Dallas Mavericks face first difficult back-to-back of season

Dallas Mavericks Luka Doncic Kristaps Porzingis (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Dallas Mavericks Luka Doncic Kristaps Porzingis (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /

The Dallas Mavericks beat up on the New Orleans Pelicans last night and will look to continue their win streak tonight against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

The first back-to-back the Dallas Mavericks encountered on their schedule was a home game against the New York Knicks followed by a road game against the Memphis Grizzlies. Obviously we need no recollection of the Knicks games, but the Mavs did win the second night of the back-to-back, beating the Grizzlies without Kristaps Porzingis.

Tonight will be a rare case in which the Mavs actually have KP available for both games of a back-to-back. This is largely due to the fact that he was only able to play 18 minutes last night between foul trouble and the beating the Mavs put on the New Orleans Pelicans. Dallas will have both of their stars available against a fellow Western Conference playoff hopeful in the Timberwolves.

The T-Wolves are led by two-time All-Star and MVP hopeful, Karl-Anthony Towns who has had a great start to the season. Almost unbelievably, the 6’11 Towns has become one of the best three-point shooters in the league, regardless of position. He is currently shooting over 42% from deep while attempting nearly 9 threes per game. The only players shooting a better percentage at near the number of attempts per game are J.J. Redick, Davis Bertans and Paul George.

Next to KAT, Andrew Wiggins is in the midst of the best year of his career. He is averaging a new high in points, rebounds, assists and blocks while shooting the ball at a very reasonable percentage. These two will present a fairly difficult challenge for the Mavs wings/bigs tonight.

Of course, the Timberwolves will be struggling to stay in front of Luka Doncic just as much. Luka is in the middle of one of the most incredible seasons the NBA has ever seen for a second year player and he just seems to be getting better and better. Although Porzingis has struggled offensively, he has been a key player for the team on defense.

Dallas will likely approach this challenge with a different starting lineup, using Maxi Kleber over Dwight Powell to matchup with Towns. Carlisle may still role with Powell, though, as his energy could cause some problems for Towns in the early minutes. Aside from that, expect to see Dorian Finney-Smith on Wiggins to start the game.

For the Timberwolves, Robert Covington may get the call to try and slow Luka down, although Wiggins could get the assignment as well.

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The Mavericks and Timberwolves will tip-off at 7:30pm central time at the American Airlines Center in Dallas. As of now, it is unclear if everyone will be available for both teams, but the announcement that Porzingis will be playing has already been made.