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What to watch for as the Mavericks take on the Knicks

What to watch for as the Mavericks take on the Knicks

KP in the Garden

Anytime you play your former team, especially when the relationship was strained at the end, you want to come out and perform at the highest level, especially when playing at their house.

For KP, that’s tonight against the Knicks at Madison Square Garden.

I’d hope and expect for the Mavs to get KP going early as he always seems to be more engaged when he gets a few more shots and touches in the first quarter.

Clutch game situations

As we saw on Wednesday, the Mavericks led the from the tip against the Celtics, presumably coasting to an easy victory. Until the fourth quarter.

In the fourth, the Mavericks were lackadaisical, making dumb turnovers and slow on defensive rotations; just showing little effort, letting Boston creep their way back into the game, which we’ve seen this team over the past couple of years have trouble with.

Finishing games strong is something playoff teams do — something championship contenders do. For Dallas, if they want to take that next step, they must show poise down the stretch of clutch games, which this could very well be tonight.

Knicks physicality 

The Knicks are back? Well, not quite but they are a lot better then just about anyone could have predicted going into this season. Not sure many people had them as a potential playoff team.

But this Knicks team plays well as a unit night in and night out, giving 100% effort and playing with a strong physicality on each possession.

It’s been evident on some nights where the Mavericks don’t match the other team’s physicality and level of grit, leading to a loss. Tonight, in a very winnable game and an important one to create some ground between the fellow play-in candidates, Dallas must bring it on every possession.

 

Managing Editor for Dallas Sports Fanatic | Lead Editor covering the Dallas Mavericks | UNT Alum | Twitter: @TheMulf

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