Setting the Table: San Antonio Spurs (Game 64)

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on March 14, 2013 under Previews | 2 Comments to Read

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The Dallas Mavericks (30-33) are on a four-game winning streak and face their toughest test as they finish their four-game road trip against the San Antonio Spurs (49-16). In addition to the four-game winning streak, Dallas has won five of their last six games (Dallas is 5-1 in the month of March). The four consecutive wins matches Dallas’ high win streak for the season (also won 4 straight at Sacramento on Jan. 10 through their game against Houston on Jan. 16). Dallas is three games below .500, the closest they’ve been to .500 since Dec. 21 when they were 12-15.

With the victory at Milwaukee, the Mavericks improved to 3-0 on their four-game road trip. Dallas won three consecutive road games for the first time since last season (Feb. 8 through Feb. 17). The Mavericks have not won four straight on the road since the 2010-11 season (Mar. 16 through Mar. 30 of 2011).

The Mavericks will have to go for their fourth straight road win without the services of Shawn Marion. Rick Carlisle told reporters that Marion will once again sit out due to his left calf contusion. He has missed the team’s past three games due to the injury. As for the Spurs, San Antonio will be without the services of Tony Parker as he continues to recover from a grade 2 ankle sprain. With coach Gregg Popovich in control, it’s impossible to predict if any other Spurs will miss the game in part to being given the night off. It’s safe for the Mavericks to assume everyone else other than Parker will be ready to go.

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

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Setting the Table: Milwaukee Bucks (Game 63)

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on March 12, 2013 under Previews | Be the First to Comment

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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.

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Setting the Table: Minnesota Timberwolves (Game 62)

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on March 10, 2013 under Previews | Be the First to Comment

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The Dallas Mavericks (28-33) looking for a three-game winning streak as they take on Ricky R…I mean, the Minnesota Timberwolves (21-38). Dallas only has four streaks this season of at least three consecutive wins, showing how much of a struggle this season has been. News out of Minnesota has Shawn Marion once again sitting out due to a left calf contusion. The Timberwolves, meanwhile, are expected to play without four starters – Nikola Pekovic (abdominal strain), Kevin Love (broken hand), Andrei Kirilenko (strained left calf) and Brandon Roy (knee surgery) – for the fifth straight contest.

The floundering Utah Jazz continue to give the Mavericks hope when it comes to the playoffs. Utah’s loss to New York on Saturday night bumped Dallas up to three games back of the eighth seed in the West. That sounds great, but the Mavericks have to remember there are two additional teams they have to leapfrog in order to get the spot the Jazz have: the Trail Blazers and the Lakers. That being said, the Mavericks need to win in order to have a chance to get that eighth spot.

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

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Setting the Table: Detroit Pistons (Game 61)

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on March 8, 2013 under Previews | Read the First Comment

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Coming off a much-needed victory over the Houston Rockets, the Dallas Mavericks (27-33) start a four-game road trip against the Detroit Pistons (23-40). Dallas opens up their road trip against Detroit before facing Minnesota and Milwaukee and closing it out against their in-state rivals, the West-leading San Antonio Spurs.

The Pistons might be without the services of Greg Monroe. He’s nursing a sprained left ankle suffered in practice Tuesday. He missed the team’s game against the New York Knicks earlier in the week. He is considered to be a game-time decision for the game against the Mavericks. Pistons assistant coach Brian Hill will run team tonight in place of Lawrence Frank. Frank is home in New Jersey tending to a family matter.

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

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Setting the Table: Houston Rockets (Game 59)

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on March 3, 2013 under Previews | Be the First to Comment

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This is it. This is what it comes down to for the boys in blue. The fate of the Dallas Mavericks’ (26-32) season hangs in the balance as they start a home-and-home series with the Houston Rockets (32-28). With Dallas five games back, four in the loss column, to Houston in the race for the eighth and final seed in the Western Conference, these two games are essentially must-win games for the Mavericks.

The season rests on these next two games, and the Mavericks might as well ride the man who can deliver in their time of need – Dirk Nowitzki. The former league MVP is averaging 21.2 points – 5.1 more than his season mark – on 53.2 percent shooting over the last five contests. In the six games after the All-Star break, Dirk is averaging a double-double clip of 19.7 points and 10.2 rebounds. He likes seeing his in-state rivals in red. Over his career (a total of 53 regular season matchups), Dirk is averaging 22.5 points, 7.6 rebounds on 48.3 percent shooting from the field and 42.5 percent from 3-point range against the Rockets. Dallas is 35-7 all-time versus Houston when Nowitzki scores at least 16 points. The Mavericks might as well ride through Highway 41 if they want any chance of making it to the playoffs.

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

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Setting the Table: Brooklyn Nets (Game 58)

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on March 1, 2013 under Previews | Be the First to Comment

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The Dallas Mavericks (25-32) make their first trip to the house that Jay-Z (and other people) built to take on the Brooklyn Nets (34-24). The Nets represent the only team in the league that the Mavericks have yet to square off against this season.

