Mavericks vs. Bucks preview: Doncic and Irving take on toughest duo yet

Dallas Mavericks v Atlanta Hawks
Dallas Mavericks v Atlanta Hawks / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages

The Dallas Mavericks have taken care of business against the likes of lesser opponents en route to an excellent 9-3 start to the season.

After the Denver Nuggets lost to the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday night, Dallas officially has the same record as Denver and only doesn’t hold the tiebreaker for the number one seed in the conference due to them losing to the Nuggets in their first In-Season Tournament game of the season.

Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving have been the genesis of the obscene offensive output the Mavericks have produced this season as Dallas currently stands at number two in the league with an offensive rating of 120.5. However, the duo faces perhaps the most tantalizing duo in the NBA in tonight’s game versus the Milwaukee Bucks.

Mavericks vs. Bucks preview: Doncic and Irving take on toughest duo yet

It’s no secret that Damian Lillard’s addition to the Milwaukee Bucks makes them a near-unstoppable force on offense with Giannis Antetokounmpo, and despite some growing pains, the duo seems to be doing quite well en route to an 8-4 start. Luckily for Dallas, Milwaukee is still sifting through different ways to optimize the pairing of Antetokounmpo and Lillard.

Dallas on the other hand has had part of last season and a full training camp to acclimate Irving and Doncic together with the rest of the roster. The star-studded matchup between the two dynamic duos will obviously be the most intriguing story going into the game, but in a game with two teams as talented as Dallas and Milwaukee have shown this far into the season, games like this will typically be won within the margins.

Dallas has still struggled decently with rebounding and defense thus far, and they’ll have to be clicking on all cylinders to derail a potential explosion from Milwaukee on offense. Dallas will need to trap strategically if Lillard starts cooking from beyond the arc, and the Mavericks may need to throw a myriad of point-of-attack defenders at Lillard off the bench if the starters are struggling defensively.

As long as Dallas makes an effort to rebound like they did in their win versus Washington, they might be able to play enough defense to finagle a win given what we’ve seen in their recent victories. The Mavericks offense is as sure-fire as it gets to start the season, and the blend of consistent spot-up shooting coupled with the spacing provided by Doncic and Irving has looked unstoppable throughout stretches.

They’ll need to be careful to not over-rely on the 3-point shot if they are missing early on, but if Dallas is somewhat crisp on their defensive rotations and force the ball out of Lillard’s hands to those other than Antetokounmpo enough, then they definitely have proven early on this season that they have enough firepower to beat the likes of anyone if they are hitting consistently from outside.

Mavericks fans can catch the game in Milwaukee tonight at 7:00 p.m. CDT on NBA TV (if they don't live in the DFW area) or Bally Sports Southwest. Hopefully, Irving and Doncic continue to prove the doubters wrong with a victory tonight. But even if they don't we'll have you covered after the game with all the action that happened, so stay tuned.