Well look at us now, the Dallas Mavericks have a new win streak to build upon. It took pretty much the entire game on Wednesday night, but the Mavs finally put the nail in the coffin and kept the visiting Washington Wizards without a win.
We fans felt uneasy down the stretch and the Mavs themselves understand the concept of keeping the gas pedal floored against an inferior opponent. As Chris Kaman said postgame, the end result was a win. That’s what matters even if it wasn’t in the most elegant fashion.
Rejoice! It’s the end of another work week! Not for everyone, I understand. It’s Friday night and our Mavs are on the road once again. We have back-to-back games against the Indiana Pacers and Cleveland Cavaliers. With the early tip times, you can relax watching Mavs basketball and later enjoy the evening in any which way you prefer!
The trip to Indy will be a return of sorts for several players and coaches. Rick Carlisle has been back now a number of times since his days as the Pacers head coach, but Mavs assistant Jim O’Brien will be back in Indy for the first time as part of the Mavericks organization. The two squads made a 3-player trade over the summer which saw Dallas sign-and-trade reserve center Ian Mahinmi to Indiana for starting point guard Darren Collison and swingman Dahntay Jones. Troy Murphy also spent four seasons with the Pacers.
Mr. “LET’S GOOOOOOO!” Mahinmi has played in all nine Pacers games this season, averaging 13 minutes and a meager line of 4.6 PPG/3.8 RPG/1 BPG. Meanwhile Dallas has seen Collison comfortably situate himself as the starting point man and that has led to DC posting career numbers through the Mavs first nine contests.
Small forward has been a position of injury for both the Mavs and Pacers, but Dallas is fortunate with the return of Shawn Marion (MCL) to action tonight. Pacers leading scorer Danny Granger remains sidelined for a couple months with a knee injury of his own. Paul George has contributed 14 points, eight rebounds and three dimes per game in Granger’s absence.
Once upon a time the Pacers nearly traded for O.J. Mayo. Due to a missed deadline, Mayo remained with the Memphis Grizzlies and now he’s our starting shooting guard in Dallas. The Mavs organization and all of us fans couldn’t be more ecstatic with what “Juice” Mayo has shown.
The Pacers have won two of the past three meetings over the Mavs, and the only game they played last season. While Dallas has to be somewhat satisfied with its 5-4 record without injured star Dirk Nowitzki, the Pacers’ season has been rather underwhelming in a division they should lead in light of the Derrick Rose-less Chicago Bulls. The script instead reads 3-6 and a struggle to their season’s start.
So the table is set for what should be some entertaining basketball between two gritty teams who know their best ball is ahead of them. Both would like to take a step closer in the right direction tonight. Who’s it going to be? I have my pick, Let’s Go Mavs! Start this road trip strong!!