The Mavs have endured a rough start to their season, but things won’t get any easier tonight when Dallas (2-12) faces the defending NBA champions in Cleveland (11-2).
On the brink of facing one of the NBA’s highest-scoring offenses, Dallas will have to pass a tough road test in order to snap its current seven-game losing streak.
PPG: 91.6 (30th)
RPG: 40.5 (30th)
APG: 17.3 (30th)
PPG: 110.8 (3rd)
RPG: 45.9 (4th)
APG: 23.1 (8th)
Match Up History (69 games):
Cleveland – 37 wins
Dallas – 32 wins
March 16, 2016: Cavs 99, Mavs 98
Jan. 12, 2016: Cavs 110, Mavs 107 (OT)
March 10, 2015: Cavs 127, Mavs 94
Jan. 4, 2015: Mavs 109, Cavs 90
Key Match Ups
Wes Matthews vs. J.R. Smith
It’s no secret that both of these guys can get trigger-happy from long distance. Tonight’s matchup is an interesting follow to see which side is able to take advantage of their defensive counterpart. Can Wes Matthews rattle off five or six baskets from three and push the offensive agenda for Dallas? Or will J.R. Smith follow Kevin Love’s 34-point first quarter effort against Portland with a highlight-laden night of his own?
Dirk Nowitzki vs. Kevin Love
Nowitzki is expected to start in his second game back from a sore Achilles. With Kevin Love matching up on the opposite end rather than athletic forwards such as Blake Griffin, Nowitzki should have an opportunity to find more consistency in his offensive repertoire despite shooting 3-for-10 in his previous outing against the Clippers. While Love may appear to be a very inviting defensive matchup, only one of these two scored 40 points in their last outing. Nowitzki will be tasked with keeping Love off the boards and away from the three-point line, which Love found eight times against Portland.
Harrison Barnes vs. LeBron James
Barnes against James is the max-money matchup of the night. The matchup against Cleveland presents an opportunity for Dallas to gauge where Harrison Barnes stands at the small forward against the best player at the position and arguably in the league. Barnes has already notched several career-highs in his short time with Dallas. But an impressive showing against James could help re-affirm the front office decision of bringing Barnes to Dallas.
Jose Juan Barea (left calf strain) is out; Devin Harris (right great toe sprain) is out.
Deron Williams (left calf strain) is questionable tonight in Cleveland. J.J. Barea & Devin Harris are out. #DALatCLE
— Earl K. Sneed (@EarlKSneed) November 25, 2016
Time: 6:30 p.m. (CST)
TV: Fox Sports Southwest
Radio: 103.3 FM (ESPN)
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