Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

Boston Celtics at Dallas Mavericks Preview

The Dallas Mavericks (40-27) host the Boston Celtics (22-45), as they begin to play eight straight at home.

The Mavericks are coming off a big 109-86 win against the Russell Westbrook-less Oklahoma City Thunder.

The Celtics are coming off a 101-100 overtime loss, in which New Orleans Pelicans’ Anthony Davis finished with 40 points and 21 rebounds.

Tip-Off is at 7:30 PM CT.

Must Win: With the season winding down, the Mavericks can’t afford to leave any more wins on the table, especially against a team as low in the standings as the Boston Celtics. Also, with this being the first of eight at home, the Mavericks must start off on the right foot.

Still Around but Out: With the Celtics tanking, many expected Rajon Rondo to get shipped out prior to the trade deadline. Well, he’s still wearing a Celtics uniform. With the Celtics also on the second night of a back-to-back, Rondo will be inactive.

No Rondo No Problem?: The Celtics will throw out guards Jarryd Bayless, Avery Bradley, and Phill Pressy. Of the three, Pressy is the closest thing they got to a point guard. Bradley and Bayless will look to score and attack the defense. The Mavericks defense must not take these guards for granted.

Forward Dominance: There’s no denying that the Mavericks are the more talented team in this matchup. Dirk Nowitzki, Shawn Marion, Vince Carter, and Brandan Wright must win their match ups against Jeff Green, Jarred Sullinger, Brandon Bass, Gerald Wallace, and Chris Johnson.  The Celtics don’t have any players that can matchup with Nowitzki’s size or skill. The Mavericks must and should get Nowitzki involved early in the game.

Honest Truth: This is a game the Mavs should and must win. Monta Ellis, Jose Calderon, and the rest must be ready to come out and put the Celtics away early. As stated above, if the Mavericks want to make the playoffs, they can’t give these games away. The Celtics are minus their star and sport a roster in the middle of a rebuild. There is no excuse for the Mavericks to lose this game.

The Mavericks will next host the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday.

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