Game 11 Preview: Mavs @ Jazz

The Mavs are in Utah tonight to take on the Jazz at 8:00 pm CT for the second night of a back-to-back.   This will be the Mavericks first rematch of the season as they try to even the season series with the Utah Jazz after losing to them 113-104 at home on October 28th.

The Mavs got off to a slow start in that game, scoring only 19 in the first quarter but battled back to cut the deficit to 4 at halftime.  The teams exchanged leads in the third but the Mavericks never led in the fourth quarter.  Rudy Gobert had a monster night with 23 points, 16 rebounds (6 offensive), 3 blocks.  The Mavs were led by Dennis Smith Jr’s career high 27 on 12-19 shooting, and DeAndre’s near triple double of 12 points, 19 boards, and 9 assists.  This was also a game that had many Mavs fans rolling their eyes as Wes Matthews hoisted up 17 shots making only 5.

Dallas Mavericks

Utah Jazz

Record

 3-7

 4-6
Position

14th in West

T-10th in West

PPG

111.6

109.9

Points Allowed

115.1

110.2

FG %

45.5%

46.1%

3p %

35.0%

34.8%

FT %

75.9%

72.7%

RPG

43.8

43.2

APG

23.9

23.8

TO

16.3

14.9

Projected Starters

Dallas Mavericks Utah Jazz
PG Dennis Smith, Jr Ricky Rubio
SG Wesley Matthews Donovan Mitchell
SF Luka Doncic Joe Ingles
PF Harrison Barnes Derrick Favors
C DeAndre Jordan Rudy Gobert

Dallas finally ended its 6-game losing streak last night as they dismantled a Washington Wizards team that’s in a complete tailspin.  It was a good, well rounded performance:  Luka scored a team-high 23 points, Wes 22, Barnes 19, DSJ 19, and Finney-Smith chipped in 11 off the bench with 3 blocks and a +20 differential while he was on the floor in his 28 minutes.

Rick Carlisle has changed his rotation a bit over the stretch of losses, trying to find out what combination of players can get the best out of everyone.  The new wrinkle is bringing Dorian Finney-Smith into the game for Wes Matthews fairly quickly, usually just 4 minutes into the game.  Wes then sits for a while and comes back with the second unit where he can provide necessary scoring along with JJ, Powell, Kleber, and what will probably be Devin Harris when he returns (which may be tonight).  This new rotation makes sense and may develop into a new starting lineup at some point in the season.  Finney-Smith is the kind of player that the first unit needs, more so than Wes Matthews.  Right now, in his third season in the NBA, Finney is a great role player.  He has tremendous length, basketball IQ, defensive ability, and we have seen great improvement in his outside shot.  Most importantly, he knows his role!  He is developing into a Trevor Ariza type player that may not show up huge in the box score but makes game winning plays throughout the game.

I know we have all been very hard on Wes Matthews this season but a move to a bench role might be exactly what he needs to win back the fans.  Wes is having a good season and we all know he can put up points in bunches, but when he is one of our primary shooters and ball handlers with the starting unit he is really taking shots from your best players.  With the bench unit he will be taking shots from Barea and Maxi, with the starters he is taking shots from Barnes, Luka, and DSJ.  I say we let him spend more time with the second unit and be a primary option off of the Barea/Powell pick-and-roll.

The Jazz are 0-4 at home so far this season, granted it was against the Raptors, Warriors, and Grizzlies twice.  But, regardless, Salt Lake City is typically known as a tough place to play.  I Expect the Jazz to undoubtedly have some extra juice trying to bring the fans their first home win of the year.

The Jazz were the top defensive team last season and in their previous meeting this season the Mavs shot just 41% from the field and 32% from downtown, let’s see if they can put the lock on the Mavericks once again or if the Mavs can keep the momentum rolling to make it two in a row.

What to Watch For:

  • DeAndre v Gobert Round 2 – last meeting these two pulled down 43% of all the rebounds gathered in the game. Jordan had 19 boards and Gobert had 16. The guys hardly ever shoot unless it is a dunk and it is fun to watch them battle it out for every board.
  • Finally the return of Devin Harris?
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