This will mark the first time the Mavericks will see Deron Williams since he decided to stay with the Nets over jumping ship and signing with the Mavericks. Don’t expect a handshake or any witty remarks from Mark Cuban. He is actually not with the team as he’s attending the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference in Boston.

The Mavericks will be looking to rebound from their devastating loss to the Memphis Grizzlies. Dallas led by as many as 25 points in the second quarter before the Grizzlies went on a 36-4 run spanning halftime. Dallas managed just five points in the third, its fewest in a period since setting an NBA record with two in the third quarter of an 87-80 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on April 6, 1997.

With the Mavericks seven games under .5o0, the earliest the Mavericks could be shave their beards is after a victory over the San Antonio Spurs on Mar. 14. Time is running out for the Mavericks if they want to make the playoffs and want to shave those beards this season.

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

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Setting the Table: Memphis Grizzlies (Game 57)

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on February 27, 2013 under Previews | Read the First Comment

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The hits just keep on coming for the Dallas Mavericks (25-31) as they take on the Memphis Grizzlies (37-18) just 20 or so hours after facing the Milwaukee Bucks. The Grizzlies have had two days off to prepare for their game against the Mavericks. It will be the second night of a back-to-back for the Mavericks, a situation that hasn’t been too incredibly kind for them this year. With the loss to the Bucks, the Mavericks are 2-10 in the first half of a back-to-back and 4-7 in the second half of a back-to-back this season. 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 and 13-9 in the second half of those back-to-backs.

They’re going up against a Memphis squad that has their act together. The Grizzlies have won eight of the last 10 games, including the last seven‐in‐a‐row, since acquiring Tayshaun Prince, Austin Daye and Ed Davis in a three‐team trade that sent Rudy Gay from Memphis to Toronto and Jose Calderon from Toronto to Detroit on Jan. 30. Memphis’ current seven‐game winning streak is the team’s longest since a franchise‐record tying eight‐game winning streak earlier this season (Nov. 2 through the 17). It is the longest active winning streak in the Western Conference and the second‐longest active streak in the NBA (Miami).

The road can be a lonely place, and the Mavericks are now on the road for seven of their next eight games. With the playoffs looking bleak, this very well could be the final march for the Mavericks.

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

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Setting the Table: Milwaukee Bucks (Game 56)

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on February 26, 2013 under Previews | Read the First Comment

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The Dallas Mavericks (25-30) have their backs firmly against the wall as they host the Milwaukee Bucks (26-28). The loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday didn’t break the back of the Mavericks but it definitely set them behind in a big way. My calculations had the Mavericks having a seven percent chance of making the playoffs before the game against the Lakers. The loss to Los Angeles dropped their percentages down to four percent. The door is starting to close on the Mavericks’ chances to extend their streak of consecutive playoff appearances.

Dirk Nowitzki will definitely do whatever he can to help the team. Over his last five games, Dirk is averaging 21.6 points, 8.8 rebounds and shooting 54.2 percent from the field and is 10-of-14 from 3-point range. It will be interesting to see how Dirk responds from his best game of the year against the Lakers. Milwaukee will always be linked to Dirk and the Mavericks. If you don’t know why, you’ll find out shortly.

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

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Setting the Table: Los Angeles Lakers (Game 55)

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on February 24, 2013 under Previews | Be the First to Comment

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It’s a Sunday showdown as the Dallas Mavericks (25-29) host the Los Angeles Lakers (27-29). Both teams are desperately trying to make up ground in order to take the 8th seed from the Houston Rockets. Sunday’s game is a must-win for both teams.

New Maverick Anthony Morrow will be in uniform against the Lakers. If Morrow is to play, it would only be the second time he has seen the floor since Dec. 29. The Mavericks will be looking to get positive news before the game. If Chris Kaman is cleared by the medical staff today, he’ll play against the Lakers. The big man has missed the past 10 games since sustaining a concussion during a practice session on Jan. 28.

The Mavericks will need a strong defensive performance against one Kobe Bean Bryant. Bryant, who recently guaranteed the Lakers would make the playoffs, is shooting 65.1 percent in his last three games against the Mavericks. Shawn Marion, O.J. Mayo, Vince Carter and Jae Crowder will have to handle the major defensive responsibility on Kobe.

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

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Setting the Table: New Orleans Hornets (Game 54)

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on February 22, 2013 under Previews | Be the First to Comment

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The Dallas Mavericks (24-29) continue their push towards the 8th seed as they take on a scrappy New Orleans Hornets (19-36) squad. The Mavericks will once again be short-handed as Chris Kaman is still inactive due to his concussion. Good news did come on Thursday as Rick Carlisle told reporters that Kaman participated in contact drills and there’s a return date in mind. “We’ve got to get at least one more practice in before he can play,” Carlisle told reporters. “If things continue to go well, he’ll be a possibility for Sunday.” They will be without Dahntay Jones as he was traded moments before the trade deadline came in exchange for Anthony Morrow.

The Mavericks are on a bit of a nice as they’ve gone 11-6 snce falling 10 games below .5oo. You have to go back to Christmas to find a time where the Mavericks were four games below .500, which is what they would be with a victory over the Hornets.

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

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