Setting the Table: Washington Wizards (Game 9)

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on November 14, 2012 under Previews | Be the First to Comment

7848517382_fd811e462c_z

The Dallas Mavericks (4-4) are looking to avoid a four game losing streak as the Washington Wizards (0-6) come to town. There’s a good reason the Wizards are still looking for their first win of the season: They’re not a very good team. To make matters worse, Washington is hurting in terms of depth. John Wall has yet to play a game this season due to being diagnosed with the early stages of a non-traumatic stress injury in his knee. The team is hoping he’ll be able to return by the end of the month. Meanwhile, Nenê is still dealing with a nagging case of plantar fasciitis that has kept him sidelined since the conclusion of the London Olympics in August and cost him 10 games near the end of last season.

Dallas is in desperate need of a win and they’ll look to do it against Washington.

Here are some notes to get you ready for the game between the Mavericks and the Wizards.

Series Notes:

The Mavericks have won four straight and 15 of the last 20 meetings with the Wizards. The Wizards’ last win over the Mavericks came in Dallas on 10/27/09 (defeated the Mavericks 102-91). The teams met just once in 2011-12 (on 3/13/12) and Dallas recorded a 107-98 victory at home. Dirk Nowitzki totaled a game-high 27 points for Dallas in the win over Washington on 3/13/12. Nowitzki went 8-of-9 from the floor in the first half and scored 20 of his 27 points before intermission. Shawn Marion posted a double-double with 10 points and a game-high 13 rebounds. Marion moved into 100th place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list vs. Washington on 3/13/12. The Mavericks have gone 8-2 in their last 10 matchups against the Wizards at home.

It’s a Small World:

Mavericks center Chris Kaman was a teammate of Wizards forward Trevor Ariza and Wizards center Emeka Okafor on the New Orleans Hornets in 2011-12. Mavericks guard Dahntay Jones played with Wizards center Nenê on the Denver Nuggets during the 2008-09 season. Wizards head coach Randy Whittman was an assistant with the Mavericks during the 1993-94 season. Wizards forward Kevin Seraphin and Mavericks guard Rodrigue Beaubois both hail from France. Washington assistant coach Sam Cassell played in 16 games for Dallas in 1996-97. Wizards forward Chris Singleton and Mavericks center Bernard James played one year of college ball together at Florida State in 2010-11. Singleton (Canton), James (Savannah) and Mavericks forward Jae Crowder (Villa Rica) all grew up in Georgia.

Three Keys:

1. Make good use of Kaman as a starter. It was announced at the team’s morning shootaround that Kaman will move into the starting lineup against the Wizards. Hmm, sounds like a good idea.

2. Ride the hot hand of Collison. After a shaky end to the road trip last week, Darren Collison looked like he got things back in control against the Minnesota Timberwolves. He tallied a season-high 21 points to go along with five assists in 33 minutes vs. Minnesota on 11/12. He went 11-for-12 at the line, posting new career highs for free throws made and attempted (was nine free throws made and 11 attempted). He led Dallas in scoring for the third time this season (he scored a team-high 17 points in each of Dallas’ first two games at L.A. Lakers 10/30 and at Utah 10/31). Collison has now scored 14-plus points in seven of Dallas’ first eight games.

3. Don’t lose. First is worst when it comes to Washington. They’re 0-6 for a reason. You don’t want to have them put it in the left-hand column at your expense. Shake off the bad juju that’s piled up over the last three games and take care of business.

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.