The Smoking Cuban
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The Dallas Mavericks Look to End Two-Game Skid Against the Lakers

Teammates pick up Dallas Mavericks guard Dennis Smith Jr. (1) after he was fouled in the fourth quarter against the Los Angeles Lakers at American Airlines Center in Dallas on Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018. The Lakers won, 107-101, in overtime. (Rodger Mallison/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/TNS via Getty Images)
Teammates pick up Dallas Mavericks guard Dennis Smith Jr. (1) after he was fouled in the fourth quarter against the Los Angeles Lakers at American Airlines Center in Dallas on Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018. The Lakers won, 107-101, in overtime. (Rodger Mallison/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/TNS via Getty Images) /
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The new look Lakers come to town in the first of two match ups against the Mavericks this week.

Following a 1-3 West Coast road trip, the Mavericks are glad to be home as the Los Angeles Lakers make their way to the AAC tonight. Winners of four straight, the Lakers will look to build on their recent momentum.

For the Mavs, they’re coming off a Thursday night loss to Golden State, which kept them in last place in not just the Western Conference but the entire league. The Lakers on the other hand, have won four straight and eight of their last 10, despite rookie Lonzo Ball being out of the lineup for almost a month.

The Lakers also bring in some new players as they traded for Isaiah Thomas and Channing Frye in a deal with Cleveland that sent Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr. to the Cavaliers. According to Chris Haynes of ESPN, Isaiah Thomas will indeed come off the bench tonight in his Lakers debut. During a Trade Deadline Special episode of The Jump on ESPN, Rachel Nichols stated that IT’s agent texted her in all-caps, “HE IS NOT COMING OFF THE BENCH.” Well, looks like Luke Walton settled that pretty quickly.

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In related news, the Mavericks’ new edition Doug McDermott is also scheduled to make his debut in tonight’s game wearing #20.

With Lonzo Ball missing tonight’s game, we’ll miss an opportunity to see him and Dennis Smith Jr. go head-to-head again. In the first match up about a month ago, the Lakers beat the Mavs in overtime but DSJ outscored Lonzo 23-9. Look for DSJ to continue being aggressive on offense, especially with Lonzo out and to extend his 19 game streak of scoring in double-figures.

Good news for Dallas as reported by Earl K. Sneed that Harrison Barnes is expected back in the Mavs lineup tonight after missing the last two games with a left ankle sprain. Will be fun to see old high school teammates Barnes and Doug McDermott back on the floor together.

Next: Mavericks to Embrace Youth Movement Down Stretch

Tip-off is at 7:30pm. Go Mavs!

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