The Dallas Mavericks road trip isn’t going the way they want. A tough double overtime loss in Boston was followed by an embarrassing 21-point loss against the 4-19 Toronto Raptors. Tonight it’ll be the Minnesota Timberwolves who have already beaten Dallas earlier this season 90-82.
The buzz of the evening will be the return of Wolves point guard Ricky Rubio. Rubio suffered a season-ending ACL injury last year and is ready to debut tonight against the Mavericks. In his rookie season (41 games) the guard averaged 10.6 points, 8.2 assists, 4.2 rebounds and 2.2 steals. He’s expected to play within a restriction of 18-20 minutes.
Would you believe that five teams actually turn the ball over more than the Mavericks?
Probably not, but Dallas’ 15.7 turnvers per game ranks as the 6th most in the league. Still an incredibly poor place to be.
If the Mavs don’t figure out how to start protecting the ball, the Wolves should have they’re way tonight. It doesn’t take a basketball expert to understand that concept.
With Rubio returning and Kevin Love expected to play with a bruised thumb, the Wolves will basically have their full roster ready. Josh Howard (knee) will not be active. Nikola “The Bull” Pekovic enters tonight fresh off a 31-point effort Friday night. Andrei Kirilenko added 21 points and 11 rebounds.
Rebounds going to bite Dallas in the rear. While the Mavericks are the worst in rebounding diffential, the Wolves come in third best in the league. The killer has been surrendering the offensive board. Second chance points are poison and the Mavs know the feeling. I don’t see how Dallas outrebounds the Wolves in this one, but it starts with finding the man, boxing out and simply effort.
The Mavericks attempt to begin a new three point shot streak tonight after their NBA-record 1,108 game string was snapped in Toronto when they went 0-13. It summed up an evening that saw absolutely nothing go right.
Looking for some positive news?
We’ve heard and saw Dirk Nowitzki putting in some pregame work last night before the Raps game. Today some reports say Dirk could start practicing with the team next week. This would be excellent news. It’s important to keep in mind, Dirk doesn’t need to rush back. No sense it returning until he’s 100% ready to avoid risking further injury.
It’s time to return to the winning ways. Let’s go Mavs!
Mavs @ Wolves tip 7:00 p.m. CT and airs on FSSW and WFTC.
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