Preview: Dallas Mavericks Go For Third Straight Win
By Jay Knodell
The Dallas Mavericks have been through plenty of adversity this season, but just won’t quit clawing for a playoff spot. A third straight win is within sight.
The Dallas Mavericks are fighting for a playoff spot, and with two straight wins under their belt things don’t feel quite as gloomy as they did only a week ago. The Mavs try for their third victory in a row when they play the streaking Detroit Pistons Friday night.
Detroit, winners of six of their last seven games, are a tough matchup. They’ve got youth and athleticism that few teams can match, led by point guard Reggie Jackson and big man Andre Drummond, and appear to be clicking at the right time.
Drummond has cemented himself as one of the top centers in the NBA, leading the league in double-doubles and posting career-highs in points (16.7) and rebounds (14.9). In his last five games, he’s upped that to 18.8 points and 15.2 rebounds. The first-time all-star is just a beast. He’s got as many 20+ rebound games (9) as he does single-digit rebound nights this year. He had 25 and 17 against the Mavericks in Detroit six-point win March 9th.
The Mavericks will need to be at least competitive on the boards to limit Drummond’s dominance, and more of what they’ve been getting from J.J. Barea and Wesley Matthews.
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Barea has led the team in scoring in both of their most recent wins, and Matthews has been more productive offensively while still making big plays on the other end. Dirk Nowitzki has struggled with his touch from the field as of late, and that shouldn’t last forever, but the complementary players will need to step up again to get a win.
Dallas hasn’t looked great the last few weeks, but their season is far from over.
Despite the injuries, inconsistency, and makeshift rotation, it’s hard to bet against a veteran ball club which controls its own destiny. A loss to the Pistons would hurt their chances, but a win would go a long way towards getting Dallas into the postseason. It’s a big game, the Mavericks can’t come out flat.