Dallas Mavericks Look for Tough Win With a Depleted Roster
The Dallas Mavericks will be pretty short-handed today against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Will the Mavs be able to beat the unstoppable Russell Westbrook without 4 key players?
The Dallas Mavericks are showing signs of life again after a monster win over the Los Angeles Lakers, followed by a solid win against a talented New York Knicks squad. The rest of this month will come with some serious tests for the Mavs starting tonight against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
To make this an even more difficult test for the Mavericks, Dirk Nowitzki, J.J. Barea, Wesley Matthews, and Deron Williams will all be out for tonight’s contest. Three starters and one important role player off the bench against a 27-19 team is never a good thing.
This leaves the ball in Harrison Barnes’ hands for a vast majority of the game tonight. Seth Curry has been excellent over the last few weeks and Justin Anderson is starting to show what we knew he was capable of, but this game will come down to one simple battle. Harrison Barnes vs. Russell Westbrook.
Obviously these two stars will most likely not be guarding each other regularly during the game, but the Thunder rely heavily on Westbrook to drop 30 a night, while the Mavs will need that big game from Barnes. Will the Mavs be able to keep up?
It certainly is not going to be a walk in the park. However, I think that this is a perfect platform to voice my distaste at the NBA scheduling office for the year. So far this season, the Mavericks are 0-8 on the second day of a back-to-back. Of those 8 games, only the Orlando Magic and the Denver Nuggets have a losing record this season.
The other 6 games have been played against the Charlotte Hornets (23-23), the Houston Rockets x2 (34-15), the Golden State Warriors x2 (39-7), and the Utah Jazz (29-18). The loss to the Magic also came after an embarrassing loss to the Memphis Grizzlies.
The point is, Dallas has had a really tough schedule in back-to-back games this season and it is not going to be getting any easier tonight. With Russ playing at an MVP caliber, the Mavs will need to do everything in their power to slow him down and give the team a chance for a W tonight.
The Dallas Mavericks head north to Oklahoma City for a 7:00 CT tip against the Thunder. The game will be covered by NBA on TNT as the Mavs seek out win number 17. Let’s Go Mavs!