Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Dallas Mavericks at Los Angeles Clippers Preview

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January 14th, 2014 at 9:30pm CT

The 7th place Dallas Maverick (23-16) travel to face the 4th place Los Angeles Clippers (26-13).

The Dallas Mavericks, currently on a 3 game win streak, play 5 of their next 6 games on the road.

The Opponent

The Los Angeles Clippers will be without franchise point guard Chris Paul, who was injured against these same Mavericks when they last played.

The Clippers have won 3 straight games and are 3-1 without Paul, but the 3 wins are against teams with a combined 37-77 record.

Former Mavericks’ player Darren Collison has filled in at the point guard position. In the 4 games without Paul, Collison has averaged 17.5 points and 6.5 assists.

Blake Griffin, who is now the main focus on offense, has put up 24.3 points (58.9 fg%), 8.25 rebounds, and 10.75 free throw attempts (71.1%) in the last 4 games.

Center DeAndre Jordan has also stepped up in the absence of Paul. He’s put up  10.5 points, 12.5 rebounds, and 4.5 blocks.

In his first game back after missing six weeks of action, returned against the Los Angeles Lakers and again occupied the  starting shooting guard position. He didn’t show much rust as he dropped 19 points on 8-15 shooting.

With Redick starting again, Jamal Crawford will be coming off the bench again for the Clippers. Crawford has averaged 15.8 points in 23 games as a reserve.

The Clippers are 17-3 at home and 17-7 against West foes.

The Clippers are the 3rd highest scoring team in the league at 105.3 and allow 99.4 point with the leagues 6th best opponent field goal percentage (44.1%) and 2nd best opponent 3-pt percentage (32.8%).

Emphasis

The Clippers are a stacked and versatile team. The Mavs will have their hands full with many match ups.

Contain the bigs. With Paul out for the Clippers, the Mavericks must limit the impact of Jordan and Griffin. Both combined for 50 points, 33 rebounds (11 Orebs), and attempted 20 free throws. The Mavericks can’t allow these two to dominate the glass and paint as they did in the first meeting.

Don’t turn Collison into a star. In the first meeting, Collison torched his former team for 20 points and 4 assists. Much of the Clippers offense relies on guard penetration to create for the bigs and shooters. If Collison can break down the defense, it’ll allow for shooters to get open and for the bigs to attack the glass.

Don’t allow the shooters to get going. On the season the Clippers are just shooting 33.3% from 3-pt range. In the first meeting the Clippers were 9-23 (39%). With Redick (35.4%) back on the court, and the likes of Jared Dudley (37.1%), Crawford (34.7%), Matt Barnes (25.4%), Green (33.3%), and Collison (36.9), the Clippers have many players who can get hot and knock down the 3, even if the percentages don’t show it.

Keep the ball moving. The Clippers defense is vulnerable. The Mavericks dropped 70 points in the first half, but followed it with a 17 point third quarter. The Mavericks can’t get stagnant on offense and allow the Clippers to get running.

Notes

Though the Mavericks scored 70 first half points, they allowed 67 to the Clippers in Dallas.

The Clippers attempted 38 to 14 Maverick free throws.

Dirk Nowitzki led the Mavericks with 24 points but had only 4 rebounds.

Shawn Marion, who will be back, added 20 points and 6 rebounds.

Monta Ellis and Jose Calderon combined for 24 points and 14 assists.

No Maverick had more than 6 rebounds. As a team the Mavericks grabbed 38 rebounds, Jordan and Griffin combined for 33 of the Clippers 46.

During the Mavs’ 3 game win streak, Nowitzki has averaged 26.7 points on 49% shooting.

In the last 4 games, Ellis has seemed to turn the corner after a quiet December. He’s put up  22.8 points (50.8%) and 4.8 assists.

Injuries

DAL: Devin Harris (Out-Toe) Marion (Playing-Shoulder), Shane Larkin (GTD-Ankle)

LAC: Paul (Out-Shoulder) Reggie Bullock (Out-Ankle)

After blowing a late lead and game against the Clippers last time around, getting a win this game would be a great way to begin this tough stretch.

Who Will Win This Game?

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Tags: Chris Paul Dallas Mavericks Dirk Nowitzki Los Angeles Clippers

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