Setting the Table: Cleveland Cavaliers (Game 65)

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on March 15, 2013 under Previews | Be the First to Comment

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The Dallas Mavericks (30-34) don’t have time to dwell on their loss to the Spurs as they host the Cleveland Cavaliers (22-42). The game marks the second night of a back-to-back for the Mavericks. Dallas is 4-8 in the second half of a back-to-back this season. Cleveland will be starting their back-to-back set against Dallas. They will take on the San Antonio Spurs tomorrow night. Cleveland is 2-9 on the road this season against Western Conference opponents.

The Cavaliers will be without All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving. The reigning rookie of the year could be done for the season after suffering a sprained left shoulder this weekend in a loss to Toronto. Shawn Marion’s status is up in the air as he’s still dealing with a left calf contusion. He was going to get examined during the day to get an updated.

Here are the notes for the game between the Mavericks and the Cavaliers.

Series Notes:

The Mavericks have won four of the last five (and 16 of the last 23) meetings with the Cavaliers. The Mavericks won the first matchup between the two teams this season, 103-95, at Cleveland on Nov. 17. Six players scored in double figures for Dallas in the win: O.J. Mayo (19), Chris Kaman (15), Darren Collison (14), Vince Carter (14), Shawn Marion (10) and Dominique Jones (10).

Dallas has taken nine of the last 11 meetings with Cleveland at home, including the most recent two showdowns at American Airlines Center.

In the only meeting between the two clubs in 2011-12, the Cavaliers defeated the Mavericks 91-88 at Cleveland on Feb. 4, 2012. Dirk Nowitzki tallied a game-high 24 points to go along with eight rebounds, three assists and two blocks in a losing effort against the Cavaliers on Feb. 4, 2012.

Nowitzki missed the game at Cleveland earlier this season as he was recovering from right knee surgery.

It’s a Small World:

Cavaliers center Tyler Zeller was originally drafted by Dallas with 17th overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, but had his draft rights traded along with guard Kelenna Azubuike to Cleveland in exchange for the draft rights to the 24th overall pick Jared Cunningham, the 33rd overall selection Bernard James and the
34th overall pick Jae Crowder.

Cavaliers forward C.J. Miles is from Dallas and attended Skyline High School.

Elton Brand and Cavaliers big man Marreese Speights played three seasons together on the Sixers from 2008-11. Cavaliers guard Shaun Livingston played three seasons with Brand and Mavericks center Chris Kaman on the L.A. Clippers from 2004-07. Mavericks big man Brandan Wright and Cavaliers guard Wayne Ellington were both freshmen on North Carolina’s 2006-07 ACC Championship Team.

Cavaliers assistant coach Joe Prunty was an assistant with the Mavericks from 2005-08.

Three Keys:

1. Rebound the ball. Rebounding the ball was clearly an issue for the Mavericks as they faced the Spurs. Dallas was outrebounded 49-35 in San Antonio. In the previous matchup with the Dallas on November 17th, Cleveland pulled down 13 offensive rebounds which led to a 19-7 advantage in second chance points. Cleveland leads the East Conference in second chance points per game (15.5) and ranks 2nd in the league. The Cavs rank 4th in the East with 12.5 offensive rebounds per game (8th in the league). The Mavericks have to do a better job of cleaning up the glass.

2. Ball security. Cleveland ranks 7th in the NBA in opponent turnovers per game at 15.5 and 10th in points off turnovers (17.6) this season. Dallas is averaging 11.6 turnovers per game over their last five games (4-1 record). The Mavericks are 10-3 this season when they record 10-or-fewer turnovers in a game. They are 19-8 this season when they record 12-orfewer
turnovers.

3. More of the Wright stuff. With Chris Kaman essentially falling out of the rotation, Brandan Wright has stepped up in a big way for the Mavericks. He recorded 10 points, a season-high-tying eight rebounds and two blocks in 24 minutes at San Antonio. He scored in double figures for the fifth time in his last six games (19th time this season). Wright is averaging 11.7 points, 5.7 rebounds, 1.7 blocks and 24.7 minutes over his last six games. He is shooting 66.7 percent (32-of-48) from the field in that span. Without a dominating presence in the post for Cleveland, Wright should have another opportunity to make good on the bump in playing time he’s gotten as of late.

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.