Following a tough loss to Cleveland last night, the Mavs must clear their minds quickly as they face off against the hungry Oklahoma City Thunder tonight in OKC. As the struggle for the Mavs continue, the schedule doesn’t seem to ease up at all.
This will be the Mavericks first test against the new look Thunder team after acquiring Paul George and Carmelo Anthony in the offseason. The Mavs defense must be locked and loaded tonight against the Thunder’s three-headed juggernaut.
Tonight will be another daunting task for Dennis Smith Jr. as he goes toe-to-toe with the reining MVP, Russell Westbrook. The rookie must be prepared for Westbrook to blitz him full speed on fast breaks with his explosive athleticism, but that goes both ways as DSJ is no slouch.
Along with DSJ, Wes Matthews and Harrison Barnes will be leaned on defensively as they will have the duties of guarding Anthony and George. I’d expect whomever is guarding Andre Roberson to sag off and help out against the Thunder’s big three as they attack the hoop.
Speaking of defensively, don’t be surprised if Salah Mejri continues to play minutes over Nerlens Noel. As Rick Carlisle said last night following the loss to the Cavaliers, “Minutes are earned” and Salah has done just that as his presence in the paint has been well documented.
Tip-off is at 6:00 tonight at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Go Mavs!
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