Dallas Mavericks vs. Denver Nuggets: Game Day Preview
By Jay Knodell
The Dallas Mavericks are back on the road, facing the Denver Nuggets in the Mile High City. Here’s what you need to know.
The Dallas Mavericks are on the road again after finishing a six-game home stand, facing off against the Denver Nuggets (24-38) at the Pepsi Center. The Nuggets will again be without their leading scorer, Danilo Gallinari (19.1 ppg), who will miss at least another month of action with an ankle injury sustained against these same Dallas Mavericks a little over a week ago.
The Mavericks are looking to bounce back from a disappointing loss to Rajon Rondo and the Sacramento Kings. Dallas is attempting to fend off the Portland Trail Blazers and maintain their sixth-seed in the western conference standings, so every game is an important one.
The Mavericks have had two days off since that loss to the Kings, so legs should be relatively fresh. The team can’t afford a slow start, and with a game against the Los Angeles Clippers tomorrow, should attempt to put the game out of reach as early as they can to get certain players off the floor. Blowout wins have been few and far in-between for Dallas this season, but this could be a good opportunity for one. Denver is just 3-7 in their last 10 games and opponents have been scoring on them with ease.
Here are some players to watch, numbers to know, and keys to victory for the Mavericks.
Numbers to Know
The Dallas Mavericks erased a 23-point deficit to come away with a win against the Nuggets last time around. Dallas has got to be one of the most fickle offensive teams in the league, but they can’t afford another slow start.
The Nuggets grabbed 18 offensive rebounds against the Mavericks in their last meeting. They are one of the top offensive rebounding teams in the league, Dallas has to be better on the defensive glass.
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Players to Watch
The 7th overall pick in this summer’s draft has gone through some typical rookie issues from the field this season. Emmanuel Mudiay is shooting an abysmal 34.8% fromt he floor in his first year. But he’s been great in Denver’s last two games, averaging 23.5 points on 53% shooting, dishing out 7.0 assists, and snagging 5.0 rebounds.
Who else? Chandler Parsons has been Dallas’ best player as of late, and dropped 27 on the Nuggets with 10-17 shooting on February 26th. With Gallo out, Parsons’ job becomes even easier. Expect a big game.
Keys to Victory
Let ’em Fly
Denver allows opponents to shoot over 37% from long distance this season, 27th in the league. Dallas was 0-10 in the first half against the Nuggets on the 26th, but 11-19 the rest of the way.
Wesley Matthews has had his struggles this season offensively, but he’s been very good from the corners (42%). Against Denver last time out he hit 3 of his 4 three-point attempts from the corner.