The Dallas Mavericks (21-28) might be looking in the mirror as they see a desperate team in the form of the Golden State Warriors (30-20). Desperation can come in many different forms. They will see a team that is desperate as Golden State is on a three-game losing streak. They will be completing a back-to-back, and the game against the Mavericks marks the fourth game in five nights for the Warriors.
The Mavericks have had a few days off so this will be the first time people have really seen them since the discussion of .500 bears has really been acknowledged. For those who haven’t heard, most of the Mavericks have said that they will not shave (maybe just the neck) until they get back to .500. The earliest that can happen is Feb. 26. The stretch to the 26th isn’t tumultuous. Starting against the game against Golden State, they just have to do what they need to do and handle their business.
Here are the notes for the game between the Mavericks and the Warriors.
The Warriors have taken the first two meetings with the Mavericks this season, but neither game has been decided by more than four points (Golden State won 105-101 in overtime on Nov. 19, and 100-97 on Jan.31). Dallas had won 8-of-10 against Golden State going into the 2012-13 season. With the win on Nov. 19, the Warriors snapped a four-game road losing streak against the Mavericks. Despite the loss, the Mavericks have still taken eight of the last 10 matchups with the Warriors in Dallas.
Dirk Nowitzki averaged a team-high 21.7 points, 3.3 rebounds and 31.3 minutes in three starts against the Warriors last season. He has yet to play against the Warriors in 2012-13. Nowitzki missed the game against the Warriors on Nov. 19 recovering from right knee surgery. He also missed the game at Golden State on Jan. 31 due to a right adductor strain.
Chris Kaman recorded a double-double with 18 points, a season-high 17 rebounds and two blocks in 35 minutes vs. Golden State on Nov. 19. Kaman (concussion) was unavailable for Dallas for the game at Golden State on Jan. 31.. O..J. Mayo is averaging 26.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 1.5 steals and 40.0 minutes in two starts against the Warriors this season.
It’s a Small World:
Mavericks swingman Vince Carter was a teammate of Warriors forward Richard Jefferson on the New Jersey Nets for three-and-a-half seasons from 2004-08. Carter was originally drafted by Golden State in the first round (fifth overall pick) of the 1998 NBA Draft, but had his draft rights traded with cash to Toronto in exchange for the draft rights to Antawn Jamison (the fourth overall selection in the 1998 NBA Draft). Carter played with Warriors head coach Mark Jackson in Toronto during the 2000-01 season. Jackson was also a teammate of Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle on the New York Knicks in 1987-88.
Mavericks forward Shawn Marion ranks 27th all-time with 1,605 career steals and needs three thefts to tie Jackson (1,608) for 26th place on the NBA’s all-time steals list. Mavericks big man Brandan Wright played for the Warriors from 2007-10. Mavericks center Chris Kaman was a teammate of Warriors guard Jarrett Jack and Warriors forward Carl Landry on the New Orleans Hornets last season.
Mavericks guard Jared Cunningham was born in Oakland, Calif., and attended San Leandro High School in San Leandro, California. Warriors Director of Scouting Larry Riley was an assistant with Dallas from 2000-05.
1. Take the game to the Warriors. The Mavericks have to take advantage of the fact they’ve had days off to prepare for the Warriors. It’s been a tough road trip for the Warriors and it ends with a back-to-back. It won’t be easy for the Mavericks as the Warriors have been solid this year in ending back-to-backs on a high note. Golden State is 5-9 in the first game of a back-to-back this season, but 8-5 in the second game.
2. Protect the basketball. The issues with turnovers have come and gone, but they need to make sure they protect the ball against the Warriors. Dallas tied a season-low with eight turnovers against Portland on Feb. 6 (also had 8 at Orlando Jan. 20). The Mavericks are 12-6 this season when they record 12-or-fewer turnovers in a game. The Warriors are 7-1 when scoring 20-plus points off of turnovers.
3. Rebound. Like the turnovers, the rebounding issue has come and gone. With the tenacity the Warriors have when it comes to going for the ball off a miss, the Mavericks have to box out and be ready for a fight. The Warriors are 23-3 this season when outrebounding the opposition. The Mavericks are 8-21 when they are outrebounded by the opposition.
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.