Here we go again…The Mavericks take on the Utah Jazz for the 3rd time this season. I would be more excited about this matchup if we had more success against them in the first two meetings. Hopefully the energy in the stadium for ‘Seats for Soldiers’ will be able to motivate the Mavs to victory.
|Dallas Mavericks||Utah Jazz|
|Position||13th in West||9th in West|
|Projected Starters||2018-2019 Season|
|PG||Dennis Smith, Jr||15.2||2.8||3.8||.9||0.4|
Seats for Soldiers night is where more than 100 wounded service members from Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio will join active reserve troops from the Dallas/ Fort Worth area to attend the Mavs game. What is even more amazing, is that every courtside season ticket holder gives up their seat to one of the soldiers and after the game the soldiers will be treated to a meet and greet with the entire Mavericks team, owner Mark Cuban, GM Donnie Nelson, and Head Coach Rick Carlisle.
I have been to several Seats for Soldiers nights at the AAC and I have to say it is one of my favorite Mavs games of the year. It is inspirational, extremely high energy, and it doesn’t hurt that the Mavs typically win! The Mavs are 11-2 in these games and last year we beat the Denver Nuggets 122-105. In game promotions are done by the soldiers, the National Anthem and halftime show are great, and last year former President George W. Bush and his wife, Laura, sat courtside amongst the troops and shook the hand and said “thank you” to every single courtside soldier at the game. I can’t wait to see what tonight holds!
As for the game, we pretty much know what to expect as this is already our 3rd matchup with the Jazz in only our 14th game. We will see Rudy Gobert and DeAndre Jordan battle it out down low, hopefully we can prevent too many Gobert offensive boards. But the real key to the game is trying to slow down the Gobert/Joe Ingles pick-and-roll. They have made our defense look silly in the first two meetings.
Another big key to the game will be the bench play. In the first two meetings, the Jazz bench actually outscored the Mavericks bench 85-52. This is incredibly surprising considering that bench scoring is actually a strength of the Mavericks. This is very clearly something that needs to change if we are going to pull out a victory tonight. We will just have to find a way to contain our old buddy Jae Crowder, who seems to torch the Mavs every time they meet.