The Dallas Mavericks are once again on the road for a 9:30 pm CT tip-off, their second time in LA to face Lakers this season. Luka Doncic and company will be looking to even up the season series with LeBron and the rest of the Lakers after dropping the first meeting 113-114 on Halloween.
|Dallas Mavericks||Los Angeles Lakers|
|Position||8th in West||7th in West|
|PG||Dennis Smith, Jr||13.9||2.8||3.9||1.2||0.4|
|Los Angeles Lakers||PTS||REB||AST||STL||BLK|
|Dirk Nowitzki||Dallas Mavericks||Out (Foot)|
|Dwight Powell||Dallas Mavericks||Questionable (Left knee)|
|Dennis Smith Jr.||Dallas Mavericks||Questionable (Wrist)|
|Rajon Rondo||Los Angeles Lakers||Out (Broken Hand)|
|Lonzo Ball||Los Angeles Lakers||Questionable (Ankle)|
We all remember the last game against the Lakers as the one where Wes Matthews blew it, inexplicably fouling LeBron with 2 seconds left 30 feet from the basket when we were up by 1. But we are over that (kind of, not really) and ready to see the Mavs keep their recent hot streak alive.
Last time they matched up, aside from the late game gaffe (okay I’m definitely not over it), it was actually the great play of JaVale McGee that set the Lakers apart. He had 16 points, 15 rebounds, 5 blocks, and 2 steals; outdoing DeAndre Jordan in all of those categories. JaVale McGee (future free-agent) has been very productive for the Lakers so far this year, averaging 13 points 6 rebounds, and 2.4 blocks in 24 minutes per game but it was the addition of Mavericks favorite Tyson Chandler that coincided with the teams rise up the Western Conference Power Rankings Standings. Tyson has played 12 games with LA, in which the Lakers are 8-3. I am not saying the Chandler makes them great, but it was enough to provide a spark to get them going int he right direction.
The Lakers were one of the hottest teams in the league coming into this week, winning 7 of 8 games, but have since lost a home game to the Orlando Magic and were demolished in Denver by 32 points. They will be on the second night of a back to back where an Oladipo-less Pacers team gave LeBron and the Lakers all they could handle in a narrow Lakers victory.
LeBron, now number 5 on the All-Time scoring list and on his way up, is performing as expected this year, posting numbers almost identical to his career numbers over his 15 NBA seasons:
In the first matchup with the Mavs, LeBron had young Luka Doncic star struck and giggly to face his basketball idol. Things will certainly be different this time around as Luka has got his groove and loves showing it off. Last game against Houston we saw it ALL from Luka Doncic, a.k.a. WonderBoy, a.k.a. The Matador, drilling ridiculous corner threes, throwing it down in traffic, and a silky smooth step-back from mid-court to beat the halftime buzzer in a blowout win.
Like Luka, the Mavs are red hot, winners of 3 straight and 8 of their last 10. The starting unit is coming together and the bench is just dominating. Last game Luka played great but the Mavs were -6 points when he was on the floor. The bench, on the other hand, was absolutely crushing the Rockets, outscoring their bench players 61-25. JJ Barea, The Maestro, continues to make defenders look foolish as he orchestrates the offense, putting up per 36 minute numbers of 20 points, 11 assists, and 4 rebounds. Now that he has running mate Devin Harris back in the lineup it doesn’t seem to matter where they are or who they are playing, they just get it done.
Although they are on a hot streak the Mavs are still only 2-7 on the road this season. The Mavs are scoring an average of 116 ppg at home this season but only 106 ppg on the road. They give up 107 ppg at home but 111 ppg on the road. Their great performance in Houston on Wednesday night really helped these home/away splits but as you can see there is no doubt the Mavs have a different energy playing in front of the home fans. Hopefully they can channel that energy tonight and put together another complete team victory. Lets Go Mavs!!