Dallas Mavericks at Boston Celtics 5 PM CT on NBA TV
The Mavericks, winners of four straight and five of their last six, head to face the rebuilding Celtics.
The Mavs are beginning a three game road trip that will also feature the Charlotte Bobcats and NBA best Indiana Pacers.
The Celtics have been on a hot streak of their own, winning three straight with wins over the Orlando Magic, Philadelphia 76ers, and Sacramento Kings.
Not The Same Celtics: This is no longer the same team the Mavs have battled the last couple years. No longer are the likes of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, and Doc Rivers the face of the franchise.
Hamstrung: The Mavs may be without second leading scorer Monta Ellis, who suffered a hamstring injury in the 4th quarter in the win over the Utah Jazz. If Ellis isn’t able to go, Wayne Ellington may be the most likely to start.
Still Hot: It isn’t worth repeating the numbers during Dirk Nowitzki’s hot streak. He’s been playing his best ball of the season. Brandon Bass, Jeff Green, Kris Humphries, and Jared Sullinger will all have their hands full with the All-Star.
Rajon Rondo: In 8 games Rondo is averaging 8.4 points and 6.9 assists. He missed the last game with knee soreness. Though he isn’t at full strength, the Mavs will still have their hands full with him if he is able to play.
Forward Play: As the Celtics will have their hands full with Nowitzki, the Celtics’ combination of Green, Bass, and Sullinger, and Gerald Wallace should not be underestimated. Sullinger is coming off a 31 point and 16 rebound game against the Kings’ frontline. Green is averaging 16.3 points. Bass has had a good year, putting up 10.9 points and 5.9 rebounds.
Bench: This may be getting repetitive but no denying the truth. It feels that every game now the Mavs’ bench is far superior. The Mavs will need their bench to continue to step up and produce, especially if Ellis is not able to suit up.
Like the Jazz game, this is a game the Mavs should win. With the improving Bobcats and Championship contender Pacers waiting, the Mavs need to take advantage of these games.