Following an unprecedented 50 point victory over the Utah Jazz on Wednesday, the Dallas Mavericks are riding the their very first three game winning streak of the season. Just as it looks like the team is starting to figure things out, they get handed another big test tonight. Here are three things to watch as the Mavs host the two time defending NBA champions Golden State Warriors.
Injuries piling up on both sides
The warriors had planned on being without thier 2016 MVP floor general steph Curry (Groin).Now they have added another All-Star to that list in Draymond Green (Toe sprain) for tonight’s contest. Even minus two starters the GSW will still have arguably the best player in the league with Durant and Klay Thompson is no chopped liver.
Dallas will be minus Matthews while he nurses a nagging hamstring that sat him out against Chicago, expect DFS to get the start tonight, guarding Kevin Durant who is averaging 27ppg on 52% shooting. Luka, who had X-rays after Wednesday’s Seats for Soldiers night, is dealing with a severe bruised shoulder but should be good to go. On the plus side, Nowitzki just went thru his first full practice with the team, only a matter of time before he takes the court again.
Locker Room Drama
Dallas showed a united front, after rumors of DeAndre Jordan “rubbing teammates the wrong way” surfaced. With DSJ using Instagram to state “That news be fake shawty and we already know it… Our eyes on da prize” with most of the Mavs hitting the like button. They responded by handing Utah a 50 point loss, their biggest in franchise history.
Durant and Draymond had a heated exchange on Monday during thier loss the LA Clippers. What transpired on the court spilled into the locker room and led to a one game suspension for Green. The Warriors said they have moved on but loss to the Rockets by 21 points with the return of Draymond Green.
Adversity happens with all teams at some point during the grueling 82 game season. However it seems that one of these teams (Dallas) will be stronger for it, only time will tell.
The three point line
Dallas started the season as one of the worse teams defending the three ball, letting team after team shoot wide open uncontested from the arc. The Mavs have flipped the script during the month of November, in the last 5 games leading the NBA in FG defense, points allowed, and defending the 3pt line.
Even with the stingy 3pt defense by Dallas, Golden State is a different monster. The Mavericks will be tested on the perimeter tonight, like Rick Carlisle said, “it’s like a different three-point line,”.
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