Game 5 of the dramatic Texas Tussle between budding rivals Dallas and Houston continues tonight. With a phenomenal offensive performance in Game 4, the Mavs travel back to Houston looking to carry that momentum while once again facing elimination. As the old saying goes for these elimination games: It’s WIN OR GO HOME.
The Mavs simply don’t want to travel back to Dallas empty handed; even worse, not by the hands of an in-state rival.
The JJ Barea Show
Not only has this series been a nightmare for the Mavericks on the court, but off the court as well. After a point guard who was traded to from Boston that’s “out” with a back injury, there were many concerns with the guard play. Who else…none other than JJ Barea comes to the forefront to handle the floor general duties.
For a guy that’s barely six feet tall, Barea sure enough shouldered much of the load in Game 4 for his Dallas Mavericks team. Barea so far is averaging a playoff-high of 13.3 points, 7 assists, and shooting 48% from the field. He also finished the last two games with a plus/minus both over +20. Barea has made an impact in this series. But now he’s needed again in Game 5 tonight more than ever to keep the series alive.
The X-Factor: Al-Farouq Aminu
Al-Farouq Aminu surely has opened some eyes in the last two games of this series, especially in Game 4. With the unfortunate absence of Chandler Parsons, Aminu has provided some much needed power on both sides of the court against Houston. In the last two games, Aminu finished with 15+points, 5+ rebounds, and surprisingly shot over 60 percent from the three-point line. The X-Factor for tonight should be able to help the Mavs avoid elimination in his starter role.
Tonight will be a true test for team that finished 4-13 on the road since the All-Star break. The Mavs’ performances in the Toyota Center have been overwhelmingly bad in this year’s playoffs. But with off-the-court issues slowly fading away, the Mavs can turn the tides with a win tonight to avoid being sent home for the off-season.
GAME INFO: Mavs at Rockets 7:00 P.M. CT on TXA 21 & TNT | Toyota Center in Houston, TX
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