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Mavs Game Night – Charlotte Bobcats (1-0) @ Dallas Mavericks (1-1)

Mavs Game Night – Charlotte Bobcats (1-0) @ Dallas Mavericks (1-1)

It’s Game Night! Dallas Mavericks basketball returns home to the American Airlines Center for its regular season home opener. The forecast calls for an electric atmosphere. Mavs Dancers killin’ it on the court, ManiAACs rockin’ in the rafters and both Champ and Mavs Man entertaining in the stands.

Rowdy, Proud, Loud sets the scene as our Mavericks (1-1) host the Charlotte Bobcats (1-0). Not often do the Bobcats, the only team still to NEVER defeat the Mavs, enter this matchup with the better record. Fresh off a home win in their opener against the Indiana Pacers, the Cats look to ride that momentum in tonight’s game.

The Mavericks enter the third game of the season with yet another new face. This time it’s veteran power forward Troy Murphy. Murphy spent last season on the Los Angeles Lakers. Dallas waived frontcourt stop-gap Eddy Curry to create a roster spot for Murphy.

Coaches Rick Carlisle and top assistant Jim O’Brien lobbied for the Murphy signing. Both previously coached Murphy during different stints in Indiana. With starting center Chris Kaman on the verge of return, Carlisle prefers to have a rebounding power forward with the ability to stretch the floor.

Kaman expects to play tonight for the first time since October 17th. The Mavs could really use his presence as they have struggled rebounding and scoring in the post.

Roddy Beaubois tweaked an ankle in practice and will be a game-time decision.

Here are my three keys for the Mavericks to continue their winning ways against Charlotte:

1.     Darren Collison – The new Mavs point guard has been the team’s best and most important player in the first two games. Collison controls the tempo and thrives in transition. The result? He’s averaging 17 points, 5.5 assists and two steals with incredible high efficiency. He should have Kaman to feed on the block which ought to help even more. Collison needs to keep doing his thing and Mavs will be in good hands.

2.     Rebound! – Mavs need to be better on the glass, plain and simple. Sitting near the bottom of the league, the Mavs have a -13.5 rebound differential after games against the Lakers and Utah Jazz. Adding Kaman (8.3 RPG career avg) and Murphy (7.9 RPG) to the mix will aid the issue. The more defensive boards Dallas grabs, it will limit opportunities for Bobcats’ second chance points.   

3.     The Shooting of O.J. Mayo – Most slapped Mayo, myself included, to be Dirk’s Robin once he signed this summer. Dirk had surgery and Mayo was to become Batman, right? Early on it hasn’t evolved as planned as Mayo struggles to shoot the ball. His shot from deep isn’t the problem (55.6%; 5-9 3PT in 2 games), but rather inside the arc (31.8%; 7-22 FG). Mavs and fans just need to be patient, his shot will start to fall and it will open driving lanes to attack the basket as well. Mayo should benefit tonight against a subpar Bobcats defense.

Game action tips at 7:30 p.m. CT and airs on Fox Sports Southwest. NBA League Pass free trial active through November 6. Watch games live on your television, computers or smart phone. 

Ryan Wilson founded Mavs Fanatic (Now Dallas Sports Fanatic) in January of 2012. He had a vision of starting something new and different. A place where fans of the Dallas Mavericks and fans of writing could come and be heard. A blog "Run By Fans For Fans". He is also a fan of the Dallas Cowboys and the Chicago WhiteSox (His hometown team). Mavs Fanatic is now known as Dallas Sports Fanatic, a blog that covers all of the major Dallas pro sports teams.    

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