The Dallas Mavericks are home again tonight for a battle against the Portland Trailblazers, the team just ahead of the Mavericks in the Western Conference Standings. Tip-off is 7:30 pm CT at the American Airlines Center.
The Mavs are 8-2 in their last 10 games, 9-2 at home this season, and winners of 7 straight home games. If Carlisle & Company can put together another great defensive effort tonight and make it 8 straight home wins, they will have done something that the Mavs have not been able to accomplish since the 2011 Championship season.
With 6 Mavs listed on today’s injury report as Questionable it is hard to determine exactly who we will be without tonight. Hopefully Luka Doncic and Maxi Kleber will be back to help us fend off the incredibly dynamic Portland backcourt of Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum. These two knockdown shooters and playmakers account for almost 50 points and 10 assists per game for the Blazers. The only other player they have that averages over 10 points per game is the 5th year Center out of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Jusuf Nurkic, who will be a handful as a pick-and-roll partner for Lillard and McCollum. Outside of those 3 players the Trailblazers do not really have anyone that scares you and their bench is pretty week. Bad news for the Blazers since they will be matched up against The Maestro, JJ Barea!
Winning this game will move the Mavericks one more rung up the playoff ladder to 7th place, leapfrogging the Blazers. Portland is 3-7 in their last 10 coming into this game, with those 3 wins coming against the Knicks, Wizards, and Magic. This is certainly a disappointing turn of events for a team that finished as the #3 seed in the Western Conference last year. Dame Lillard is big time, but failed to get it done in the playoffs last year when they were swept by Anthony Davis and the 6 seed Pelicans in the first round. They need heroic feats from Lillard on every single night to get it done, which he often provides. But if the Mavs can keep him out of the 40’s I expect a victory tonight.
|Dallas Mavericks||Portland Trailblazers|
|Position||8th in West||7th in West|
|PPG||110.8 (13th)||113 (9th)|
|Points Allowed||108.9 (9th)||111.7 (20th)|
|FG %||46.1% (11th)||45.7% (15th)|
|3p %||35.8% (11th)||35.8% (11th)|
|FT %||75.4% (18th)||82.4% (1st)|
|PG||Dennis Smith, Jr||13.6||2.8||3.9||1.2||0.5|
|PF||Al Farouq Aminu||9||8||0.5||1||0.4|
|Dirk Nowitzki||Dallas Mavericks||Out (Foot)|
|Maxi Kleber||Dallas Mavericks||Questionable (Knee)|
|Luka Doncic||Dallas Mavericks||Questionable (Hip)|
|Dwight Powell||Dallas Mavericks||Questionable (Knee)|
|Dennis Smith, Jr.||Dallas Mavericks||Questionable (Wrist/tooth)|
|JJ Barea||Dallas Mavericks||Questionable (Mouth)|
|Salah Mejri||Dallas Mavericks||Questionable (Knee)|
|Evan Turner||Portland Trailblazers||Probable (Achillies)|
Dallas Mavericks are favored by 1.5 points and the over/under is 220.
Give me the Mavs to cover the 1.5 and the under 220.