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What to watch when the Mavs visit the Thunder


With some late game heroics by DSJ on both ends of the court, the Mavs were victorious last night coming up clutch against OKC 105-103. Tonight,the teams face off again this time in Brick Town, the Thunder’s house were they have 6th best home court advantage at 12-4. Dallas will ring in the New Year with a two-game winning streak if they can take care of business tonight.

DSJ’s defensive prowess

After missing several games with a wrist injury, Smith looks like he is back. Despite a late clock blunder against New Orleans, he has found new ways to impact the game. This is a great sign for a player who is having to adapt to a new role since Luka has emerged as the teams best player.

With a clutch block on Tobias Harris, lock down defense on Paul George, the second year player is a force to be reckoned with. He has embraced the challenge of taking on the some of the leagues best players, no longer a liability on switches with the pick-and-roll schemes. Of course he’s still arguably the most athletic point guard in the NBA, sealing last night’s victory with the go ahead lay-up. Smith still has plenty to offer on the offensive side of the ball however as a two-way player, he can really put his mark on games.

There will be some growing pains for the 21-year-old, but if we give him time he should continue to flourish. Right now we are seeing a young star develop right before our very eyes and it is a special thing to watch.

Back-to-back games

It’s never an easy task to play a team back-to-back let alone on consecutive nights. Dallas is 0-5 after playing the night before and a terrible 2-15 on the road. With almost no rest at all, these games can be brutal on a teams roster health. Wesley Matthews defense will be sorely missed if he can’t go tonight. The bench may look different as Dirk could possibly be rested after playing last night.

Fresh legs will be tough to come by, look for Rick to go deep into the bench this game. Tonight should be a great opportunity for guys like Dorian Finney-smith, Kleber, Brunson, and Broekhoff to contribute in major ways.

Mavs cleaning the glass

Dallas is much improved this season on boards thanks mostly to the addition of DeAndre Jordan. Currently ranking at the #10 spot this year what was once a weakness is now a strength of this team. The Mavericks out rebounded OKC 49-39 and that is against Steven Adams, leading the Thunder as the #1 rebounding team in the league.

The Thunder are such a dynamic team, with Paul George and Russell Westbrook leading the offense, you do not want to give this team second chances. It will take a team effort to keep OKC off the glass and if they do Mavs should win the battle on the scoreboard as well.

Staff writer for, born and raised in the ever changing yet beautiful 214. Longtime fan of the NBA and the Dallas Mavericks. Husband, father, true student of the game, and future Luka Doncic fanatic.

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