Mavericks Look to Start a Winning Streak Against the Pacers
By Sean Bush
After picking up a win last night against the Eastern Conference power Toronto Raptors, the Dallas Mavericks see if they can keep the momentum going in Indiana.
The Dallas Mavericks will look to match their largest winning streak of the year tonight with a win over the Pacers in Indiana.
Last night the Mavericks sank the formidable Toronto Raptors at home behind some lock-down defense from Wesley Matthews and scorching hot shooting from Dirk Nowitzki.
In addition to those two, Rick Carlisle made a point to praise his rookie point guard Dennis Smith Jr. following the game. Carlisle told reporters, “Tonight convinced me that this kid’s gonna be a great player.”
If you were just to look at the box score, you’d think Matthews and Smith had rather unspectacular games. Their energy, defense, and aggression, however, were instrumental to the Mavericks impressive upset bid. For anyone who watched the game, their praise from the coach was absolutely warranted.
The Pacers will also be playing this game on the second night of a back-to-back. They fell to the Detroit Pistons last night in a rout, 107-83. Don’t be fooled though, this score does not tell the story of their season thus far.
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Despite being an afterthought by most pundits to enter the season, the Pacers sport an impressive 19-15 record and sit in 6th place in the Eastern Conference standings. Indiana seemed to be the laughing-stock of the summer after giving away their star player Paul George for what most people considered at the time to be basically a bag of chips.
Well look who is laughing now, both Victor Oladipo and Domantis Sabonis, the players they acquired in return for George, have been incredibly important acquisitions and Oladipo has actually undoubtedly outplayed George in his own right. Oladipo has been one of the best guards in the conference, up there with the likes of Kyrie Irving and DeMar DeRozan.
Wesley Matthews will need to have another outstanding defensive performance if the Mavericks are to have any chance of slowing down Victor Oladipo and his Indiana Pacers.
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The Mavericks desperately need to start putting together some winning streaks if they are to have any chance of climbing back into the playoff picture. Tonight would be a great way to start coming off of their impressive, pleasantly surprising win yesterday.
If guys like Nowitzki, Matthews, Smith Jr., and J.J. Barea put together the type of efforts that they did against Toronto, then they’ll have more than a fighter’s chance against Indiana.