Dallas Mavericks at Utah Jazz Preview
By Rami Michail
Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
The Dallas Mavericks (38-27) look to bounce back after a 108-85 beating to the Golden State Warriors, as they face the Utah Jazz (22-42) on the road. Tip-off is at 8 PM CT.
After snapping their three game losing streak with wins over the Portland Trailblazers and Indiana Pacers, the Mavericks are now back to the drawing board.
The Mavericks are currently 8th in the West due to percentage points and sit just one game ahead of the 9th place Phoenix Suns.
From this point on, it’s safe to say that every game matters. Though the Jazz are currently bottom feeders in the West, this is a team and game the Mavericks can’t take for granted.
Milestone Watch: Dirk Nowitzki needs just one point to have sole possession as the NBA’s All-Time 12th leading scorer. As great as it’ll be to see Nowitzki climb up the scorer list again, the Mavericks would rather see the Big German get back into groove. Over the last three games, Nowitzki has shot 15-44 (34.1%) from the floor.
Marvelous Marvin: Don’t expect Nowitzki to be matched up on Marvin Williams. In the last meeting, Williams went off for 21 points, with majority coming in the first half where Nowitzki was matched up on him. Expect the Mavericks to run Williams off the 3-pt line. Williams was 5-8 from 3 during the last meeting.
Guard Play: Trey Burks and Gordon Hayward vs Jose Calderon and Monta Ellis. The Mavericks will need their veteran guards to take care of the ball, attack the Jazz’s defense, and keep Burks and Hayward out of the paint. Burks is coming off a 23 point game in a losing effort to the Atlanta Hawks. Hayward has struggled this season against the Mavericks, averaging just 10.5 points in the previous two losses.
Mavericks Favor?: Derrick Favors has struggled against the Mavericks, averaging just 9.5 points and 7 rebounds, both below his season averages of 12.7 points and 8.7 rebounds. The Mavericks will welcome another quiet game from the young big man, but don’t expect it to come easily. Favors 14.5 points and 11.5 rebounds over the last two games. Samuel Dalembert will have his hands full down low.
The Mavericks have won the previous two meetings by an average of 15 points. The Mavericks know that if they don’t come out to play, any team is capable of beating them.
Expect the Mavericks to come out strong early and put this game away early. The Mavericks are on the back-end of their road back-to-back and can’t afford having tired legs in a close game.