Four-Pointer: Previewing the Washington Wizards

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

What better way to welcome the year of 2014 than some Mavericks basketball? Right!? Right!?

Which Mavericks player might be due for a big game?

Last time the Mavericks played Washington, it was one of those Samuel Dalembert games. He scored 15 points on seven shots -- and it's no surprise, since the Wizards aren't a team that present major match-up problems. Marcin Gortat is a good center, but he has an "old-school" game that isn't based around supreme athleticism and quickness that should allow Dalembert to play his game.

What's the biggest strength of the Wizards?

At the beginning of the season, the Washington Wizards led the entire NBA in corner three point makes. They've fallen a little, but are still dangerous with 91 made on the year (5th in the NBA) on a 41% clip. In the last match-up on November 12th, Trevor Ariza had 27 points and was 3-of-6 on corner triples. Don't count Washington out on above the break threes, either -- they shoot 39.4%, which is third best in the league.

What's the biggest weakness of the Wizards?

Now the flip side -- the Wizards are simply middle-of-the-pack on both offense and defense. At 14-14, Washington is one of the better teams in the East, but they simply don't have anything they're great at. Although they've won five of their last six, realize who the wins have come against: the Knicks, the Nets, the Celtics, and twice against the Pistons.

What do the Mavs need to do to be successful against Washington?

Play up to their potential on the road, where Dallas is just 7-9 this season. If Montadirk makes its usual appearance and Wright or Vince or Crowder can give the Mavericks some bench production, it'd be hard to lose without a defensive collapse. But that hasn't happened a whole lot over these 16 road games, so don't expect anything.

Check out our friends at Bullets Forever for coverage of this game from the Washington point of view. Do it, I'm serious! And happy 2014 to all you dudes.

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