Dirk Nowitzki, Mavericks look for quality win against trending Kings
By Rami Michail
The Dallas Mavericks (4-3) are coming off another disappointing loss to a quality team after falling 105-96 to the Miami Heat. They’ll now host the surprising and surging DeMarcus Cousins and Sacramento Kings (5-2). Tip off is at 7:30 PM CT.
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Luol Deng led the way for the Heat with 30 points. Dwayne Wade (20 points, 10 assists) and Chris Bosh (20 points, 10 rebounds) pitched in double-doubles and strong games.
Monta Ellis led the way with 23 points. Dirk Nowitzki added 17 points of his own.
The Kings are coming off their own disappointing loss. They’d suffer in the 101-93 loss to the Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook-less Oklahoma City Thunder.
The Boogie Monster
Monster. That’s exactly what Cousins has been this season. He’s averaging 23 points, 11 rebounds, and just over a block in seven games. He’s also shooting just under 50% from the floor.
A negative with Cousins is that he’s averaging about five fouls per game and has fouled out in two of the last three contest. The Mavs wings must test Cousin’s discipline on the defensive end.
Tyson Chandler, again, will be asked to be a factor on the defensive end against a dominant big man. Chandler is coming off 16 point and 15 rebound performance and has arguably been the Mavs second most consistent player to this point.
Max Investment, Minimum Return
Chandler Parsons has struggled…. A LOT. But to expect him to be this bad all season is very unlikely. Coach Rick Carlisle announced that he’s been ill and hopefully that’s the main cause of his poor play.
Either way, the Mavs need more out of their small forward. He’s gone 7-33 from the field the last three games. That’s 21.2%! To make matters worse, over the last two it’s down to just 10% (2-20).
Whatever the reason is…The Mavs need MORE from Parsons.
Darren Collison. Remember him? Ya, 2012 was a bad dream, but he’ll look to make a statement against his former team.
Collison is third on the team with 14.7 points per game and leads the team with 6.3 assists and 2 steals.
From thriving former Mav to current new Mav.
Jammer Nelson has saved Parsons from the early “worst Mav addition”. Nelson has struggled to find his niche in the Mavs offense and hasn’t exactly made it up on the defensive end. He’s shooting just 38.5% from the floor and has been a culprit of bad shots.
**Good O but bad shots by Andy Tobolowsky**
Devin Harris and J.J. Barea have easily outplayed Nelson to this point and could be in line for bigger minutes if his struggles continue.
Monta Ellis vs Rudy Gay.
Both came into their new situations with a bad rep and have quieted many of the critics.
Gay is averaging 22.3 points, 7 rebounds, and is shooting 45.6% from the floor.
Ellis is second on the Mavs with 17.3 points and leads the team with 4.7 assists per game. He’s shooting 48% from the floor but has struggled from deep early on; he’s shooting just 25% to this point.
With most of the attention expected to be on Dirk and Cousins, this matchup could determine which team leaves with a W.
It’s very obvious these aren’t the same Kings we’ve come accustomed to seeing over the last few seasons. The Mavs will have their hands full with Cousins, Gay, Collison, and others.
This would be the Mavs best win of the season if they can leave on top after blowing opportunities against the Spurs, Blazers, and Heat.