The Mavericks came up short in Denver falling 126-118 behind Nikola Jokic’s 32-point outburst. This was not the way anyone wanted to start this four-game road trip, nevertheless they have a chance to right the ship in LA tonight. The Clippers have come back down to earth as of late however with Tobias Harris and Shia Gilgeous-Alexander coming off monster performances they still remain dangerous.
Coming off a career-high 12 assist performance against the Nuggets, Luka orchestrated the Dallas offense beautifully. It wasn’t just the 23 points, 6 rebounds, and 12 assists that was impressive he did it all with only one turnover. He continues to show why he is anything but an ordinary rookie as he becomes more and more comfortable being the primary ball handler.
Dennis Smith Jr. is most likely out trying to get his wrist rested up, so look for Doncic to run the point once more. He is finding a great balance on when to look for his shot and when to get others involved. Despite his shooting not being great as of late, he continues using his craftiness to get in the lane and draw shooting fouls. It will be crucial if he can repeat his performance getting the first unit off to a great start early on the road.
DJ back in LA
This won’t be the first time DeAndre plays in LA this season or against the Clippers. But this will be his first official game back in the Staples Center against his former team, in which he played a decade for. We should expect a warm welcome for DJ and possibly a video tribute.
As if he needed more reason to show out tonight, DeAndre looks to bounce back after a tough Denver game where he fouled out mid-way through the fourth. This should be a much easier matchup with Gortat compared with trying to contain MVP candidate Nikola Jokic. DJ gets up for these type of games, don’t be surprised if he has another 20+ rebound night.
The playoff standings roller coaster
In the first matchup between these team this season, the Clippers were leading the Western Conference. The Mavericks were turning their season around making a push for the playoffs, recently finding themselves as high as the sixth seed. Flash forward just a couple of weeks and now the Clippers are in the sixth slot with the Mavericks on the outside looking in currently ninth.
With the West being so tight, teams 4-14 all have a shot at making it to the postseason. Dallas has slipped a bit riding a three-game losing streak and the schedule will not be doing them any favors with the Clippers, Warriors, Trail Blazers, Pelicans, and the Thunder are all up next.
The Boys in blue will be riding this roller coaster the rest of the season, best to enjoy it while it lasts. Tip-off tonight at 9:30pm as the Mavericks invade LA on TNT.
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