The Dallas Mavericks (29-33) are looking to record their second four-game win streak of season and very first three-game road win streak since February of last year with a win against the Milwaukee Bucks (32-29). The game will feature two of the hottest teams in the league as the Mavericks have won four of their last five games and the Bucks have won six of their last seven.
According to coach Rick Carlisle, Shawn Marion (left calf contusion) is questionable for the game against Bucks.
Here are the notes for the game between the Mavericks and the Bucks.
Dallas has won eight of the last 13 meetings with Milwaukee, but the Bucks have taken three of the last four. In heartbreaking fashion, the Bucks took the first matchup between the two teams this season, 95-90, at Dallas on Feb. 26. The Mavericks had won eight of the previous nine showdowns with the Bucks in Dallas.
The Mavericks and the Bucks met just once last season (at Dallas on Jan. 13, 2012) and the Mavericks won by 26 (102-76). It was Dallas’ largest margin of victory in any game against Milwaukee. The Mavericks are just 6-24 all-time on the road against the Bucks (Dallas lost 12 consecutive games in Milwaukee from 1988- 2001). The Mavericks only struggle worse in Los Angeles against the Lakers than they do in Milwaukee against the Bucks. The Bucks have won three of the last four matchups in Milwaukee.
Tonight’s game will mark Dallas’ first trip to Milwaukee since Jan. 1, 2011 (Dallas lost 99-87). Milwaukee defeated Dallas both times in 2010-11, sweeping the Mavericks in the regular season for the first time since 2002-03. The Bucks snapped the Mavericks’ season-high 12-game winning streak (Dallas’ high win streak for the 2010-11 season) with a 103-99 victory in Dallas on Dec. 13, 2010.
Nowitzki recorded his first career triple-double against Milwaukee on Feb. 6, 2008 when he totaled 29 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists. Nowitzki is averaging 23.8 points, 9.1 rebounds and 3.8 assists in 25 games (all starts) against Milwaukee in his career.
It’s a Small World:
In what has to be one of the most lopsided draft day deals in NBA history, Dirk Nowitzki was originally drafted by Milwaukee in the first round (ninth overall pick) of the 1998 NBA Draft, before having his draft rights traded to Dallas (along with the draft rights to Pat Garrity) in exchange for the draft rights to Robert Traylor.
Jae Crowder played his final two years of college ball (2010-12) at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Todd Mayo, the younger brother of Mavericks guard O.J. Mayo, currently plays guard for the Golden Eagles. Crowder and Todd Mayo were teammates at Marquette during the 2011-12 season.
Mavericks point guard Darren Collison and Bucks forward Luc Mbah a Moute were college teammates at UCLA from 2005-08 and reached the Final Four together all three years.
Bucks forward Marquis Daniels played for Dallas from 2003-06 and was a member of the Mavericks’ 2006 Western Conference Championship Team. Bucks forward Drew Gooden played for the Mavericks during the 2009-10 season.
Vince Carter was a teammate of Bucks guard J.J. Redick on the Orlando Magic in 2009-10 and for part of the 2010-11 season. Bucks big man Gustavo Ayón played his rookie season (2011-12) with Mavericks center Chris Kaman in New Orleans. Bucks guard Monta Ellis was a teammate of Mavericks big man Brandan Wright on the Golden State Warriors for three-and-a-half seasons from 2007-11. Bucks forward Ekpe Udoh was also a teammate of Wright’s on the Warriors for the first half of the 2010-11 season. Anthony Morrow played two seasons with Ellis on the Warriors from 2008-10.
Mavericks assistant coach Tony Brown got his start in the NBA as an advance scout in Milwaukee from 1994-97. Brown was an assistant coach with the Bucks in 2007-08. Mavericks Strength and Conditioning Coach Robert Hackett is from Milwaukee and attended the University of Wisconsin.
1. Contain Monta Ellis. Leading the team with 19.1 points per game, Ellis has averaged 26.1 on 50.0 percent shooting over the last seven games. Against the Mavericks, Ellis holds career averages of 21.0 points on 46.5 percent shooting from the field and 44.0 percent from 3-point range. In his last 12 games against the Mavericks, he’s averaged 25.0 points on 49.2 percent shooting from the field and 43.1 percent from 3-point range. Ellis has a tendency to be a guy that can keep his team in the game and also take his team out of the game. Brandon Jennings and JJ Redick are explosive guards the Mavericks need to keep track of, but they need to make sure they definitely focus their attention on Ellis.
2. Ride the hot hand of Vince Carter. The deadliest weapon off the Mavericks bench has gone 12 for 23 from 3-point range and averaged 16.0 points in helping the Mavericks win four of five games to start the month of March. It’s been incredible to see Carter’s game evolve between last year and this year. He’s truly stepped up as a leader and a major contributor for the team. If the Mavericks are going to make it to the eighth seed in the West, they’re going to need Carter.
3. Use the strength in numbers philosophy. In their most recent game against Minnesota, Vince Carter, Elton Brand and Darren Collison came off the bench to record team highs in points (22), rebounds (12) and assists (eight), respectively. It marked only the fifth game in franchise history, and the first since Dec. 23, 1994, in which three different reserves posted outright team highs for Dallas in those three categories. The Mavericks dropped each of their previous four games of that kind. The Mavericks’ bench outscored the Timberwolves’ bench, 58-22, on the night. Carter led the way with 22 points, while Brandan Wright (13) and Brand (10) also scored in double figures off the pine. Collison finished with nine points to go along with his game-high eight assists.
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.