The Dallas Mavericks (27-21) take on the Cleveland Cavaliers (16-31) Monday night at 7:30 CT in Dallas. The Cavs come in losing four in a row with a 5-19 record on the road.
First Meeting: This is the second time these two teams have played with the Mavs winning the first battle in Cleveland 102-97, the Mavs bench outscored the Cavs 33-8 as well as keeping Kyrie Irving at bay, as he only converted 10 of the 27 shots that he attempted.
Another Starting Center Out?: With the Mavs coming off a win against the Kings without Demarcus Cousins, they may have another lucky break. The status of big man Anderson Varejao is also in question after missing the last three games with a left knee contusion. Varejao punished Dallas’s frontcourt with 18 points and 21 rebounds in their first meeting January 20th. We will continue monitoring what the Cavs say about the status of their top big man.
The Cavs Guards: Dion Waiters coming off the bench, has been on a tear lately averaging 20 points over the last three games well above his season average of 14.5. Kyrie Irving and Jarrett Jack have proved to be a constant issue to opposing point guards meaning Calderon, Harris and Ellis will have their hands full on defense.
Dirk being Dirk: The Cavs will need to key in on stopping Dirk early in the game as the 35-year-old has been torching opposing defenses with two straight 30+ point games. The Cavs will rely on Tristan Thompson, their 22-year-old power forward from the University of Texas to guard Dirk, whose length could become an issue.
Shawn Marion remains day-to-day for Monday’s game. He missed Friday’s game against the Kings due to a shoulder injury he suffered against the Los Angeles Clippers.
By: Marc Cashion