January wasn’t friendly for the Dallas Mavericks (16-35) in 2018, but they can end the month on a high-note by getting a much-needed road win against the lowly Phoenix Suns (17-34) tonight.
Both teams come into the matchup with four-consecutive losses and are looking to end the dreadful month with a win. For the Mavs to win, they are going to have to fix two key issues that continue to plague the 2017-2018 season, rebounding and limiting turnovers.
Though they lost a respectable 41-40 on the boards to Miami during Monday’s loss, the Mavs still allowed their center, Hassan Whiteside, to put up 14 rebounds. In fact, the team’s lack of talent at the center position is allowing opposing teams to dominate the paint.
One other factor that haunts this team is the turnovers. During the first half of the game, the Mavs committed 10 turnovers and head coach Rick Carlisle points out that its what is preventing the team from making comebacks late in the game.
Now, the Mavs face off against the Phoenix Suns, who are struggling in the month of January as well. A lot of the Suns misery comes from injuries, as starters Devin Booker, Tyson Chandler and Marquese Chriss all sat in the loss against the Memphis Grizzlies. Suns interim head coach Jay Triano said that there was a lot of talent in the locker room.
One major factor for the Mavs is to contend with Booker, who might make a return tonight. Booker is one of the bright young stars in the NBA and is a scoring machine. He can quickly catch fire and have 30 to 40 points in a blink of an eye. Try to lock him down, double team him, do something, but play sound defense when this man is on the court. If you allow him to get in rhythm, it is going to be trouble for your team all night long.
The Mavs have a shot here to get a win and try to get some momentum heading into February. Cut down on the turnovers, play efficient defense and outrebound your opponent and you will find some wins.
Catch all the action tonight on ESPN and Fox Sports Southwest at 9:30 CST.
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