On Monday, the Dallas Mavericks will host their final home preseason contest before the 82-game season commences. Dallas will host Orlando in a rematch after losing, 112-89, on Thursday in Orlando. Here are three keys to follow heading into tonight’s matchup.
No franchise wants to lose cornerstone pieces, even more so during games that don’t count towards postseason contention. Dirk Nowitzki, Nerlens Noel, J.J. Barea, Dorian Finney-Smith were all listed as ‘day-to-day’ in the Mavs’ injury report ahead of last week’s loss against Orlando. While the group holdout may have been a cautionary move to create more opportunities for the back end of the rotation, guard Seth Curry is reportedly out after being diagnosed with a stress reaction of his left tibia, according to Mavs.com.
It’ll be worth a follow to see if any of the day-to-day holdouts from last week return to action against Orlando tonight. With the regular season on the horizon, rest may be a recurring theme for key contributors.
Home, sweet home
When the Mavs get their rematch against the Magic, it will take place on a court where they have not lost this preseason. A win against Orlando would give Dallas an unbeaten home streak through the preseason. Albeit, 42-straight home wins will be much tougher to acquire.
The building blocks that bridge toward a successful season are stacked one at a time and a home visit backed by fan support could be the remedy Dallas needs to overcome its previous 112-89 loss against Orlando in the Amway Center.
It’s a little early in Dennis Smith’s career to be dolling out nicknames. The rookie guard has yet to play a minute of regular season basketball. But it’s difficult to ignore the showmanship demonstrated each time his 6-foot-3 frame is staring down at the rim. 50-inch vertical? It’s almost difficult to believe there was ever a knee injury.
All the more reason why you’ll need to get to American Airlines Center a little earlier than you’re used to. If for nothing else, get there prior to pregame for a glimpse of Smith’s ultimate displays of athleticism similar to this highlight dunk below. Arrive early, sit back and enjoy the show!
Dennis Smith Jr. ?
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) October 3, 2017
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