The Dallas Mavericks will close out an eventful week by hosting the Oklahoma City Thunder in an early season rematch. Tipoff is set for 8:30 p.m. ET.
Nearing the end of November, the Dallas Mavericks (4-15) find themselves playing with something new — momentum. After struggling out the gate early this season, they have turned things around recently. Tonight, the Mavs will attempt to start their first winning streak of the season, as they welcome the Oklahoma City Thunder (8-10).
OKC defeated Dallas 112-99 in their first matchup which was less than two weeks ago. Both teams have gone 2-3 since then.
For Dallas, a heartbreaking overtime loss to Boston Monday is the only reason they aren’t currently on a three-game win streak. Rebounding nicely, the Mavs defeated Memphis for a second time this season, thanks to a Harrison Barnes buzzer-beater. Although four wins on the season is disappointing, two of those came within a week of action.
Meanwhile, the Thunder earned an impressive victory over Golden State Wednesday which they followed with a lackluster loss to Detroit Friday night.
Evidently, both teams are still trying to find their identity in a young season.
In their previous meeting, OKC relied heavily on Russell Westbrook and Paul George. Carmelo Anthony and Steven Adams were unavailable, due to injuries. Dallas took advantage by winning the rebounding battle.
The Thunder, however, forced more turnovers. After all, George (2.8) and Westbrook (2.1) rank 1st and 3rd respectively in steals per game. Dallas has to emphasize ball security, if they plan on pulling an upset. Self-inflicted wounds must be kept to a minimum.
The crowd at American Airlines Center in Dallas will be a huge factor tonight. OKC comes in with a 2-7 road record. Let them have it, MFFL. As always, go Mavs!
We here at The Smoking Cuban also worked with the experts at Thunderous Intentions to put together a preview of the game about some of the burning questions in the Dallas Mavericks organization. You can read that one here.