Game 27 Preview: Mavs at Suns

Mavericks legend Dirk Nowitzki is set to return to the court tonight in Phoenix against the lowly 4-24 Suns.  With Dirk set to return, Mavs fans all over the world rejoice!

In honor of his return I have put together a series of video’s to commemorate all the great moments we have had with the Big German over the years.

The most popular thought is that Dirk will now come off the bench but it is hard to believe until we actually see it.  Dirk has mentioned before that if they want him to come off the bench, they better keep a stationary bike nearby so he can stay loose as he waits to get the call from Mavericks Head Coach Rick Carlisle.

There will certainly be a minutes restriction on Dirk but it is safe to say he will have the same role.  Pick-and-pop guru with JJ Barea, floor spacer, trail-3 specialist, and willing to swing his arms at anyone who comes in the lane on defense.  He will only be playing 12-15 minutes a night, has 6 fouls to give, and he knows how to use them.

 

The Mavs are looking to improve on their 2-9 road record and trying to win both ends of a back-to-back for the first time this season.  It will help that they are playing the worst team in the league and losers of 10 straight, the Phoenix Suns.  To make matters worse for the Suns, they will be without All-Star caliber guard Devin Booker who is averaging 24 points, 4 rebounds, and 7 assists per game and was un-guardable in the Mavs season opener when he dropped 35 on us in a Suns win.

Instead Phoenix will be led by Rookie big man and #1 overall pick, Deandre Ayton.  Ayton is having a great Rookie season in terms of accumulating statistics, but the fact that the combination of he and Devin Booker cannot win any games must be very concerning for Suns fans.  Although he was #1 overall pick and is having a good year, he is still the #4 ranked Rookie in the most recent Rookie Ranks.

The upcoming schedule for the Dallas Mavericks is not as kind as it has been this past week when we have played Orlando, Atlanta, and now Phoenix.  Over the next few weeks we have games against the Nuggets, Clippers, Warriors, Blazers, Pelicans x2, Thunder x2.  This game against Phoenix is a great opportunity for the Mavs to continue their hot streak and stack wins before running the gauntlet in the West.

Matchup Summary:

Dallas Mavericks Phoenix Suns
Record  15-11  4-24
Last 10 Games  8-2  0-10
Position 7th in West 15th in West
PPG 110.2 (16th) 102.2 (29th)
Offensive Rtg 110.1 (15th) 102.3 (29th)
Points Allowed 108 (9th) 114.1 (25th)
Defensive Rtg 107.8 (10th) 114.2 (28th)
Pace 99.7 (14th) 99.2 (21st)
FG % 46% (13th) 45.3% (20th)
3p % 35.4% (14th) 33.3% (26th)
FT % 75.1% (19th) 77.7% (13th)
RPG 45.3 40.0
APG 23.0 23.6
TO 15.7 16.3

 

Projected Starters:

Dallas Mavericks PTS REB AST STL BLK
PG Jalen Brunson 5.3 1.3 1.7 0.6 0
SG Wesley Matthews 15 2.5 2.4 0.9 0.2
SF Luka Doncic 18 6.8 4.4 1.1 0.4
PF Harrison Barnes 18 4.5 1.2 0.8 0.3
C DeAndre Jordan 11 13.5 2.2 0.7 1
Phoenix Suns PTS REB AST STL BLK
PG De’Anthony Melton 7.5 2.8 3 1.1 0.1
SG Josh Jackson 8.8 3.4 2.2 1 0.5
SF Mikal Bridges 7.5 2.3 1.2 1.3 0.3
PF TJ Warren 17.4 4 1.3 0.9 0.8
C Deandre Ayton 15.8 10.2 2.5 0.5 0.9

 

Injury Report:

What kind of cruel joke is this to have Dirk’s return coincide with JJ Barea being out with an ankle injury…

As of this morning it is unclear whether Dennis Smith Jr will be able to go tonight.

Player Team Description
Dirk Nowitzki Dallas Mavericks Day to Day (Foot)
Dennis Smith Jr Dallas Mavericks Day to Day (Wrist)
JJ Barea Dallas Mavericks Out (Ankle)
Devin Booker Phoenix Suns Out (Hamstring)
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