Dallas Mavericks face first major test with Portland Trail Blazers
By Kohl Rast
The Dallas Mavericks will take on the Portland Trail Blazers tonight in their first test from a likely playoff team. How will the Mavs handle a team who has had so much post-season success and experience recently?
After big wins over the Washington Wizards and New Orleans Pelicans, the Dallas Mavericks face their biggest test yet with the Portland Trail Blazers tonight. Portland is once again led by Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum, but they do have some new faces on the team as well. The additions of Hassan Whiteside, Kent Bazemore, Mario Hezonja and others are already paying off in Portland.
The Blazers lost their first game to the Denver Nuggets after a hard fought battle came up short. They are coming into tonight’s game with the Mavs after beating the Sacramento Kings on Friday night.
The Mavericks and Blazers split their four regular season matchups last year with the home team winning each matchup. Obviously this game is a little bit different with both teams showing off new acquisitions. The Mavs addition of Kristaps Porzingis was easily the biggest move at the trade deadline last season and if he can find his groove soon, this team will really become a dangerous team to play for anyone.
The Blazers are likely viewing this year as their best shot to make a run for a title since Dame and CJ really started to pan out. Coming off of a disappointing 4-0 sweep in the conference finals from the Golden State Warriors, the Blazers know their chances are better this year with the Warriors super team now in shambles.
The Mavs have their sights set on the playoffs and even though this is only the third game of the season, it is an important test. Dallas is going to have to win a lot of games over playoff hopefuls, especially in this loaded Western Conference. Luka Doncic has all the confidence in the world right now, but he needs to find a way to get some help from the other great players on the team.
The Mavs first big test will tip-off a little earlier tonight with the Sunday game. The game will begin at 6:00pm central time at the American Airlines Center in Dallas. The Mavs and Blazers will announce their starting lineups about half an hour before the game begins.