Dallas Mavericks Game Preview: Brooklyn Nets


Dallas Mavericks Game Preview: Brooklyn Nets

The Dallas Mavericks (39-21) look to bounce back after a drubbing from the Atlanta Hawks by besting the Brooklyn Nets (23-33) at the American Airlines Center on Saturday.

Their loss to the best team in the eastern conference isn’t too surprising, as three-fifths of Dallas’ starting lineup were in street clothes. Tyson Chandler was held out due to a hip injury, Chandler Parsons missed his third straight game with a bum ankle suffered against the Houston Rockets, and Rajon Rondo was suspended for “conduct detrimental to the team” following his altercation with head coach Rick Carlisle.

Newly acquired forward Amar’e Stoudemire was also out against Atlanta for rest. Dallas’ medical staff is using a cautious approach when it comes to his maintenance, and resting him on the second night of a back-to-back will likely be common for the remainder of the regular season.

The Mavericks, especially with the recent rash of injuries, have played well since the All-Star break. The loss to Oklahoma City hurt, but they followed it up with a big win over the rival Houston Rockets and an impressive victory against the Toronto Raptors.

Rondo will be back against the Nets after serving his suspension, and Tyson Chandler is “hopeful” to play, but Parsons will remain sidelined as he nurses that ankle back to health. It would be nice to have Parsons back as soon as possible, as the roster still has plenty of meshing to do, but it’s important to get him right for the stretch run.

Richard Jefferson has filled in for Parsons as the starting small forward, and has averaged over 10 points and 5 rebounds in the three starts, but has shot a paltry 36% from the floor. He has had success from deep, however, connecting on 38% of his three-point attempts.

Jan 5, 2015; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez (11) controls the ball against Dallas Mavericks center Tyson Chandler (6) during overtime at Barclays Center. The Mavericks defeated the Nets 96-88 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Matchup to Watch: Tyson Chandler vs. Brook Lopez

We’re operating under the assumption that Tyson Chandler will play, and if he does, his matchup against Brook Lopez is drool-worthy. Lopez is a very talented offensive player, while Chandler is best known for his defense. Something’s gotta give.

Lopez is averaging 18.7 points and 10 rebounds since the All-Star festivities in New York, but is shooting 42%. Not stellar for anyone, much less a 7-footer. It’s important that Chandler is able to limit his efficiency and make him work on the other end, where he struggles.

Neither team is very good on the glass and the big man who is able to control the boards will give his team a good chance at coming away with the win.

Lopez, unfortunately for Brooklyn, has never been a very good rebounder. He’s gathering only 6.4 per game this season, which is somehow second-best on the team. Chandler is much better, grabbing 11.7 per game. He’s the only one averaging more than 6.1 for the Mavericks.

Prediction: Mavericks win, 108-97

Everyone with the Mavericks is stressing to the media that everything in the locker room is cleared up and back to normal, and they’ll look to prove it by jumping on Brooklyn early.

They’ll do just that, take control of the game, and coast to a double-digit victory. Rajon Rondo will flirt with a triple-double and Al-Farouq Aminu will get the better of Thaddeus Young in the battle of versatile big men.

Check out the highlights of their first matchup:

Next: Would Cuban Fire Carlisle to Keep Rajon Rondo?

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