Mavericks vs Thunder: Injuries, Matchups, & Schedule
J.J. Barea vs. Russell Westbrook
-The fact that this is even a matchup to watch is a testament to this Mavericks team, but this goes back to regular season match-ups between the two. Barea and Westbrook both found themselves getting tangled up and exchanging words in previous meetings in the season where multiple technical fouls were issued. Barea might not have the skill set as Westbrook, but the size of hearts could be debated.
Wesley Matthews vs. Kevin Durant
-This match-up is all about Matthews’ defense on Durant. With Parsons usually taking the task before with Matthews on Westbrook, you have to assume Wes will get his crack at Durant before the youngster in Justin Anderson. Even though Matthews is smaller than Durant, he is still one of the best perimeter players in the league. This will be worth watching this weekend.
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Dirk Nowitzki vs. Serge Ibaka
-In the last matchup with OKC, Nowitzki put up 33 points on 10-16 shooting where he saw the likes of Ibaka, Adams, and Durant defensively. It will be interesting to watch Ibaka try to contain Dirk while watching Dirk try to extend out on Ibaka with his improved outside shot. Mavs desperately need some vintage Dirk to make any noise this postseason.
*I also want to mention the matchup of Devin Harris and Raymond Felton with the Thunder bench. The Mavs’ experienced guards off the bench could give the young guards off the bench for the Thunder some trouble. I expect a big series from Raymond Felton.
Can Dallas pull off the unthinkable and beat the Thunder in the first round? The odd’s aren’t in their favor, but when have they been?