Dallas Mavericks: 3 Keys to Victory Against Wizards
By Jay Knodell
The Dallas Mavericks look to bounce back from a disappointing loss to Atlanta on Wednesday. Here are three keys to doing that against the Wizards.
The Dallas Mavericks look to bounce back from a rough offensive night against the Atlanta Hawks when they face another Eastern Conference foe at the American Airlines Center.
After a 9-4 start to the season Dallas has dropped six of their last 10. Washington hasn’t been any better recently, dealing with injuries and absences to key front court players and a defense that gives up 105.0 points a night. They’ve lost 7 of their last 10.
Still, with plenty of talent in the backcourt in John Wall and Bradley Beal (who is questionable with a leg injury), the Wizards are a threat even at 9-12 on the season. Here are three keys for a Dallas Mavericks victory.
Dec 6, 2015; Washington, DC, USA; Dallas Mavericks guardWesley Matthews
(23) shoots over Washington Wizards guardGary Neal
(14) during the second half at Verizon Center. Dallas Mavericks won 116 – 104. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
Don’t let home court advantage go to waste
After the loss to Atlanta, the Dallas Mavericks fell to 5-4 at home. Against Washington, the Mavericks must take advantage of their friendly confines. They have a lot going for them heading in.
Dallas has been off since that loss on Wednesday, while for the Wizards it will be their third game in four nights. They fell to New Orleans Friday night, 107-105. Plus, as mentioned, Bradley Beal may be sidelined with a leg injury, and Nenê looks to be sitting again as well. Marcin Gortat will be back in the lineup after missing the meeting earlier this week, but Chandler Parsons missed that game, too. He’ll play this time around.
Look for the Mavericks to try and get easy looks in transition against a weary opponent. If the team can give the home crowd something to cheer about, and subsequently feed off that energy, they should be in good shape.
Dallas has lost some winnable contests on their home floor, but good teams win the majority of the games they’re “supposed” to win. This would be one of those games for the Mavericks.
Get the offense on track
Easier said than done, I know. But if anything can jumpstart Dallas’ disappointing offense it’s a game against Washington. Remember, Wesley Matthews torched them for 36 points and 10 three-pointers only a few days ago. And with Beal out his job becomes easier, though he will be tasked with slowing down John Wall on defense.
And look for Dirk Nowitzki to bounce back from a poor shooting night (6-20) against the Hawks. Washington doubled Nowitzki frequently last time around, but with Gortat back in the lineup Dirk should see more one-on-one coverage.
Washington struggles to defend the perimeter so leaving defenders home on shooters is something head coach Randy Wittman would like to do. Then again, a few games aside, Dallas has been a major disappointment from outside. The Wizards may take their chances with the Maverick guards spotting up, and if they do, guys have to knock down shots.
Dominate the boards
The Wizards struggle defensively, but they struggle on the glass. This is key for the Mavericks, who out-rebounded Washington 50 to 31 last Sunday. Another dominating performance in the rebounding department would set Dallas up nicely for their 14th win of the season.
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The game tips off at 7:30PM Central. Make sure to follow us @thesmokingcuban for in-game updates and analysis.