game streak. Dallas took advantage of a favorable schedule this past week before matchups against both LA teams this week. It’s still early but games against the likes of the Lakers and Clippers will prove where the Mavs stand in the Western Conference.
Matchup of the night: Round two of Luka vs LeBron
Though Luka had his coming out party as a future superstar in this league last season as a rookie, that game against the Lakers on ESPN was special as he went toe-to-toe with his idol in LeBron James. Luka finished with 31 points, 13 rebounds, and 15 assists while James countered with 39 points, 12 rebounds, and 16 assists. So, basically just another day at the office for these two. LeBron was even caught telling Luka after the game “you a bad mother…”. You know how that statement ends. Let’s see what round two between these two juggernauts brings us.
– Michael Mulford
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