Tonight the Dallas Mavericks are looking to go up 3-0 on the Portland Trail Blazers. The series has shifted to Portland and the Blazers are going to be desperate for a win or else the series is over. Who will win this game will depend upon the answers to the following questions.
First, will the Mavs struggle with fatigue? With only one day off, combined with travel, can the Mavs play with enough energy to handle the intensity that the Blazers will bring?
Second, can Jason Kidd continue to hit his shots? Kidd has been deadly from downtown the first two games of this series and the Mavs are going to need him to continue to produce.
Third, can Dirk Nowitzki start knocking down his jumpers? Nowitzki is hitting only 39% of his field goal attempts. This is a trend that will eventually come back to haunt the Mavs unless Dirk gets his shot back. Tonight would be a great time to do that.
Fourth, can Jason Terry and Shawn Marion finally get in the flow of the offense? The offense has been carried by Kidd, Nowitzki, and Peja Stoyakovic thus far. Terry and Marion are going to need to contribute more offense at some point. Sooner is better than later.
If the Mavs can come out strong, if they can get Marion and Terry into the offense, and if they can continue to play defense with intensity, they should be victorious tonight. If they cannot, they may open the door for the Blazers to get back in this series. Here is hoping the Mavs demonstrate the killer instinct and put this series away tonight!