The Dallas Mavericks take on the Golden State Warriors tonight in a match up of the two highest scoring teams in the league. The Warriors are scoring a robust 111 points per contest, while the Mavericks check in at 106.8 per.
The Mavericks jumped out to an efficiency on offense that rivaled any team in history. That production has tailed off a bit with the addition of Rajon Rondo, but the defensive improvement with him in the fold is well worth the slight drop off in points.
And defense will decide this one. The Mavericks will be without Rondo, who is out indefinitely after suffering orbital and nasal fractures in a collision with teammate Richard Jefferson against Orlando. They’ll miss him, as any chance of slowing down Steph Curry hinged on his presence.
Dallas will need to do a good job closing out on shooters and preventing open looks from outside. The Mavericks have been better defending shots from beyond the arc since Rondo’s arrival, giving up 33% from that range as opposed to 38% pre-Rondo, but have allowed 42% accuracy in the two games Rondo has missed thus far to the Magic and Timberwolves.
Golden State is shooting 38% from three-point land on the season.
Meanwhile, while Golden State gets a lot of press for their offensive output, their defense is just as good. They’re giving up just 99.5 points per game and opponents are shooting just 42% against them. That opponent field-goal percentage is tops in the association.
Dallas: Al-Farouq Aminu has stepped up his play recently, and the Mavericks will need another strong performance from the fifth-year forward against the Warriors. He’ll need to match the intensity and hustle of Draymond Green and will likely spend some time on star shooting guard Klay Thompson. Slowing those two down increases Dallas’ chances of victory exponentially.
Golden State: Draymond Green does all the little things for the Warriors. He takes charges, plays tough, under-appreciated defense, and hustles non-stop to earn his team extra possessions. Oh, and he’s the Warriors’ fourth-highest scorer at 11.4 points per game. His most recent performance was a stat-stuffing affair. He scored eight points, grabbed six rebounds, dished out four assists, came up with four steals, and threw in a blocked shot against Sacramento.
The Mavericks and Warriors faced off back in December, with the Warriors winning 105-98 and improving their record to 20-2. They’re a bit more vulnerable now than early in the season, suffering losses to Chicago and Utah last week. The Mavericks will try to take advantage. Here are the highlights from their first game:
Check in after the game for Post-Game Grades and GO MAVS!
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