Dallas Mavericks Look to Rebound in Toronto
After a heartbreaking loss to Phoenix on Saturday, the Dallas Mavericks look to start their 4-game road trip with a win against the Toronto Raptors.
The Dallas Mavericks played great in a 5-game home stand last week. Over the 5 games, the Mavericks were able to go on a 4-game win streak before suffering a loss at the hands of Devin Booker. In another dominant night, Booker dropped 36 points against the Mavs along with a game-winning shot as time expired.
Booker’s performance shouldn’t come as a surprise to Mavericks’ fans. In his three games against Dallas this season, the former Kentucky Wildcat averaged 32.3 points per game. Also, the 2-year guard shot an incredible 73.3% from 3-point range.
With only 17 games left in the regular season, the Dallas Mavericks still sit 2.5 games behind Denver for the 8th playoff spot. Tonight, the Mavericks will have a new opponent in the Toronto Raptors. Dallas and Toronto have not met this season but will see each other twice in the month of March. Also, this won’t be easy for the Mavericks. The Raptors currently hold the 4th spot in the Eastern conference and have a record of 21-11 at home this season.
Furthermore, Toronto doesn’t lack in many areas. Led by DeMar DeRozan, the Raptors are lethal from 3-point range and are gearing up for a serious playoff run. Also, Toronto is 10th in the league in points per game, while the Mavericks sit dead last.
Dallas will also have a mismatch on the block tonight. With Nerlens Noel out again with a knee injury, it will be up to Dwight Powell, Salah Mejri, and Dirk Nowitzki to battle under the basket. This won’t come easy for an aging Dirk and a young Powell/Mejri. For Toronto, they have a prominent presence down low with Jonas Valanciunas, Patrick Patterson, and newest star, Serge Ibaka.
Tough Road Ahead
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The matchup against the Raptors tonight is only the beginning of a tough 2-week period for the Mavericks. After the game in Toronto, Dallas will travel to Washington, Philly, and Brooklyn before heading home for an even tougher home stand. While in Dallas, the Mavs will host the Warriors, Clippers, Raptors, and Thunder to set the tone for the home stretch of the season.
If the Mavericks want to make the playoffs this year, they will have to win every game they are supposed to win. Also, they will have to pull off more than a few upsets. If the Mavericks can get off on the right foot tonight, we may see a run that gets them into the playoffs with momentum.
One thing we have learned this season is that this Mavericks team can surprise us.
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So, let’s all hope that they can do it one more time. Let’s see the postseason action in the AAC this year. It starts with big wins in games like tonight.