Dallas Mavericks (0-2, 0-0 at home) at Oklahoma City Thunder (3-0, 1-0 at home)
Dallas is in a state of dispair right now. Two blow out losses and a lot of questions. They’ve already dealt with Oklahoma City twice in the preseason, both times they were down 20 points. This is the first regular season game between these two teams since the Western Conference Finals.
The Mavericks really haven’t been the same as last season. They’re shooting just 40.1% from the field in their two losses. They’re allowing 110.0 points per game. That ranks last in the NBA. Dirk Nowitzki leads the team in scoring with 20.5 ppg. Lamar Odom hasn’t been the spark that they were all hoping for in Dallas. He’s a big bad 2-16 from the floor as a Maverick.
Oklahoma City is coming off two impressive road wins. OKC is obvious led by Kevin Durant and his 31.6 points per game. The bench played a huge rule in their win over Memphis, scoring 40 points in route to a 98-95 win.
Keys to the game
No, not because of his supposed “chemistry” issue with Kevin Durant. It’s because of his shooting. If the Thunder are going to come out and beat this Dallas team, he’ll have to score points. Going 0-13 from the field won’t be accepted this time. Yeah, he’s rusty, and we’re accepting that. He didn’t shoot too bad. However, he needs to get the shots to fall.
Defending Dirk Nowitzki
Dirk for his career vs. Oklahoma City? 31.7 points per game, 6.7 rebounds. He’s been able for the most part do whatever he’d like. Ibaka and Collison did well on him in the preseason match up. Limiting Nowitzki to 2-10. shooting. Will need more of this if the Thunder are going to continue this roll.
Seems simple enough. You make them, you win, right? Except for the Thunder who have shot just 41.2% in the last two games. Thunder haven’t shot above 50% this season. (season average: 43.2%). The team that shoots the best wins the ball game. Simple.