The Mavericks are on pace to go 82-0 this season! After a gutsy victory in Los Angeles against the Lakers, Dallas (1-0) heads to Utah (0-0) for the second night of a back-to-back. It’s Halloween night and that’s quite alright for Dallas. They are 8-1 all-time on Halloween night, best win percentage of any team. Their only loss was in 1980 at Utah, lost 144-122. Dallas will look to improve to 2-0 on the year with a win at Utah. The Mavericks haven’t started the season 2-0 since 2004-05 when they won their first four games of the year. Dallas started 0-3 in 2011-12.
The last time Dallas began a season by playing its first two games on the road was in 2007-08 and the Mavericks went 1-1 in those games, won at Cleveland on 10/31/07 and lost at Atlanta on 11/2/07. The Mavericks haven’t started 2-0 on the road, with each of their first two games of the season being away from home, since 1997-98 when they won back-to-back road games at Vancouver, 90-88, on 10/31/97 and at Seattle, 89-81, on 11/1/97.
Don’t forget, Dirk Nowitzki thinks Utah is a bad city. Here are some notes for the matchup against the Jazz.
The Mavericks open the 2012-13 regular season with a back-to-back at the L.A. Lakers on Tuesday and at Utah on tonight. The Mavericks have 16 back-to-backs in 2012-13, with only one stretch of four games in five nights. In total, 10 back-to-backs are on the road, three begin at home and conclude on the road and three are road-to-home. Dallas played 22 back-to-backs in 2011-12, going 7-15 in the first half of a back-to-back and 13-9 in the second half of a back-to-back.
The Jazz snapped a seven-game losing streak against the Mavericks with a 123-121 triple-overtime win at Utah on 4/16/12. With the victory, Utah avoided being swept by Dallas, in a four-game season series, for the second straight year. Dallas hadn’t swept a four-game season series with Utah prior to the 2010-11 season. The Mavericks are just 18-56 all-time on the road against the Jazz. Dallas won three straight on the road against Utah before falling to the Jazz in triple overtime on 4/16/12. The triple-overtime game on 4/16/12 lasted 3 hours and 16 minutes and was the longest game in Mavericks history. Dallas’ only other triple-overtime game occurred on 12/29/89, Dallas lost 144-140 at Portland. The Mavericks will be without the services of 11-time All-Star Dirk Nowitzki for the game against the Jazz on 10/31/12. Nowitzki dropped 40 points in the final two games against the Jazz in 2011-12, 40 vs. Utah on 3/3/12 and 40 in the 3OT game at Utah on 4/16/12. Dirk averaged 30.7 points, 6.7 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 39.7 minutes in three starts against the Jazz last season. Roddy Beaubois averaged 14.0 points, 3.0 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 2.0 blocks and 24.7 minutes in three games, 1 start. Beaubois recorded a game-high 22 points to go along with six rebounds, a season-high-tying seven assists and a season-high four blocks in 36 minutes vs. Utah on 1/27/12. He became just the fourth Mavericks guard to block four shots in a game since 1986-87, Michael Finley, Jason Kidd, Derek Harper.
It’s a Small World:
Jazz guard Raja Bell played for the Mavericks during the 2002-03 season. Bell was a teammate of Mavericks forward Shawn Marion in Phoenix from 2005-08. Jazz point guard Jamaal Tinsley played for Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle in Indiana from 2003-07. Jazz forward DeMarre Carroll played a season and a half with Mavericks guard O.J. Mayo in Memphis from 2009-11. Corey Crowder, the father of Mavericks forward Jae Crowder, played in 51 games for the Jazz in 1991-92. He was a teammate of Jazz head coach Tyrone Corbin on Utah in 1991-92. Mavericks forward Brandan Wright played part of the 2010-11 season with Jazz forward Derrick Favors on the New Jersey Nets. Jazz guard Mo Williams was traded from the L.A. Clippers to Utah as part of the three-team deal that sent Lamar Odom from Dallas to the L.A. Clippers on 6/29/11.
I don’t want to toot my own horn, but the Mavericks handled their business with the three keys from the game against the Lakers. Let’s take a look at what the Mavericks need to do against the Jazz.
1. Run, run, run. Dallas had a 13-7 fastbreak scoring advantage over the Lakers. Thirteen doesn’t sound like a lot of points, but it continues a trend for Dallas. The Mavericks outscored their opponents in transition in each of their final seven preseason games and averaged a league-best 20.1 fast-break points in the 2012 preseason. The only time the Mavericks were outscored on the break in a preseason game this year was at Alba Berlin on 10/6, Alba Berlin outscored the Mavericks 9-7 on the fast break.
2. Remember you won the night before, but don’t remember. The win against the Lakers was a gritty and gutsy win, but the team can’t rest on their laurels and coast through tonight’s game. Momentum is a fragile thing so grab on to it while you can. With a game under their belt, Dallas needs to look like the team that is rolling and make Utah look like the team that’s officially under the lights for the first time.
3. Protect the paint, but really protect the three-point line. With Al Jefferson, Paul Millsap and Derrick Favors on the Jazz, you would want to keep in on protecting the paint. That being said, the Jazz have some serious weapons on the perimeter. The Jazz acquired Randy Foye during the offseason. For those who don’t remember, the last time Foye played the Mavericks he went 10-of-19 from the field and 8-of-15 from three-point range for 28 points. Also a new addition, Mo Williams can be deadly from beyond the arc from a specific spot. Williams’ left side of the floor three is deadly. On the left side, he hit 44 percent from three and 43 percent on the left corner.
Bryan Gutierrez writes about sportsmen. He is a contributing writer for Mavs.com. Bryan also attended Ball So Hard University. You can follow him on Twitter @BallinWithBryan.